How to Find and Attract Corporate Partners for Your Nonprofit

Corporate Partners

The vast majority of financial support for the vast majority of nonprofit organizations comes from individual donors. In 2020, individual donations totaled $324 billion – whereas corporate giving was only 4% of this total.

So why should nonprofit spend time attracting corporate partners?

Here are 6 significant ways companies can support your organization:

  • Credibility: when individual donors see companies supporting you, that raises your credibility and connection to the community.
  • Skills-based support: individuals with various types of expertise can provide free consulting to help your organization improve.
  • Cause marketing: this is the kind of partnership most people are familiar with – when a company donates a % of sales to your organization, and uses this to drive more sales.
  • In-kind donations: when companies donate goods or services, especially in support of a program or fundraising event.
  • Volunteers or volunteer grants: when companies encourage their employees to volunteer with your organization, or even offer to paid days off in order to volunteer.
  • Financial support: whether sponsorships, a matching gift program, or a workplace giving program (automatic deduction from paychecks), corporate partners can obviously bring a lot of financial support to your nonprofit.

Finally, another often overlooked benefit of corporate partnerships is that it is much easier to maintain good relationships with a handful of companies than to retain donors. Donor retention requires a lot of work, and regardless of how well you do it, has to be offset with donor growth. On the other hand, you can deepen and maintain relationships with a handful of companies and retain these partnerships year after year.

Ultimately, the real question isn’t “why” should you attract corporate partners, but “how”:

How can you effectively attract companies?

In the rest of this article, we’ll share the strategy from a high level, then the step-by-step process to find and attract corporate partners. In our own experience, this strategy is highly effective: one of every three companies a nonprofit pitches will be interested!