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How to know when you should partner with a non-profit

by Ornella Schillaci
October 1, 2021 - Reading time: 5min
How to know when you should partner with a non-profit

Some may ask: can a nonprofit partner with a for-profit? They can and do. Businesses and nonprofits collaborate in ways that create real change and spread awareness about specific causes. Knowing when to partner with a nonprofit will depend on your understanding of how both organizations can benefit from each other.

The nonprofit benefits from the resources of established companies, while companies get brand exposure. Companies like Scanteam know that brand awareness forms the cornerstone of any successful business. You may discover that now is the time to expand your reach, get involved in your community, and partner up with a nonprofit.

Benefits of Partnering With a Nonprofit

Partnering with a nonprofit organization benefits both parties, and the business advantages gained might surprise you. Collaborations of all kinds are formed that bring awareness to important issues and motivate people to act.

Free Advertising for Your Brand

Joining forces with a reputable nonprofit organization can help you shape your brand and expose it to a new audience. This is free advertising that adds credibility and trust to your company.

Alex Lysak, an expert in the field, says that a project’s advertising may involve changing your company’s online efforts. He encourages partnerships with nonprofits and believes there is no better way for people to get more involved in their communities.

Joining impactful projects is a way of adding depth to your brand. You will bring a new level of respect for your company because you are showing you care.

Employee Benefits

Employees will relish the chance to expand their skills as they work with volunteers in the field. The benefits of partnering with a nonprofit can be seen in smiling faces and good feelings. Employees will have better morale and respect the company more.

Benefits Nonprofits Will Receive from Partnering With You

There are definite advantages for nonprofits that become partners. Of course, the main benefit of a partnership is revenue. Nonprofits rely on donors, but they also heavily depend on volunteers.

Increased Donor Base & Revenue

One of the main benefits for a nonprofit involved in a partnership is getting resources, including funds, from an actively involved company. Companies learn how to partner with a nonprofit in such a way that they can share all kinds of resources.

Media Exposure

Nonprofits usually have limited budgets, so whenever they get a chance for visibility through collaboration, they take it. Nonprofits don’t mind sharing the spotlight because they may not have had any exposure otherwise.

Give Valuable Experience to Volunteers & Attract New Volunteers

Through partnerships with impactful businesses, nonprofits give their volunteers access to new experiences. Volunteers interact with business people professionally and develop their skills for advancement. Nonprofits are still professional organizations that have executives willing and ready to interact with their for-profit counterparts. Executives and people with various job titles can get in on the action when it comes to the work of volunteering.

Types of Nonprofit Partnerships

There is a spectrum of nonprofit partnership models, or types, to choose from. It’s an essential part of a thriving relationship to set mutual goals and decide how formal or legal you want to get. Here are just a few types of nonprofit partnerships. Keep in mind that businesses and nonprofits have expectations of each other, and they will have to formalize an agreement, even if it is not legally binding.


A true partnership joins the two organizations into one. They mutually own all the resources and liabilities. This is a way for a nonprofit to become a different entity that combines the two organizations. They become a new organization.


One of the most common types of nonprofit partnerships of a contract between businesses is the memorandum of understanding (MOU). This is a contract that defines the objectives and agreements, but it is not legally binding.

An MOU can look a lot like a legal agreement because it may contain some legal jargon, but it reflects both parties’ decision to make it unenforceable. Companies know how to partner with a nonprofit organization using an MOU, and they bring a level of professionalism to the relationship.

Resource-Sharing Agreement

A resource-sharing agreement is where a company will donate workspace and employees for a specific project. This can come to the aid of a nonprofit struggling to get its feet off the ground and succeed in its mission.

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Things to Consider When Partnering With a Nonprofit

Businesses and nonprofits both strategize. They have to look at their organizations with clarity to see if it is the right match. Companies have to decide if they want to do traditional sponsorship by donating or getting their hands dirty and sending employees into the field.

Select Employees for Leadership

If you assign leadership roles, your employees can develop new skills. They will form the structure of your business’ approach to any project and represent the company with their involvement.

Stay in Contact

Always stay in constant contact with the nonprofit. You can do this by allocating one employee as the point-of-contact. They will find the right person from the nonprofit who will keep all communication channels open.

Some Ways to Partner With a Nonprofit

At one point, you will actually interface with a nonprofit for a project of some kind. You’re going to get out there and get involved.

Event Sponsorship

You can organize events of all kinds with your nonprofit. You may want to hold a 5k with prizes. There are endless opportunities for collaboration. Your logo and merchandise will increase awareness of your brand while you support a good cause at the same time.


Throwing a fundraiser is the most popular way nonprofits gain access to wealthy donors. You can donate money to the cause and formally sponsor the event. You can also do in-house fundraising to get your employees involved.

Final thoughts

You will know it is time to partner with a nonprofit when your mission aligns with that of a specific nonprofit. You will have made sure your company has the resources to spare. After that, the sky’s the limit. Many big companies, like L’Oreal and Michelin, are very involved in philanthropy. Big powerful companies know that they solidify their brand and gain trust from people when they are actively involved in the outreach of some kind.

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