In the last decade we’ve seen different kinds of companies emerge, to meet the demands of a newly conscious consumer. The dot-com revolution has already spawned some incredibly successful companies, run by entrepreneurs who have a strong sense of purpose, which is embedded into the company culture – for example Atlassian, an Australia software success story.
As we said in Blog 8, which looks at corporations, public companies, NGOs and franchise operations, if you want to partner with the commercial sector, it’s important to understand their makeup.
Let’s look now at those organisations that are rewriting the rules of business:
A private company is privately owned, for example, KPMG and Cotton On Group, and may not receive as many proposals from non-profits as public companies. If they’re a ‘challenger’ brand (like Karma Cola, Dodo, Airbnb & Ola) they could be a good prospect because they’re renowned for having a...
The most innovative and wealthy sector – Business & Corporate – will come through this crisis leaner and stronger. However, if you want to partner with them, it’s important to understand their makeup. No two companies are the same, and yet their structure and legal obligations will certainly influence the way that they go about partnering with causes.
There’s a handful of different legal structures that ultimately impact a company’s motivation for partnering, as much as their culture does. Let’s take a look:
A corporation is like a person - it has an identity that is separate from its investors and workers, and has its own legal rights and responsibilities. A Corporation has a legal obligation to return a profit to shareholders. If they practice ‘philanthropy’, its likely they’ll do it in a structured way, such as through a Foundation.
In recent times, shareholders have begun to realise that companies have...
We all know cash is like oxygen for any company or non-profit, but some forms of cash certainly make you breathe easier. Corporate partners can provide both ‘tied’ cash, for specific vital programs and events, but also significant ‘untied cash’. How would you feel if a large chunk of your daily operating costs – salaries, rent, utilities, fundraising expenses and so on – were covered by a corporate partner?
How relaxed would you feel if you had cash in reserve, for a ‘rainy day’ or if an income stream dries up or, dare we mention it, a global pandemic or recession? Research suggests that the majority of non-profits have less than 6 months cash in reserve for lean times.
In my experience of working for a global non-profit, I’ve found that so many income streams provide ‘tied’ funds, that is, the donor requires the money to be spent on something specific. Government and philanthropic grants, bequests, major gifts,...
Cash is king in a non-profit, so it’s worth examining your annual costs to see how they can be reduced. It’s a lot easier to save a dollar than to earn a dollar, especially in a recession.
Partnering with a corporate is a fantastic way to bolster your organisation; very few income generating-strategies bring so many rich and diverse rewards. Partnering with a company or brand should absolutely provide financial assistance to enable your organisation to operate, that’s a given. Beware of merely focusing on the bottom line, because there’s a variety of juicy benefits available. Tapping into a corporate partner’s expertise and resources can improve your efficiency, spark innovation and reduce costs.
Physical resources and goods in kind (GIK): Non-profits can utilise their partners’ office space (for conferences and meetings), technology (Zoom, video-conferencing), second-hand computers, recording studios, etc.
When Hailey worked with The Leukaemia...
It’s no understatement to say that everything’s changed. For many changemakers, May is going to be tough. If I’ve learned one thing from working with Hailey on BePartnerReady.com®, it’s this: when the world is spinning out of control, you just have to keep going. When I’m handed lemons, I make Vodka Sours.
No matter how the world evolves in the coming months, companies will reinvent themselves and become keen to partner with non-profits. If anything, they need the halo effect that a cause partner brings, now more than ever.
There are many more benefits to a corporate partnership than just income, and if your organisation views a corporate partner as simply a line item in the budget, then a great opportunity is squandered. Corporates can enhance so many facets of your organisation, including increasing your organisation’s awareness of its brand, impact and overall credibility in the eyes of the corporate sector.
CORPORATES INCREASE YOUR:
In entertainment, the power of a well-timed punchline relies on great timing - and the preparation leading up to it.
In business, it means predicting an opportunity created by external change. Such as a crisis which creates new customer needs (Amazon, Netflix & Zoom to name a few) or an innovation such as the internet which spawned online businesses like ETSY, enabling struggling artists to access a global market.
Entrepreneurs and all large companies have people working around-the-clock on surviving the current crisis, as well as predicting and preparing for the opportunities that will eventuate.
How is the non-profit sector preparing? Are you ready to put your dancing shoes on?
A brilliant dancing coach teaches you perfect timing – and I’m experienced in dancing with corporates. Up until December 2019, there were two aspects to readiness – Organisational Readiness and Partner Readiness. More on the third later.
Over the last 2...
Whilst it’s totally natural to be fearful of a recession, history reveals that innovative companies make the most of disruption. Entrepreneurs see new customer needs and wants, and create modern products and services to meet them.
The last economic downturn in Australia (and a full recession around the world) was in 2008. Companies that failed to adapt to change – like Blockbuster, Kodak, and Toys R Us, unfortunately collapsed.
It’s hard to imagine life without Instagram, WhatsApp, Uber, Airbnb and Dropbox, and yet they all took advantage of change and low interest rates during the last recession and built billion-dollar businesses. In Australia, start-ups like Airtasker, WeWork, Zoom and Go Fund Me flourished.
Further back, in the 1800’s, the USA suffered a 20-year depression triggered by the Vienna stock market crash. Companies that emerged from this tough period include Eli Lily, IBM, Merck, Gillette and J&J – now billion-dollar giants still...
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word crisis. One brush stroke stands for danger, the other for opportunity. In a crisis be aware of the danger, but recognise the opportunity” - John F. Kennedy (speech 1959)
Whilst this a lovely and timely sentiment, from a well-respected statesman (also widely shared via memes and quote sites) it’s actually untrue. It’s human nature to reach out for helpful advice and answers on what to do when confronted with a crisis. In this era of fake news and misinformation it’s vital now, more than ever, to be discerning about who and what you listen to. Take advice from people who are not just self-proclaimed ‘experts’ in their field, but people who have proven experience in navigating a volatile environment. Research their credentials, check testimonials, ask about the results they’ve produced and gather social proof. This is not the time to take things at face value. There’s a...
At a time when our entire world is forcing us to retract and distance ourselves, as we prepare for an inevitable economic recession, we’re inviting you to Do More and Be More. This might seem a little audacious, but there’s some very good reasons why now is an excellent time to embrace this.
As we reflect on what’s important, I strongly believe that one silver lining to come out of this crisis will be the realisation that we can get by with less. Some will grieve the loss of liberty and our past abundant lifestyle. Others will be grieving the loss of loved ones. As we strip away all the labels and trinkets, appreciate the beauty of nature and the human spirit, we’ll become better versions of ourselves. We will become more of who we really are. Put simply, people will become MORE of their authentic selves.
It’s an extraordinary time, where resources may appear to be scarce, we’re being asked to work in new ways and adapt to a new normal. As the...