This is a guest blog post by Bailey Van Tassel.
Now more than ever we are seeing small businesses rise up and stand for something. It is such an exciting time for the heart-centered business owner because the world is ready for your passion to do good!
We work at the intersection of business and charity every day – and let me tell you: it ain’t as easy as deciding you want to give and sending over that hard earned cash, there are TONS of options for how you can make a major social impact beyond with your dollars, but to have it really make a difference takes some finesse and dedication.
Here are your three keys to building strong and meaningful social good partnerships:
1. Know your best Social Mission
This is all about which social good cause or charity aligns best with what you do and offer your clients/ customers. So, what charities make sense, but also, which organizations create inspiration for you? Finally, think about geography – do you want to help locally, the state, the country, or the world?
2. Find the right partner
There are many online outlets and businesses that will allow you to do a background check on your desired charitable partner. GuideStar.org, your local Chambers of Commerce, and local community foundations are great places to start. They can point you in the right direction.
Once you have a few organizations on your list, get in touch with them with this information: your ideas and goals, and what you have to give, whether that be time, talent, or treasure.
Some questions to ask them:
- Can you send me your most recent audit?
- What is success to them, and how do they plan on getting there?
- What do partnerships look like for them?
- What are their biggest needs?
- How do you make an impact short term and long term?
3. Creating the partnerships
The most important thing to do once you have found a social good partner is to set expectations out of the gates that makes sure each of you know what the goals and expectations of collaborating are.
You’ll want to be sure you are in agreement on what points of impact get measured, and how often. You’ll want to know how, when, and with whom will you communicate with regularly, and you’ll want to talk about co-marketing. What channels will each of you use? Map out when and what is talked about on those channels, and then share brand standards.
Overall, we encourage you to deeply think about your why. Why are you doing this and why does it matter to the world? Be sure to tell your customers about that often, and to share that with your partners.
Also, we ask that you are patient and gracious. Most professionals at non-profits are underpaid and overworked, so be sure to really lead with your heart.
Abel Impact started with just me, Bailey. But like all things, it takes a village. We are a tiny team, with lots of outsourcing to freelancers (things like bookkeeping, photography, etc.) mainly because I truly enjoying getting my hands dirty with each and every client. Also, I want to keep costs down so that our services make sense – we promise expertise, responsiveness, and a care for your business as if we are in-house with you. Because without your success, we are completely irrelevant.