July 8, 2019

Who Wants to Be a Partner? 25 First Moves

two woman look at an Ipad smilingAre you looking for a place to begin? You plan to partner with another nonprofit, government agency, or for-profit company. Here are 25 first mini-projects to do together.

We developed this list to help the nonprofits we work with to expand their mission resources. You can use these activities to expand your resources and explore potential relationships for fun and profit. You can do one or more of them. They are all short-term. Use them to discover “how the relationship will work” and to establish trust.

  1. Share a coffee or lunch date to discuss common interests.


  1. Trade ad space in your newsletter or programs.


  1. Jointly sponsor a one-time education event for the community.


  1. Attend an education event together; compare notes about how you will use the material at your organization.


  1.  Conduct a joint board retreat at one location; share rental expenses. Share a meal, refreshments, or a keynote presentation with the other board.


  1. Develop a joint marketing piece. “Come to these two March events. . . ”


  1. Offer a special discount coupon for attending two events, one from each partner.


  1. Link your web pages. Become Facebook friends. Add each other to your mailing lists.


  1. Learn enough about each other to make referrals.


  1. Go for a tour of each other’s sites, meet afterward. Share suggestions and insights.


  1. Do a joint staff education event.


  1. Recommend a service provider.


  1. Attend each other’s special events.


  1. Serve on each other’s hiring committee interviews for key positions.


  1. Review each other’s grants before submittal.


  1. Co-chair a committee for an association.


  1. Write or video a testimonial for the other organization’s publicity, press release, or grant request.


  1. Agree to meet monthly for one quarter via telephone to explore concerns, interests, and ideas.


  1. Share articles of interest.


  1. Share materials and resources you no longer use, i.e., the case statement from your capital campaign, annual appeal letters, brochures, etc. Offer permission to copy with a credit.


  1. Review each other’s websites, newsletters, and other media. Suggest improvements.


  1. Brainstorm joint projects. Pick out the top three possibilities. Explore moving one forward.


  1. Purchase something together to receive a discount.


  1. Develop a joint press release on a common concern.


  1. Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper together.
Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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