If you are looking to engage in social change, or improve your strategies on this, BeSocial Change workshops gives would-be and current non-profit activists a great way to learn this skill at an engaging environment with successful young talented professionals in the start-up world.
This week’s workshop - Building Partnerships with Impact - was held at the WeWork space in Soho with Emily Chong – VP of theFeast. Emily spoke about how to partner with corporations to either raise funds for your non-profit cause, or to raise awareness of it to the general public though the marketing clout of large corporations. If you’ve ever wondered how some nonprofits can partner with a big chain like Whole Foods to publicize their cause in their stores, this was the type of workshop that would walk you through the steps from contacting the right people to creating the right partnership proposal.
Getting corporations to see the value of your non-profit cause requires a lot of savvy-ness and creativity in presenting your ideas to the right decision makers, meeting them in person, creating the right proposal, and successfully setting up follow-up meetings (which hopefully leads to closing the deal).
Here are some tips Emily shared with attendees from her own experience in getting corporations to partner with the Feast conference
- Always contact the decision makers, because untraditional ideas get killed when presented to risk-averse middle managers
- Find and attend conferences where decision makers meet
- Use LinkedIn and Facebook Social Graph to find who the key decision makers are in a company
- Approach the marketing department instead of the corporate social responsibility department for partnerships, as marketing has a much bigger budget to work with
- Getting the companies interested in analogous to dating, follow up with them by taking them out for drinks, events – find ways to make engagement with you fun, interesting
- Invest in hiring a graphic designer to help you create nice decks, perception is everything- and make sure to bring nicely printed handouts to every meeting
The workshop also included everyone introducing themselves and the cause they are working for, which gave all the attendees a great opportunity to obtain helpful tips and advice on their own journeys in the corporate partnering process.