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Canadian non-profits and charities are seeing a rising demand for their services, working hard to meet the needs of their communities while mitigating a fast-changing fundraising landscape

Canadian businesses, on the other hand, are taking strides towards “Business with a Conscience,” looking for ways to engage with corporate philanthropy in a meaningful way. 

While both businesses and charities/non-profits are facing unique challenges in their respective sectors, a win-win solution lies in developing strong corporate partnerships. 

What’s a Corporate Partnership (& Why Do We Need One?)

Corporate partnerships are relationships formed between charities/non-profits and businesses with the intention of supporting shared goals and values, including the Cause itself.

By joining forces, both corporate partners greatly benefit in different ways. 

Participating charities/non-profits can gain much-needed support while expanding their donor pool and increasing sources and methods of fundraising. 

Participating businesses, on the other hand, get closer to “Business with a Conscience,” supporting good causes that reflect their values and dedication to philanthropy. 

A good partnership can support a businesses top line and bottom line be it directly through sales or indirectly through employee retention and satisfaction.

However, despite the benefits that both parties gain from banding together, simply establishing a partnership isn’t enough for both organizations to thrive. 

Challenges with Corporate Partnerships

In order for a corporate partnership to offer the results you want to see, it takes more than just finding someone like-minded to work with. 

The partnership needs to be effective…and that’s hard to do. 

So, as you’re looking to develop a new and effective corporate partnership — or improve an existing one — what should you be on the lookout for? 

We see charities/non-profits run into 3 recurring challenges with their corporate partnerships:

  • Sustainability
  • Customizability
  • Adaptability

Read on to understand how these common challenges can impact your corporate partnerships (and how Hope Factory can help alleviate all three challenges in one simple-to-use platform). 

Challenge #1 — Sustainability

One of the greatest challenges of managing an effective corporate partnership is determining whether or not the partnership will be sustainable, both with time and results. 

To be sustainable in terms of time, you need to know if your corporate partner can go the distance. A well-matched corporate partner will spend the time needed to maximize the results of your relationship. Mismatched understandings of a sustainable time period can cause friction in corporate partnerships, especially considering the average partnership lasts 3 to 5 years.  

To be sustainable in terms of results, you need to know if your corporate partner can keep up the momentum you need. Can this partnership consistently achieve the desired results throughout the duration of the partnership? A partnership where momentum slows down after a few months can cause challenges for sustainable, ongoing results, and your organization’s limited resources will not be maximized.

But, when you and your corporate partner start a Hope Factory ecosystem, it takes the pressure off of sustainability. 

Challenge #2 — Customizability

Another challenge you may face with managing corporate partners is the customizability of the partnership… or lack thereof. 

Your charity/non-profit is entirely original, with a distinct purpose, mission, vision, and values; to assume otherwise is a disservice to the unique value you bring.

However, not all corporate partnership programs were created to embrace that individuality. Some corporate partnerships require your charity/non-profit to nestle itself into a predetermined set of parameters, squishing two completely different entities into a “one-size-fits-all” solution. 

But a “one size” solution isn’t a viable one. 

For a corporate partnership to work — and to work well — you can’t force square pegs into round holes, because no two charities/non-profits look exactly the same. Every organization offers something distinct, so every corporate partnership should be distinct, too.

Hope Factory’s solutions were built to celebrate every charity’s/non-profit’s differences, allowing your ecosystem to be completely customized to fit your needs and your goals. We only offer options that are “you” shaped, because there’s no singular way to approach corporate social responsibility. 

Challenge #3 — Adaptability

The adaptability of “typical” corporate programs presents a third challenge to charities/non-profits looking to manage effective corporate partnerships. 

From technological advancements and demographic shifts to online giving and popular causes, the fundraising industry is constantly changing… but many corporate partnerships aren’t. 

What many corporate partnership programs lack in customizability they also unfortunately lack in adaptability. Many programs have been built to be unchanging, based on the corporation’s perception of success at the program’s inception. 

Your corporate partnership program needs to be able to change with you and with the wider industry. Whether it’s keeping up with technological changes like open banking or simply evolving as your charity/non-profit evolves, a strong corporate partnership is one that is pliable, flexible, and adaptable. 

The Hope Factory platform was intentionally designed to adapt with your partnership, empowering you to change your business strategy, try new engagement styles, or even revamp your mission. With Hope Factory, you can feel confident in growing and evolving your partnerships, because we can grow and evolve with you. 

If your charity/non-profit is looking to start or improve corporate partnerships, it’s important to recognize and anticipate the challenges that lie ahead… but you don’t have to settle for a challenge-ridden partnership. 

If you’re looking for a teammate to help you:

  • Maintain a sustainable partnership,
  • Offer solutions that are “you” shaped, and 
  • Support your partnership with an adaptable platform, 

…then the team at Hope Factory is on standby. 

We’re ready to help your corporate partnerships sing;  no challenges, obstacles, or growing pains required.

Fill out the form below to connect with our team and get started!