Collaborating with Corporations

Most nonprofits know they can ask companies to sponsor fundraising events or provide grant funding for their organization, but there are countless other opportunities to get the corporations involved in your mission. In the first episode of Season 4, we talk about how nonprofits should partner with corporations. My guests this week were Melissa McWilliams from Fannie Battle Day Home and Chad Kahn from DipJar. I definitely recommend you listen to all of their great advice in the full podcast episode because we couldn't fit everything in this checklist!


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☑️ Get ready to educate corporations about your organization.

If you aren’t a nationally recognized organization, companies likely have not heard of you. Usually you have to make the first move, so have your pitch ready to go, and make it fun! Be ready to explain why that corporation should want to work with you.

☑️ Make your pitch feel mutually beneficial.

When you approach a company, make sure they see how they can benefit from a partnership with your organization from the perspectives of cause marketing, employee engagement and retention, and social responsibility.

☑️ Build your relationship with the corporation before you submit your big ask.

Most companies will not make large gifts to your organization until you've established a solid relationship with them. Invite them to a fundraising event, invite them to tour your facility, ask them to host a collection box for your next food or book drive. Give them some easy, low commitment opportunities to get involved with your organization before you ask to become a major line item on their next budget.

☑️ When you prepare for corporate volunteer group visits, find opportunities to connect with individual volunteers.

It’s great to have corporate entities offer support to your organization, but don’t forget that each individual employee also has the potential to support you. The employees involved in corporate volunteer groups could become future board members, donors, and skilled volunteers.

☑️ As you prepare for upcoming events, involve corporate partners into the planning process.

Find out what they are looking to gain from the event, including volunteer opportunities, in kind gifts, and sponsorships. After the event, involve them in the reflection and refinement process to make the next event even better. 

☑️ Get involved with established local events to help promote your nonprofit.

If there is a local sports game or festival coming up, see if you can be a part of it. These events often allow nonprofits to put up a display or take donations because it’s mutually beneficial for the sponsoring event organizer to be seen giving back to their community.


Nonprofit Jenni is currently accepting new clients who need consulting or coaching in the areas of Engagement, Communications, and Marketing strategy.

I also cover a wide range of topics related to nonprofit management on my podcast, including board development, program creation, and grant writing.