Guest Column: How to Find Nonprofit Partners that Support Your ROI

Guest Column: How to Find Nonprofit Partners that Support Your ROI

By Karen Eber Davis


To create ROI around your partnerships and sponsorships: Be proactive.

Create a short-list of potential partners.


To find great partners, explore the following questions. The questions come from my work with clients who have bolstered their performance and profits through partnerships and sponsorships.


Finding Excellent Partners Question 1: Who values what you value?

You care about many issues. Narrow you focus to three or fewer causes that overlap with your business goals. For instance, your business focuses on the environment. You identify environmental issues and getting youth into nature.


Also, noodle these questions:

  • What three things matter most in people’s lives?
  • What causes impact one or all three of them?

Now, mull over your business goals. What causes either directly or indirectly grow customers, engage employees, or create infrastructure that support your business’ growth?


Since nonprofits serve nearly every area of human endeavor, your answers will spotlight a few areas. Yes, you’ll purge many fine causes. Your reward will be a focus on those with the most potential to provide you returns.


Finding Excellent Partners Question 2: Who uses your map?

This question helps you to focus on specific organizations that share your geographic fit. Where do you provide most of your products or services? Where geographically do you expect to be in five years? Prioritize nonprofits that overlap this space. Free PR in California provides little value to a Tampa Bay operation.


Finding Excellent Partners Question 3: Who offers star power?

To obtain ROI, be a star. When it comes to star power brand name nonprofit are best, right? Sometimes yes. Your customers will instantly recognize nonprofits, such as Red Cross, The American Cancer Society, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, unless you make large investments compared to other partners with these groups, you will face lots of competition for stardom.


Instead search “beyond the usual suspects.” Seek out high-quality and less well-known nonprofits. Engage where your gifts will make staff and supporters cheer—and be motivated to customize activities with you. Depending on your goals, consider local environmental groups, employment causes, the local university, and up and coming art venues.


Support Your ROI

To find nonprofit partners that support your ROI, be proactive. Create your short-list of potential nonprofit partners. Don’t wait for them to contact you, reach out to them. To learn more, read the full post of this article on LinkedIn.


Karen Eber Davis helps businesses use philanthropy to propel profits and performance. As a consultant and author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams, she has advised organization for over 20 years on opportunities to increase returns., 941-924-4860,

© 2016 Karen Eber Davis. All Rights Reserved.



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