Uncategorized Oct 11, 2021

When meeting a corporate for the first time, it’s a little like First Dates.  Or, for those of you that have been binge watching Bridgerton – a Debutante ball.

Aaah Bridgerton.  A period drama that’s oh so proper and oh so naughty.  With a mightily fine Duke of Hastings that’s far from stuffy.

What I love about this show – and why it makes me think of corporate partnerships – is that Daphne, the protagonist, is a modern lass who knows her worth.  She is presented (via that antiquated idea of a Debutante ball) to a whole host of seemingly appropriate suitors, and yet she holds out for her perfect match.

Too many non-profits are just not fussy enough. Often, through lack of preparedness or robust thinking, they partner with a company that doesn’t value them, creates overservicing and burnout, and are not there for the right reason.

I encounter many non-profits with very nervous Boards when it comes to corporate partnerships.  And yet at the same time, they expect staff to negotiate with companies without providing the appropriate training, understanding of the sector, and research on the prospect.  This is the ultimate self-sabotage.

In my 20+ years of matchmaking I’ve worked with many of Australia’s leading companies (Disney, Vodafone, News Ltd, Seek, Mondelez, Qantas, Coca Cola to name a few) and in the main they’re lovely people who really do want to use their resources (cash, expertise and more) to make an impact.  What frustrates them however is when non profits meet with them without doing research, without considering THEIR needs and not understanding that as a company, they have to meet KPI’s and justify expenditure to the bean counters (the CFO).[1]

And that’s when a first meeting with a corporate is like one of those hard-to-look away episodes of First Dates.  It might be compelling viewing, but when a guy (Shadi comes to mind) talks incessently about himself, he may feel like the date has gone well, but is shocked when the girl doesn’t want a second date!

Too many non profits focus on themsleves when presenting to corporates.  There needs to be a lot more of what’s commonly known as WIFM[2] or more appropriate – ‘what’s in it for THEM?’

Students in the® program have just completed their Credentials Presentation, a vital part of the program.  It’s a credentials presentation NOT a proposal.  Why? Because at the first meeting you simply don’t know enough about the company to submit a proposal.  The chance of it meeting their needs, therefore, is as unlikely as me getting a date with the handsome Duke. 

To increase your chances of getting a ‘yes, I’d like a second date’ (which is after all your intention, you never get a marriage proposal at the first meeting), you need to present a smorgasbord of offerings, so that your prospect can let you know what appeals to THEM.

To help you frame your credentials presentation to meet the needs of your prospect, you must first understand what purse they hold.  The purse will provide a clue to what they want from you, WHY they would invest in you.  If you don’t know what purse they hold, just look at their job title.  Our Four Purses Infographic and detailed article in this month’s F&P magazine will help.

The Credentials Presentation is Module 4 in our 7 module, 7 step process that we guide you through in our program.  If you’d like to learn more about the other steps check out this 30-minute webinar – it’s a recording so you can watch at your leisure.

Want to know if your organisation is ready to implement a corporate partnerships strategy? Take our Readiness Q&A to find out.


Hailey Cavill-Jaspers


[1] Chief Financial Officer

[2] WIFM – what’s in it for me?


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