Partnering with a corporate – how to make it work if you are a not-for-profit or community organisation

This time of year is traditionally an extremely enjoyable period for the Community Development team at Beyond Bank. There are many reasons why we love the silly season, but to single one out is easy, it is at this time of year we distribute the bonus payments from our highly successful Community Reward Account Program to our community partners.

It is not my intention to go into a great level of detail about the Community Reward Account Program, other than to say that it has been a highly successful fundraising and partnering initiative between our organisation and the community for over 12 years, and presently over 220 community organisations across Australia receive much needed support via this account.

This year, the program has allowed our organisation to contribute more than $240,000 in bonus payments, with one sporting club in Wagga receiving almost $20,000.

Thinking about this in the wider context, it begs the question – what makes a successful partnership work between a corporate entity and a not-for-profit or community organisation?

For me, there are many things that make a good partnership but underpinning it all is a commitment from all involved to establish a relationship and a structure that creates the greatest value for both parties.

When working through this thought, below are my top 5 tips to consider:

  1. Ensure that both parties understand each other and the reasons that they are embarking on the partnership. The best partnerships are where both parties clearly understand the motivations and goals of the other partner.
  2. Support each other. For example, as a mutual bank, 100% owned by our customers, it is highly important to us that our partnerships are reflective of our business model. For us this means that almost all of our partnerships are with organisations in the community that have chosen to support us in a number of different ways.
  3. Continually communicate and review the partnership and identify opportunities to grow together. Many of the best partnerships I have seen in this space have evolved and adapted over time.
  4. Learn from each other. There is a significant amount that a corporate entity can learn from community organisations and not-for-profit partners and equally, there is a significant amount of expertise that a corporate can bring to the table. Ask the right questions when you can and you might be surprised what you learn along the way.
  5. Resource the partnership and deliver on your commitments. Perhaps this one is the most critical as quite often the best laid plans never quite work out if you don’t have the people or the resources required to fulfil them.

There are of course many other elements that are also important, but for me if you can get these 5 simple elements included into the partnership then you are well on the way to success.

For more information on our Community Reward Account, visit us in branch, call us on 13 25 85 or leave a comment below.


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