“It is in giving that we receive.”
–Francis of Assisi
The holiday season is the season of giving. During this hectic time of year, in the midst of buying gifts and attending holiday parties, it is a great practice to also take time to give back to others. Make this season of giving an annual ritual at work as well. Finding a good partnership between a for-profit business and a nonprofit charity organization can end up being beneficial for both parties and hopefully turn into a long-lasting relationship that with enrich both groups. If you haven’t found that relationship yet, here are a few important points of why it is worth the effort.

From the perspective of the for-profit organization, it has long been understood and recognized that charitable giving has benefits not only for the upcoming tax season but also has a way to humanize your brand and show that you are working to make a positive impact on society. It has also been shown to increase your employees’ satisfaction in the workplace. Participating in charity events and fundraisers boosts employee morale, helps foster positive relationships with co-workers and is a great team building exercise.

Nonprofits also benefit from a partnership. Finding the right partner not only creates a sustainable and consistent source of revenue, but it can also help to strengthen relationships with community leaders, increase volunteer recruitment, and create additional public recognition.
Choosing a partner should be thought through carefully to ensure a long-lasting relationship that is beneficial to both groups.

Here are a few tips on making sure the partnership is the right fit.
1. Choosing a partner should be done with great care. Do your goals align? Is the partnership authentic? Can you see it lasting well into the future of both organizations? Why have you chosen each other? Is there a personal connection or story that will inspire your employees, partners, customers and donors? It’s best to choose carefully and wisely before forging ahead.
2. For both partners, all of your actions together should tie back to both of your mission statements.
3. Those annual money donations are always amazing and very much appreciated but are there local events that the giving partner can participate in? Having that personal connection boosts the relationship and morale for everyone involved.
4. Don’t forget that donating professional services can also be a tremendous help to a non-profit organization. Are you a dentist that can donate toothbrushes to homeless shelters or a dry cleaner that can clean coats for a winter coat drive? Non-profits, don’t forget to think along these lines when choosing your partner as well. Do you need a website? Or discounted office space?
5. For the non-profit organization, be confident! I know it is hard to approach a business about a partnership but remember that you have a lot to offer as well. As we’ve mentioned, businesses will benefit from this partnership just as much as you will. Don’t forget that!

Once you’ve found that perfect partnership:
1. Immediately establish a good line of communication. Make sure you both know what your expectations are, how often you will communicate and how your line of communication will function.
2. Set timelines and deadlines for each other just like you would another partnership or project and vow not to let the other one down. Don’t let your partnership be the first thing that goes on the back burner. Both of you need to make it a priority for it to be successful. Setting up expectations for how you will do that will be the key to your success.
3. Tell your story of how you’ve found each other. Write a joint press release and increase media coverage for both partners. Share your story on social media. Celebrate anniversaries and milestones that you reach together.

Do you have a partnership with an organization?
Tell us about it in the comments below.