The Benefits of Strategic Partnership

and with the right partners, the company can achieve both its phil- anthropic aims (fostering the next generation of STEM professionals) and corporate objectives (brand recognition, positive publicity, etc.). A thoughtful partnership could indirectly benefit the company’s business by: • Publicizing the company’s efforts to prepare the next generation for STEM careers • Aligning the company’s philan- thropic pursuits with its commit- ment to high-tech innovation • Building brand equity by linking the company’s name with prestigious academic institutions • Providing opportunities for employees tomentor and cultivate talent A WIN-WIN FOR BOTH PARTNERS Choosing the right partner is essen- tial for success—on both sides of the equation. Beyond the fate of any specific philanthropic initiative, there are long-termbenefits to be had for both partners. The corporation stands to benefit from the nonprofit partner’s: • Community roots and goodwill • Expertise in the chosen funding area (e.g., autism, environmental conservation) • Knowledgeable staff to function as “boots on the ground”

• Organizational reputation and credibility • Track record of achievement Although the most obvious benefit to the nonprofit partner is a steady, reliable streamof funding, there are additional ways in which partnership with a corporation can be helpful. The nonprofit partner stands to gain: • Heightened awareness of the organization and its mission • Exposure to a broader funding base • Connection to the corporation’s vendors and business partners • A ready source of volunteers among corporate employees • Access to professional expertise and services (IT, marketing, etc.) • In-kind donations of goods and services Clearly, these are the upsides of a successful partnership. Because there are serious downsides to a failed partnership, including reputa- tional harm, it’s critically important that both the corporation and non- profit do their due diligence, ensure their respective organizations are a good fit, and define the scope of their partnership before committing to one another.


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