We said it before and we'll say it again: The traditional corporate-nonprofit partnership model is no more. Partnerships are constantly changing and expanding, with new roles, dynamics and opportunities cropping up as organizations push the boundaries of what's possible. The newest example comes when Share Our Strength and Shake Shack found their longstanding relationship flipped on its head.
Shake Shack and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign have a history of collaboration, from the extremely successful Great American Shake Sale, to Union Square Hospitality Group's CEO Danny Meyer's 20-year position on Share Our Strength's board. Yet, that relationship was further solidified last year when a Shake Shack investor transferred $1 million worth of stock to Share Our Strength. The anonymous investor felt that the stock could have a greater return on investment than many other traditional fundraising activities. Bill Shore, CEO of Share Our Strength reaffirms this, stating, "It looks like even a small equity stake in a growing company will enable us do more to curb childhood hunger than some other forms of nonprofit revenue generation." The move also echoes Shake Shack's longstanding commitment to improving the communities it operates in, all the way back to the very first hot dog stand.
Last week's Shake Shack initial public offering, raising $105 million, is more than just a potential windfall for Share Our Strength – it signals a new form of philanthropy. Now, the nonprofit is also an equity holder in the very company that has supported it throughout the years through fundraising activities. Both parties have an even more vested interest in the other's success, taking the relationship to new heights and again showing the endless possibilities of corporate-nonprofit partnerships.