You’ve heard it before: “the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask”. The non-profit sector is amidst an exciting evolution (in part due to the pandemic) causing changemakers to ask questions – many of them challenging.
When we ask the right – or better – questions, we increase the chances of getting a better answer, and outcome. The quality of questions being asked within your organisation right now, could be the difference between it thriving, or not.
What IS a good quality question you may ask! Let’s look at a few, in relation to corporate partnerships. The simple, Who, What, Why, When, How is a good starting point.
Q “WHY do we want corporate partnerships?”
A fundamental question that’s often missed. My last blog dives into this, where you can also download a guided exercise & Template to help you answer this question. It’s critical that a corporate partner is aligned to your Vision, Mission & Purpose, not just a ‘donor’ that puts money in the bank.
Q “WHAT do we offer a corporate partner?”
In a genuine partnership (as distinct from a philanthropic ask) you’re inviting a company to partner, and that means an exchange of benefit and value. Do you know what you have to offer? In our 7-step program, we help changemakers to identify their assets that could be attractive to a corporate, as well as placing a dollar value on them. A major asset is of course your brand, and we also have a process for identifying the $ value of that.
Another WHAT question is Q “WHAT can we do better?”
Make a habit of asking this question as it assumes there is more that you can do to create the best version of your organisation (and yourself).
A bigger WHAT question is Q “WHAT is the cost of us not evolving?”
As Einstein once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over and expecting different results”. What’s the physical, emotional & financial cost to your organisation of standing still, of not getting the results you desire? Often when we get crystal clear on the cost, we can see that it’s far worse than the fear, and risk, of change.
A good WHEN question to ask is Q “WHEN is the right time to approach corporates?”
If you stand in the future knowing this date, you can plan backwards and ensure that you have all your ducks in a row prior to this optimum time. And yes, there IS an optimum time! it has nothing to do with your organisation, but everything to do with budget cycles of corporates. For companies on a calendar year (usually large multi-nationals) it’s August and for Australian companies (which is two-thirds of corporates) it’s February.
WHO - a fabulous resource question. Q “WHO are our perfect partners?”
Q “WHO has the expertise to help us?”
Another good Who question, and of course I’m going to recommend BePartnerReady.com®. Why? Because we have a tried & tested roadmap that’s produced results for numerous changemakers over two decades.
Q “WHO is going to drive the corporate partnerships strategy?” is important too, and you’d be shocked how often organisations choose the completely wrong person (they either don’t have the skills, or the go-get personality, or they’re bogged down with events). Q “WHO on our board will be our advocate?” is a better question than ‘who on our board has corporate contacts?”.
Most organisations jump to the HOW before they’re ready. Q “HOW do we prepare for success in corporate partnerships?”
We have the know-how, our 7-step process that you can embed within your organisation, that’ll have you ready at the right time. Check out our infographic that details the 7 steps.
If this blog has given you a thirst for asking (and answering) juicy questions, give our Readiness Q&A a go, and discover the gaps that could be holding you back from success.