A business partnership is a little like a marriage – there is usually a common purpose, shared values, collaboration, and mutual benefit. And a whole lotta love. Partnerships (and indeed marriages) often fail when there’s no mutual trust or give & take.
All partnerships work well when each partner brings something of value to the other. Especially a corporate-cause partnership. And yet many non-profits approach a company inviting them to become a ‘partner’ when they don’t have clarity on what they can actually offer to a company, or brand. Warm fuzzies? Great stories for social media? Making a difference? All that’s lovely, but it’s not very tangible and hard to value so it won’t cut it with hard-nosed marketers, strategic CSR managers or bottom-line-focused CEO’s. Especially in the current tough economic environment.
This month our students are finalising their Assets Inventory, a technique I developed some years ago that’s constantly evolved. The Assets Inventory enables you to capture all the tangible assets that you can offer to a corporate partner (and sponsor) ranging from ‘people & relationships’, ‘marketing & fundraising materials’, ‘events’, ‘physical things’ and a few other categories.
Having identified these tangible assets, you’re then able to place a dollar value on them! It’s what makes our Assets Inventory technique so powerful – as it includes a world-first and unique asset valuation tool called ‘the Ph Formula’. There’s no point having a catalogue of assets if you then guesstimate what they’re worth – or worse, but commonly done – charge what this asset costs you!
The Ph Formula allows you to place a dollar value on your assets based on market benchmarks. If you think about it, the value (what is charged) of most things is quite fluid. Shares in a multi-national company can plummet after one misguided twitter comment. A brand new car drops in value as soon as it leaves the dealership. A $30 Max Factor lipstick at Myer can be found in Priceline for $20. It’s all about supply & demand, and driven by the market. You don’t pay for what something costs do you? And yet so many non-profits fall back on this method when preparing proposals, probably because they don’t know how else to value things.
Having an Assets Inventory will enable you to put together robust, benefit & value driven proposals, it’ll make you look savvy & professional at the first meeting, and you’ll be much more confident negotiating because you know that you have permission to offer what you’re proposing, and you’ll be able to justify the price tag. The alternative? Meet with a corporate prospect then take months gathering what you can offer, guessing the value, struggling to justify it (that is of course if they are willing to wait – most are not!). How do I know this? Because I’ve seen it all too often.
I’ve also sat in presentations (with Lifeline, MCRI, School Fun Run, Greening Australia to name a few) who, where 6-figure partnership deals are sealed at the first or second meeting, because they had clear assets that meet the corporate need, and the value of those assets made sense to the corporate. In essence, it was easy for them to say ‘yes’.
The Assets Inventory is the second step in our robust 7-step process that enables changemakers to prepare for and win transformative, mutually beneficial corporate partnerships & sponsorships. Download the infographic here. Want an explanation of each step of the process? Watch 30-minute webinar recording here.
Want to know if your organisation is ready to implement a corporate partnerships strategy? Take our Readiness Q&A