Many nonprofits face challenges with staffing, funding, and reach. Leadership is often examining how they can get through these challenges as the nonprofit wants to launch a new initiative or reach more people with current or new programs.
Many nonprofits might believe they are the only source to take up a fight or launch an effort to support their community. With limited financial resources and perceived scarcity of potential donors, nonprofits with similar or related missions might try to compete for funding within the same markets.
However, joining forces (and resources) with another organization through a strategic partnership might be a solution to improving programs and services, expanding organizational impact, and increasing access to additional resources. There are clear benefits to strategic partnerships:
- Cost Savings. Strategic partnerships can mean collectively using human and financial resources to support both organization’s missions. This can lighten the financial load (especially administrative costs) of each organization to direct the resources to other expenses related to program and service delivery.
- Strengthening Programs & Services. Collaboration between like-minded nonprofits can expand the capacity of programs and services, while lowering the costs for delivery. Leveraging the strengths of each organization can make for more impactful programs and services that meet the needs of the community.
- Brand Exposure & Credibility. Engaging with credible nonprofits and for-profit companies can increase visibility of your brand. In some partnerships, organizations can increase your brand exposure through features on their website, social media channels, and other regular communication to audiences you may not otherwise reach.
- Funding Opportunities. Strategic partnerships are oftentimes more enticing to private and foundation donors. Leveraging the strength of your nonprofit’s partnership will increase the impact of your current or new programs and services and also demonstrates how the contributions will go further within your community.
When approaching strategic partnerships, remember to have a clear plan for the benefits to both organizations and your goal. Also, recognize that there may be many nonprofits that have similar missions, yet you want to create mutually beneficial partnerships that will ultimately help you meet your nonprofit mission and goals.