Organisations competing for the philanthropic dollar need to make transformational decisions within to meet the future challenges of a consumer driven market.
In line with this organisational shift it is important that they move from being a “sponsorship partner” to a more sophisticated partner of industry, government, non-government and corporate sectors.
The first step is in developing a strong strategy, which is defined by a clear vision, a committed team and a shared purpose.
Forming strong partnerships amplifies the importance of these objectives because they need to underpin what can be achieved across one or more organisations.
If a strategy is developed, supported and adopted it must first have the confidence and support of key internal stakeholders.
The second step is to understand the unique highlights of what drives your organisation and clearly be able to articulate this strategy.
To create key differentiators for your partners so they can provide a greater share of their wallet, you must shape thinking and drive innovation and convert investment into impact.
More and more, partners in this space are demanding clearly defined return on investments and traceability of their dollars.
Focus must turn to relationships and how you position your organisation to connect with partners and leverage aggregated resource.
In a market that is overcrowded with organisations pursuing a worthwhile cause you must be able to differentiate yourself. It is important to open doors with confidence, gain commitment, and collaborate around shared purpose and aspirations.
At the centre of this collaboration is your key purpose. This should be intentional and you must never lose sight of the very purpose and mission behind your organisation. The way in which you deliver on your core mission and purpose is to evolve and meet the demands of a consumer-driven market, to respond as a modern organisation and to use technology as a key enabler.
Challenge yourself to carefully consider opportunities, problem to be solved and emerging ideas than just trying to put forward the solutions you might think are best. This means thinking about your partners as your customers, understanding their needs, and thinking more critically about their value propositions.
Understanding and landing on a shared value proposition with your partners takes on a new look. You should engage your partners as customers and look to understand their values, purpose and mission – just as you would have them understand yours. From this base you arrive at a shared vision and common goals that can drive better outcomes for your mission, be it people, environment or other.
You must be able to demonstrate to any and all of your partners that your combined investment is working and achieving its intent.
You will need a capability that can measure outcomes and demonstrate value. You must be able to communicate to your partners the meaningful impact that you are having on your cause.
You should share clear objectives, understand the roles that you play in our partnership arrangement and develop the capability to evidence outcomes and communicate this effectively to current and potential partners.
Underpinning your partnerships will be an emphasis on relationships, connecting with people who are affected by the mission you support and their stories, and making a contribution to their journey.
Be very clear and intentional in your relationships and find creative ways to engage, form and grow relationships that in turn value and recognise the talents, efforts and contributions made by people who are aligned to your cause.