Brittany Mattfeld Craig, Managing Director of Campaign Engagement at Global Impact, kicked off the second Philanthropy Insights discussion on how corporations select nonprofit partners. Our featured guests and Global Impact Board members Lauren Murphy, Global Director at ICRW Advisors, and Veena Jayadeva, Head of Enterprise ESG & Chief of Staff to the Chief Information and Operations Officer at Guardian, shared their experiences on why and how corporations seek partnerships with nonprofits, shifts in CSR over the past few years and advice for nonprofits looking to identify a corporate partner.

Key takeaways include:

Have clear and defined objectives. 
Both nonprofits and corporations should understand and agree on the desired outcomes of their partnership. These collaborations serve a dual purpose of societal value and business impact, so corporations seek work that is business-aligned, and nonprofits should be able to package their research or work to fit the company’s business strategies.

Allow time and curiosity for in-depth discovery. 
Both Lauren and Veena noted a shift from singular asks (like a research paper) and smaller grants to multi-pronged approaches and larger grants over the years. Companies are now looking for ways to innovate and make a transformative impact beyond the dollars donated, which takes more time and exploration.

Targeted efforts will yield better results. 
Nonprofits seeking a corporate partner should research and approach companies where the nonprofit’s expertise can help solve something of value to the corporation.  This approach will involve questions like “What can you (the nonprofit) bring to the table”, “What can we (the corporation) learn?”, and “Can we (the corporation) adopt any of these structures into our work (whether it’s within the supply chain or for their employees)?”
Philanthropy Insights is a new video series where Global Impact hosts discussions on emerging trends in the field with leading experts. Stay tuned for the next video on how to leverage workplace giving to celebrate diverse cultures.