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4 Tips on How to Provide Value to Corporate Donors

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Modern Strategies for Effective Corporate Fundraising in Nonprofits

The nonprofit fundraising landscape is more competitive than ever. Gone are the days when you could reasonably plan on cold calls leading to major gifts. Yes, these moments still happen, but they can no longer be considered a sustainable method of generating revenue for your organization.

We are in a new era of philanthropy, and many of the fundraising tricks of of the past are no longer as effective as they once were. Corporate donors are smarter and more informed than ever before. Corporate giving is no longer simply asking for a handout; it is now about building a sustainable strategic partnership. Here are 4 quick tips on how to communicate your value to potential corporate donors.

1. Identify how you can help.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to sponsor and/or donate to an organization and their sole value proposition is to have my logo printed alongside 10 other logos. As a small business owner, I’d like for my donation to make an impact, but I also want the partnership to be a worthwhile investment.

Most nonprofit organizations have stronger networks than they realize. Proactively evaluate your resources within your network and identify how your organization can make this partnership beneficial for the corporate donor. It can be as simple as a providing an introduction, inviting them to a VIP party, or including them on a committee. Evaluate the resources and relationships that could be beneficial and present them to current corporate donors, board members, and individual donors and see how they can help your efforts.

2. Provide a clear impact ratio.

Most corporations understand the importance of engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and giving back to the community. Quantifying the impact of CSR is only possible when an organization has a clear and concise impact ratio. When a company gives a major gift to a nonprofit organization, they must know where their donation is going and how many people will be impacted by the donation.

Measuring the impact associated with the donation plays a pivotal role in the corporation’s ability to tell a story about the impact that they are making within the community. Having clear statistics is beneficial to share with their current employees and can be utilized as a tool to recruit new talent.

3. Provide worthwhile marketing opportunities.

As previously stated, companies are no longer interested in just having their logos printed alongside several other logos in exchange for a sponsorship. Companies want their brands to be marketed correctly, creatively, and effectively. It is important to pay attention to what the corporation’s marketing goals are for this partnership, and be willing to help them accomplish that goal.

We’ve learned that companies know a thing or two about marketing themselves. So be open to their ideas, and don’t be afraid to use their established content. Evaluate your resources and upcoming opportunities and see how you can best maximize the corporation’s brand. It can be as simple as having one of your celebrity ambassadors provide a shout out on social media, mentioning the corporation by name during a television interview, or providing their executive with a chance to speak at a cocktail party or gala. Once you’ve demonstrated a willingness to maximize the brand exposure of their donation, corporations will be more inclined to return and potentially grow the partnership.  

4. Create opportunities for employee engagement.

There is no quicker way to a corporate executive’s heart than offering opportunities for employee engagement. Corporations trying to attract Millennial and Gen Z talent are characterizing CSR as part of their overall workplace culture. According to, “Millennials are more likely to stick around if they feel their passions for social good are being fulfilled. In fact, 53% of Millennials surveyed in the Millennial Impact Report said they had been inspired at some point to work long-term for a company whose mission was to make a difference in the world.”

When approaching a corporate donor, it is important to have multiple clear opportunities for their employees to engage with your organization while allowing for their brand to remain as visible as possible. Having opportunities for employee engagement will boost the corporation’s marketing efforts and help appeal to their current employees, while also helping them attract new talent.

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