Forming community partnerships

What’s your business like in Alford?

There are hundreds of successful businesses in Alford. Having a strategic approach to forming community partnerships can be difficult, but with this guide you should have no problems at all.

If you are a community organisation looking for business support, how do you decide which ones to approach? Choosing one that operates locally will be more beneficial.

A strategic approach is the most successful

Thinking through the following types of issues, and coming up with a strategic plan for who to approach and what to ask for, will save you time in the long run:

Decide what community business support you would benefit from

This may well involve you looking at the whole structure of your organisation and where you have weaknesses or needs, such as with business planning or marketing.

Alternatively you may well have specific projects which would benefit from business involvement, such as sponsorship of a publication, or volunteers to help with a mentoring scheme.

Don’t just think in terms of cash – in kind donations will often be just as valuable, if not more so. Think both long term and short term.

Work out the potential benefits to business, yourselves & the support

Business benefits include improved corporate reputation amongst customers, staff, the local community and the wider public, improved employee morale, and the opportunity for staff to develop new skills or gain wider experience.

Look for businesses who are more likely to be interested in the type of support you want, and the business benefits you have identified.

The more employees a business has the more likely they are to be willing to contribute the time of their staff during office hours. Companies that sell consumer products are more likely to be interested in boosting their public reputation and can boost the local economy.

If your organisation or project is locally focused, look for local smaller businesses or branches of larger businesses based in your area.

 

Look for any particular types of business which might have a special interest in your sector

Is there a good fit between the type of people you are working with (e.g. young people, the elderly) or your charitable purpose and how it is written (e.g. homelessness, disability) and an industry sector.

For example, soft drink manufacturers are more likely to want to be involved with young people’s causes, and building companies may be interested in homelessness issues.