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Valuate & Position Like a Boss: Partnership Strategy Tips for Nonprofits

Valuate & Position Like a Boss: Partnership Strategy Tips for Nonprofits

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As we settle into the new year, we know strategic planning is still at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Accordingly, Accelerist has created a four-part series to help you analyze and elevate your partnership strategy in 2021. If you missed the first blog in this series on prospecting, you can check it out here.

In this second installment, we’re sharing insights into how your charity or nonprofit can best position its value to corporate partners.

"Purpose" commitments are now a critical business decision for companies. Charities have to redefine the way they position their value to corporations to remain relevant. We've borrowed basic business principles to help you understand your value and competitively position your organization like a boss!

In business, there's a concept called “value-based selling.” It's a simple sales method that focuses on communicating value for your customers, rather than on the function or price. The first step in developing a value-based corporate partnership program is identifying those pain points. While many companies have different needs and goals, most of their pain points can be described in five groups:

  1. Brand Reputation 
  2. Employee Engagement
  3. Customer Engagement
  4. Societal Solutions
  5. ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Goals

Next, an organization should define its value to a company.  When thinking about value, consider four main categories:

  1. Business Value:  In business, the first question asked is, "what business challenge are we solving/can we solve for our customers?" A great way to demonstrate business value to your corporate partner is to position your organization as a thought leader in your field.
  2. Financial Value:  You can think of your financial value as the tangible value of your brand, recognition and activation opportunities. Some call this your "Asset Matrix" or rules around engagement. Not knowing your financial value will risk unrealized revenue, overextended resources or out-pricing yourself within the marketplace.
  3. Constituent Value: If the product/service is easy to use, encourages consistent engagement, and meets business goals, it's a win! Your partnerships are no different. Strive to answer these key questions: How can our partnership help companies...
    • engage more employees?
    • increase employee perception of the employer?
    • expand their employees’ skills?
  4. Solution Value: Now ask, "Why are we the best option for a strategic partnership?" What's YOUR impact on this societal challenge? How do you approach your mission differently or better than others?

Defining the value you can bring to a company is important. Determining your unique value proposition is critical - and even more difficult. The difference between value and unique value can be illustrated through a traditional concept called the "Value Wedge". 

Partnership Value Parity: a value proposition that several organizations can claim and deliver on. Your organization must evoke similar value offerings to partners as other organizations to remain competitive. While Partnership Value Parity is necessary, it is not differentiating or unique.

Partnership Value Wedge: a value offering that is exclusively unique to your organization. This proprietary value point could include activation opportunities, programmatic impact, your approach to your mission, or even how you steward your partners. 

Once you've done the hard work to identify your promise to corporate partners, consider this methodology to package your organization in an impactful way.

  1. Why – Why does your organization exist?
  2. What – What impact does your organization have on its mission?
  3. Need - Why does your organization need to raise money? 
  4. Promise - What can you deliver to partners? 
  5. Benefits - What will your partners gain from supporting you? 
  6. Unique Value Proposition - Why should a company choose to partner with your organization vs. others?  

To gain more insights, download Accelerist’s full Playbook on how to competitively position your organization to the corporate sector.

Guest contributions represent the personal opinions and insights of the authors and may not reflect the views or opinions of Imagine Canada.

Accelerist is the leader in social impact partnership technology, supporting hundreds of brands and charitable organizations in finding and growing their partnerships with each other. For more tools and resources about purpose-driven partnerships, please visit the Accelerist Insights page

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