How Partnerships Can Help Your Business ‘Do Good’ In A World That Needs It


To say that our world is in need of organizations that actively strive to do good feels like a massive understatement. There are many challenges that individuals across the world are facing, from the impacts of climate change to social inequity.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that 37.9 million people live in poverty — even with U.S. Census Bureau’s official poverty measure and supplemental poverty measure being criticized as not accurately reflecting everyone who may be at risk.

As a business leader, you’ve hopefully taken some time to consider how you can do good in a world that desperately needs it. Your business can be so much more than just a way to make money. While finding ways to do good can be a challenge, the right partnerships can make this much easier.

Partnering With a Nonprofit Provides Access to Expertise and Resources

You may feel passionate about ensuring that at-risk families in your community don’t go hungry. But chances are, your business knowledge isn’t directly applicable to running a food bank. It makes sense, then, that rather than try to essentially run your own food bank as part of your company’s operations, that you would partner with an existing organization.

In this case, the existing food bank already has its processes and systems in place to effectively provide food to those in need. However, these types of organizations need access to additional resources to carry out their mission. A food bank might benefit from monetary donations so they could purchase more food, or they might need volunteers to help distribute food.

Partnering with a nonprofit allows you to do good by providing needed resources, while deferring to your partner’s expertise to achieve the greatest impact on the community. And achieving this ultimately depends on the specific needs of the partner.

As the Charities Aid Foundation explains, “How a business collaborates with a charity is dependent on the desired outcome and objectives of the partnership, the resources available and the scale of partnership. […] More and more charity partnerships are exploring alternative sources of value and are becoming multi-layered, with people, product and profit. When a business and charity work collaboratively they can create a real social impact through for example, volunteering, product donation, asset sharing, and corporate and employee donations.”

Doing Good Through Employment

It is important to remember that your business can also do good in the world through the way that it hires and treats employees. Many groups experience unwarranted barriers to employment that keep them from enjoying a good quality of life.

Once again, partner organizations can help your business find quality employees who might otherwise be overlooked. One great example of this comes from Vishav Bindal, co-founder of The Advantage India, an organization that helps disabled individuals and unemployed youth find employment opportunities in India.

“We believe that all individuals deserve equal career opportunities,” he explains. “By partnering with like-minded employers, such as Amazon and United Nations India, we are better able to connect candidates with matching skill sets to companies and offer support throughout the recruitment process. By working with employer partners who have already expressed an interest in hiring these candidates, our team is better able to focus on helping individuals with resume building and other essential tasks that will help them get a job.”

Similarly, in the United States, there are many organizations dedicated to helping organizations recruit a more diverse workforce. Partnering with these organizations could be seen as a way of “doing good” by ensuring that each qualified candidate gets a fair opportunity for meaningful work that supports their needs.

Don’t Focus On What’s In It for You

Regardless of the specifics of how your organization plans to do good, a word of warning: don’t do this with a “what’s-in-it-for-me?’ mindset. Yes, there are undeniable benefits that a business can enjoy when it partners with a charity to do good, such as improving its brand image and increasing awareness. But if you enter a partnership focused on how it will benefit your own company, you may do your partner a disservice.

A commitment to do good can’t be viewed like a typical business transaction. Sometimes, there isn’t a tangible benefit to getting involved in charity work (aside from a mental and emotional health boost).

These partnerships should be focused on a goal or vision that doesn’t necessarily build up your company’s bottom line. You and your partner’s shared goal should be focused on the impact for good you can have in your community or the world. This will allow you to have a more collaborative approach to your work together and find meaningful solutions that deliver a real impact.

When you forget yourself and simply focus on doing good, you’ll achieve far more — and chances are, some of those other benefits for your company will come along anyway.

Doing Good With the Right Partners

With the right partnerships, your business can be much better equipped to do good. You don’t necessarily have to have a charitable angle to your core business activities. Even something as simple as partnering with an organization where you can donate money, volunteer hours or other resources can have a meaningful impact on the community.

By carefully evaluating your capabilities and finding partners who align with your values and vision, you can enter partnerships that help you achieve the greatest possible impact.

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