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Fundraising is a key component in building sustainable futures for any nonprofit. As competition increases, securing funding has become more and more difficult given that we are all competing for the same pots of funding. Thinking outside our normal scope of fundraising has become increasingly common and important. Seeking corporate partnerships to provide innovative ways to provide solutions to the problems within our communities can prove beneficial to both parties.  These partnerships can unlock new opportunities for your agency and expand your influence within your community. 

Here are some ways that Corporate Partnerships can positively impact your agency: 

  • Generate Revenue –   Of course, the number one benefit of corporate partnerships is the generation of revenue. Larger corporate donations may be key to sustaining and growing our programs.  Many corporate giving programs are focused on specific issues that your 211 may address (i.e. health, children, food). Invite corporations to pay for staff training – and staff to answer the phone – related to the issues they care about.  
  • Cultivate A Stable Volunteer Force– Establishing an employee volunteer program with a corporate partner allows employees to have direct access to volunteer opportunities through their place of work, granting your agency a consistent stream of volunteers throughout the year. Year-round engagement is important to drive donations and long-time donors.  If volunteers are not able to answer phones, use volunteers to update data, as brand ambassadors, serve on ad-hoc committees and support quality assurance activities.  
  • Enhanced Operations – Amazon Web Services is offering guidance to the 211 Network to create chatbots for commonly asked questions. This simple innovation can help 211 contact centers in managing call volume. Businesses can provide your nonprofit with some essential skills, resources, technology or personnel you may be lacking.  
  • Access to a Broader Audience – The Ad Council and the Walton Isaacson agency are in the process of creating PSA’s that will benefit the 211 Network. The creative perspective will provide greater visibility and inspire action across the nation.  Cause marketing is a win-win for nonprofits and businesses because both stand to gain serious marketing benefits and increased profits.  
  • Rapid Systemic Change –  UWW’s partnership with Lyft has assisted in addressing transportation as a barrier across countless communities. This partnership has evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to include meal delivery and most recently vaccine access. While tackling a problem alone may seem easier, we must admit that progress is much slower. Corporate partnerships allow us to develop a coordinated strategy together to help bring about more rapid change.