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Before you start looking for potential nonprofit partners, take the time to get clear about your corporate goals. Do you want to gain visibility for your company? Increase employee engagement? Grow your corporate social responsibility? Set up a committee to find out what kind of experiences and organizations your employees are interested in supporting―engaging staff from the outset can generate buy-in.
Identifying a non-profit whose mission aligns with your company’s can make for a great partnership. Once you’ve decided which cause or sector your company would like to support, it’s time to start researching. Explore SPARK to find out what organizations are looking for volunteers or browse 211Ontario.ca, which lists every non-profit organization in the province. As well, talk to employees who already volunteer for a non-profit. You may already have a connection to a great organization!
Once you’ve come up with at least three potential organizations, find the contact information for the executive director or other key decision makers. Schedule an in-person meeting to talk about what your company does and why you want to be involved with their organization. To ensure the partnership is the right fit, be clear about the time commitment and financial contributions you are willing to offer as well as your expectations. Be open to their suggestions―they may have a set of needs that you overlooked.
You may discover that one or more non-profit organizations decline to partner with you because they are overstretched and do not have the capacity to make it partnership work. Take heart, although it may take a little time and effort, chances are good that you’ll find an organization that not only is aligned with your company’s mission and values but has the resources to manage corporate volunteers.