Identifying mission-friendly business partners

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Written by Eric Zarco

Not all for-profit corporations will have your mission’s best interests at heart. In fact, some partnerships can be harmful to your NPO. How can you identify mission-friendly business partners that will mutually benefit both sides of the equation?  

Research is key to a successful business partnership. You will need to do extra legwork to make sure your potential partners: 

  • Have a commitment to supporting non-profits along with a proven track record of helping them succeed: Take a few minutes to connect with members of your potential partner’s other supported non-profits and make sure there is a strong and supportive commitment from your potential partner. 
  • Have a robust presence in their communities: Your best bet in partnering with a mission-friendly organization is making sure that they already have a proven interest in supporting NPO’s within their communities. This metric is known as a Corporate Citizenship Profile. 
  • Treat non-profits with the same levels of service as provided to for-profit businesses: Your potential partner should be offering your NPO the same services as they offer to their for-profit clients, not just offering less robust services at a reduced rate. 
  • Are a good fit for your non-profit: This may seem obvious, but if your NPO’s mission is “Fighting to Save the Loch Ness Monster,” you may want to avoid partnering with “Monster Hunter and Trophy Kill Excursions.”  
  • Can positively impact your NPO:  A true mission-friendly partnership does more than just donate money or cut you a break on pricing. Is your potential partner willing to support your functions and fund-raising efforts with personnel, publicity, and appropriate donated supplies? You may find that “Monster Hunter and Trophy Kill Excursions” will donate harpoons, but that isn’t an advantage for “Fighting to Save the Loch Ness Monster.” 

We developed a Mission-Friendly Partners Checklist in collaboration with 5 C-Level DFW nonprofit leaders as a free-to-use resource for our nonprofit industries.  Get yours today!

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About the author

Eric Zarco

Eric Zarko has been a mainstay in the North Texas nonprofit community and serves on many nonprofit councils, personally and professionally working with over 40 local nonprofit organizations. Eric chairs the DFW Nonprofit Resource Group, a collection of over 70 mission-minded professionals continuously making amazing impacts to the nonprofits that serve our communities. Iconic IT provides outsourced IT support for nonprofits and their team embraces the essence of nonprofit industries by allowing nonprofit organizations to focus on their mission instead of technology heartburn and headaches.