How to Partner with Businesses for Your Awareness Campaign

A well-designed awareness campaign can bring attention to your nonprofit’s cause, educate the public about a significant issue, and drive more donations to fuel your mission. To ensure your campaign’s success and reach diverse audiences, tap into the reach and brand visibility of like-minded businesses through a corporate partnership.

Businesses with corporate philanthropy programs are eager to help organizations get the word out about their mission and amplify their impact. In turn, they’ll benefit from the positive association with your cause and can expand their own reach within your nonprofit’s community of supporters.

Let’s explore how your nonprofit can collaborate with businesses and elevate your next awareness campaign:

  • Identify potential business partners
  • Outline a successful collaboration
  • Express appreciation and maintain relationships

With the right corporate partner, you can secure much-needed support to power your awareness campaigns and future events, projects, and programs that advance your mission. Let’s get started!

Identify potential corporate partners

Before you jump into making a sponsorship proposal, you need to find the perfect corporate partner for your organization! The OneCause guide to awareness campaigns recommends researching local businesses in your area that have similar values and missions, as they are more likely to understand the issue your organization is working to solve and how it’s affecting the community.

For example, an animal welfare organization might run an awareness campaign to bring attention to pet overpopulation in the community, which is leading to more abandoned pets in the shelters. A local pet store would be a great candidate for a corporate partnership, as they’re already passionate about animal welfare in your community and their customer base aligns with your target audience.

To kickstart your research process, you can ask your well-connected board members, staff, or volunteers for recommendations. For instance, you may have a board member who works at a reputable local company and is willing to facilitate an introduction to the business’s chief philanthropy officer. You can then set up a meeting with your prospective partner to discuss their values, audience demographic, and whether they’re a good fit for your organization (and vice versa).

Outline a successful collaboration

The most successful collaboration is one that mutually benefits both parties. The key is to think through how your corporate partner can amplify your awareness campaign while your nonprofit helps them achieve their goals, too. It’s a win-win situation!

According to Double the Donation’s guide to corporate sponsorships, your corporate partner can support your awareness campaign by offering the following forms of support:

  • Financial support: A financial sponsorship can help cover the cost of events associated with your awareness campaign, from booking a venue to funding catering.
  • Media sponsorship: Want to spread the word far and wide? Your corporate partner can help foot the bill for the cost of promoting your campaign through popular media platforms. Think radio promotions, TV ads, and eye-catching print advertisements.
  • Matching gifts: While fundraising isn’t the primary focus of your awareness campaign, it’s likely to happen once you’ve effectively boosted the visibility of your cause and shown why your work matters. To bring in even more funds, you might ask a corporate partner to match any donations made to your campaign.
  • Skilled volunteer base: Running an awareness campaign involves many moving parts, such as creating a well-designed campaign landing page, generating social media content, and running events. Tap your corporate partner’s skilled employee base to volunteer and let their expertise shine.

Nail down the exact forms of support you’re looking for so you can create a clear and compelling ask in your corporate sponsorship proposal. You’ll also want to explain how this form of support will help you achieve your awareness campaign’s goals. Once you’ve explained what you’re looking for from a corporate partner, consider how you can also give back.

For instance, your nonprofit could:

  • Showcase your corporate sponsor in your awareness campaign’s marketing plan, sharing their logo and website link on your campaign landing page and social media posts
  • Pass out branded company merchandise at your events.
  • Give shoutouts at your awareness campaign events

To truly make your case, outline why your nonprofit is the perfect fit for your prospective partner. For example, you might highlight your donor demographics and explain how your target audiences align, creating a golden opportunity for your corporate partner to earn more customers. Clearly explain how a partnership with your organization would promote the company’s financial health.

Express appreciation and maintain relationships

Once a prospective partner agrees to sponsor your organization, the work isn’t quite over yet. You need to actively express appreciation and demonstrate how both your nonprofit and its partner are better off because of this collaboration. With the right relationship-building tactics, a corporate sponsorship for your awareness campaign could turn into a long-term relationship.

To keep the relationship with your corporate partner going strong, follow these best practices:

  • Communicate regularly: Your nonprofit and corporate partner should each have a point person responsible for providing updates about your collaboration. This way, you can maintain transparency and remain on the same page when it comes to promoting your awareness campaign’s success.
  • Meet your deliverables: To ensure you follow up on your end of the partnership, create a timeline for when you’ll push your corporate partner’s goals forward. For example, if you agreed to advertise your partner on social media, create a campaign calendar that details when, how, and which platforms you’ll use to promote their brand. Assign a team member to lead this marketing strategy so you can foster accountability.
  • Highlight the results of your campaign: Once your awareness campaign wraps up, let your corporate partner know the results and how their support made a difference. You can highlight data such as the number of new followers you gained on social media, donations you raised, and any other relevant insights that demonstrate your success.
  • Publicly thank your partner: Your corporate partner will appreciate a standing ovation, or at least a public acknowledgement for the role they played in your awareness campaign! Highlight them in your newsletter, social media, and on your website’s blog so you can help boost their visibility and reputation.

By building a strong foundation for your relationship, you can rely on your corporate partner’s support again in the future. This can be especially helpful as you host events like high-energy fundraising galas or auctions that could benefit from financial support and in-kind donations.

An awareness campaign can be extremely valuable for spreading your mission far and wide. To boost your reach and meet your campaign’s goals, collaborate with a corporate partner and work towards achieving your mutual success. Do your research into prospective business partners in advance so you can secure their support and confidently approach your next awareness campaign.