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Why Collaboration Makes Sense

Why Collaboration Makes Sense

Miranda Hoefert - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Whether serving in the private or nonprofit sector, we’re all worried about the same bottom line: efficiency and sustainability.

As a business owner, I want to know that what I’m creating is going to be the best. The best product, the best service, the best strategy. I also want my creation to take flight. Live on and leave a legacy for myself, my family, and for those investing in my product. Another byproduct of creating an efficient and sustainable masterpiece is one of the most valuable of all.

Your time and your money.

When operating from a place of creative focus, you’re able to let go of the noise that keeps you from getting stuff done. When you can’t get stuff done, then your clientele won’t ever see, smell, taste, feel your product that you’re desperately trying to get in front of them. When your clientele isn’t aware of your business and what your offering, then you have no business.

No time + no money = no business.

The ultimate question. How do we as busy humans, multi-passionate entrepreneurs, and business owners get it all together long enough to have an efficient and sustainable product? My answer may surprise you.

Collaboration.

I believe that we weren’t meant to do it alone. “It” meaning life and yes, that includes business. Both for-profit and nonprofit companies have long recognized the value of collaborations. However, many don’t think of jumping over to the other side. Private sector agencies will often overlook a nonprofit organization as a partnership and assume that there is no benefit beyond a tax write off and some publicity. The same is true for nonprofits. Collaboration comes naturally to the service world, however, most organizations are looking for dollars and volunteers and miss the mark on the benefit of a long lasting relationship with other businesses.

If nonprofits, for-profits, and education and government sectors all focused on a stakeholder and strategic partnership, what would that do for our social and economic systems? My guess? One giant success story!
This new norm would help catapult an understanding for all sectors that when they don’t constantly focus on financial return they’re able to see the social return. And that, my friends, becomes an even more valuable measurement because that mindset attracts long-term, multi-faceted, value-driven relationships and, in turn, produces more productivity and more revenue.

Now, I’m not saying go jump into bed with the first business or nonprofit that comes to mind! You still have to do your homework. Like any new idea in any business, you need to start with market research to help identify if a new relationship makes sense for your mission and vision. For example:

Do you get it
Identity their focus and impact on your community/the world

Does it work
Meet the business and understand their business objectives

Does it fit
Be sure that your compatibility is consistent intellectually, emotionally and practically

Don’t forget to dig a little deeper…and don’t feel bad about it either!
 
Do they have an annual report? Read it!
Do they have social media pages? Stalk them!
Do you know someone that is affiliated with them? Find them!

Then, sit down and go through all of the findings. Toss out those that don’t make the cut and pursue further those that work. Collaboration always works. You just have to find the entity that your business works best with. Here’s a list of benefits that may help to drive my point home.

Benefits for the for-profit:

  • Increase sales or services
  • Demonstrates tangible and motivating purpose for company and employees
  • Generates recognition
  • Increase employee morale and engagement
  • Increase brand recognition and loyalty
  • Free publicity
  • Increase employee retention
  • Increase shareholder return
  • Attracts new partnerships and relationships in community
  • Generates tax benefits
  • Increase professional development
  •  
    Benefits for the nonprofit

  • Attract volunteers
  • Increase volunteer recruitment
  • Attract funding partners
  • Expand donor base
  • Attract in-kind donations
  • Increase funding
  • Attracts new partnerships and relationships in community
  • Increase professional development
  • Increase brand/mission awareness
  • Free publicity
  • Connects leaders with thought leaders
  •  
    Determining whether it’s best for your nonprofit or for-profit business to venture into a new partnership may require an outside consultant. An outside expert can help you think through the options and recommend solutions that have worked for other visionaries. Lucky for you, Fyrefly Media has got your back! We specialize in helping you be more successful in your business and taking it to the next level. Are you ready?

     
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