Pro Tips for Nonprofits: Partner up to stand out

[This article is part of a four-part series offering helpful advice for nonprofit leaders and organizations from the folks at Duncan Williams Asset Management.]

Nonprofits consistently operate with limited resources needed to effectively market, outreach, and raise awareness for their cause.

In a recent study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, 18% of nonprofits saw “small staff, transitions in staff” as one of their biggest challenges while 11% of nonprofits deemed “donor cultivation, acquisition, retention, [and] communications” as one of their biggest challenges.

Partnerships with other nonprofit and for-profit organizations can alleviate some of these issues as effective partnerships can serve as a "force multiplier.” The shared resources and ideas that accompany active collaboration can be a huge benefit in partnering with another nonprofit.

Additional benefits include the extra exposure, revenue, and number of potential volunteers that stem from building a corporate partnership. According to a study in the Journal of Business Research, 78% of Americans believe a partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit company they trust makes a cause stand out.

A partnership between the Global Fund and Product Red, for example, has resulted in over $650 million being donated to support HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.

A couple of questions probably arise for nonprofit leaders when considering a partnership with another nonprofit: How will our organizations operate together? Will we compete for donations?  
These questions become much easier to answer if there are inherent synergies between the organizations. Identifying those synergies is critical before establishing any partnership as this ultimately minimizes any competition for funds.

But how do organizations find the right partner?

Nonprofits don’t have to go at their searches alone.

There are more than a handful of organizations in the Mid-South that specialize in providing resources and making connections for nonprofits, such as Momentum Nonprofit Partners and New Memphis.

Momentum Nonprofit Partners operates in the Memphis area and aims to connect nonprofits and their leaders with like-minded organizations and individuals within the community. Momentum also provides workshops, peer-learning, and access to research for nonprofits.

Additionally, New Memphis strives to retain talent in Memphis. Their “Launch” program connects college students with local employers with the goal of establishing a career in Memphis. Per New Memphis' annual Impact Report, 84% of the 1,000+ participants in the “Launch” program said they “plan to launch their careers in Memphis.”

Partnering with for-profit and other nonprofit organizations like Momentum Nonprofit Partners and New Memphis can help noteworthy causes realize goals and gain awareness within the community.
Authored by Proctor Ford, Duncan Williams Asset Management
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