Corporate Outreach and Relationship Building


Skyler Badenoch, the East Coast Development Director for buildOn, joined us on Tuesday, May 21st for our eighth Online Fundraising Academy session to discuss his approach to research, strategies for getting in the door, and his methods for relationship cultivation and lasting donor engagement.

Session recording:

Session notes:

1. Cause marketing There are three main types of corporate partner relationships

2. Interactive (ex: volunteering)

3. Direct donation

Think about what kind of partnership your organization is looking to secure and work to create an outreach strategy.

When creating your Corporate Outreach Strategy focus on:

  1. Research
  2. Development of Value Propositions
  3. Outreach
  4. Closing

1. Research:

  • Alignment
    • Make sure you have an understanding of the corporation. Learn more by researching website, foundation centers, 990s, etc.
  •  The Right Person
    • Look to connect with the right person at a corporation. Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or Facebook. Make sure to do a Google search.
  •  Annual Report
    • Read for relevance and to learn more about the corporation you are approaching.

2. Develop Value Proposition:

  1. Slide Deck: Concise: < 7 slides (keep it short)
  2. 4-5 key reasons for corporation to support your organization

3. Photos with Metrics and BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal, It’s a Jim Collins term. Corporate partners, many like to see how things can be scaled or taken to a bigger level. The idea is to be bold and think big.

3. Outreach:

  1. Social Media:  Think outside of Facebook. Twitter is a great way to get corporations interested in your work. After researching the right person, follow him/her on Twitter. Create engagement by tweeting at the company, re-tweeting, and commenting on tweets.
  2. Web Research: Learn what the organization is doing in terms of CSR
  3. Emails: Make them Openable (add a video about your organization, rather than too much text)
  4. Phone Calls: Everyone sends e-mails these days! Try a different approach, pick up the phone.
  5. Attend Conferences and Panel Discussions: Use these as networking opportunities. Make sure to have information on your organization readily available.
  6. Chamber of Commerce Networking Events
  7. Trade Shows: These are a great way to meet with representatives of different companies.

4. Closing:

  1. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – Sample MOU
  2. Implementation
  3. Communication
  4. Recognition

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