Forging Partnerships

As we approach the close of the year and look to what’s in store for in 2008, a mega trend that will continue to permeate the cause space is the move from transactional relationships to true partnerships. In this, partnership can and will be defined as a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship that meets the business goals and objectives of both partners while protecting and enhancing the overall mission of each brand. As you make resolutions to forge longer, stronger partnerships, here is a tool from my bag of tricks to help you get there:

Partnership Bill of Rights

As a corporate partner, you ask your nonprofit partner to:

  • Value you as a partner in achieving your shared mission
  • Work together to drive positive social and business impacts
  • Build a relationship with you as a key member of your team
  • Respect and protect the integrity of your brand
  • Recognize your capabilities and capitalize on them
  • Remain open to creating new solutions to shared challenges
  • Cultivate direct and constructive communication
  • Publicly recognize your commitment and societal impact
  • Establish realistic expectations and deadlines
  • Give you the tools and information you need to be successful

And as a nonprofit partner, you ask your corporate partners to:

  • Value you as a partner in achieving your shared mission
  • Work together to drive positive social and business impacts
  • Strive to build a relationship that exceeds your expectations
  • Respect and protect the integrity of your brand
  • Engage you in ongoing, meaningful and honest dialogue
  • Share responsibility for the success of your relationship
  • Provide you with a talented, creative and experienced team
  • Do what it takes to meet your key objectives
  • Set realistic expectations and deadlines
  • Publicly recognize your commitment

Use this as a starting point for your planning conversations in the new year and customize your own. Work to track your progress against the Bill of Rights. And, let me know if you haven’t seen improvement this time next year!

- Kristian Darigan, Former Vice President, Cause Branding

 

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