This October, CVC-TC members in conjunction with Minnesota Council on Foundations members met at Land O’Lakes to discuss and learn about the impact of nonprofit-corporate partnerships. The program examined how partnerships can incorporate a well-rounded approach to their partnerships from volunteering, grants, sponsorships, in-kind donations, and cause-marketing. To dig into the topic, Camille Cyprian of Minnesota Council on Foundations led a panel discussion featuring Jennifer Jones from Ameriprise Financial, Carolyn Link from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, Susan Schuster from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Angie Swanson from Open Arms of Minnesota.
Key themes focused on looking at different corporate structures, formal versus informal relationship channels, and internal communication to align your story.
Looking at Different Corporate Structures
Structures can be different from one organization to the next. From Foundations to Community Relations to business resource groups there are different areas that can be key relationship managers. Each area can have their own budget and focus area or it can all be managed within the same team – depending on the structure.
Formal & Informal Relationship Channels
Depending on the corporate structure, relationships with nonprofits can be formal or informal. A formal process involves a request for proposals or invitation to apply for support. Informal relationships can develop through board and volunteer involvement and can be encouraged by employees living out their personal passion in the way that works best for them.
Internal Communication: Aligning Your Story
When other business lines and departments share your story of community impact it really reinforces the value. Working to find connectors and partners internally in talent development, leadership development, HR, DEI, and employee wellness can weave consistent values throughout the entire organization – expanding it beyond one area and creating an organization wide value.
Learn more about the resources the Corporate Volunteerism Council – Twin Cities has to help strengthen corporate volunteering programs.
Emily Eddy White
Director of Development & Marketing
The Food Group