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Growing Corporate Philanthropy
Transcript of Growing Corporate Philanthropy
Corporate Foundation Side
Engage corporate employees as volunteers and build them as leaders within your governance structure.
Don't underestimate the power of matching gifts.
Some companies make "sweat equity grants" to organizations where their employees volunteer.
When a gift is not viable, consider marketing, sponsorship, or partnership support.
Long-term volunteer engagement can lead to an invitation to submit a proposal to the corporate foundation RFP process.
Corporate gifts tend to follow a political or productivity model.
Remember that companies and corporate foundations are comprised of many individuals. Don't treat them like a faceless pocketbook.
Like individual major gifts, it is important to build relationships (this takes time).
Build relationships with several individuals at once (don't rely on just one contact).
In 2007 I began working to articulate the case for support for the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte.
In 2008 I began assembling a board of corporate volunteers to help articulate the need for the center and the value it would provide to their business and the community.
In 2009 seven organizations provided a combined gift of $80,000 in seed funding for the center.
In 2010 two companies pledged a combined gift of $8,800,000 in support of the center.
Today, EPIC has secured over $17,000,000 in gifts and pledges from companies and their related foundations.
Benjamin Mohler, CFRE
Companies and corporate foundations support nonprofit organizations with missions that align with their own organizational mission.
Find out what information companies need to approve a gift and who has influence to make these decisions.
"Go-away money" may be helpful in short term, but is not sustainable in the long term and is an easy way to ruin chances for future and more meaningful gifts.
Don't forget LAI!
Before You Begin
Models of Corporate Giving
Corporate productivity - increases profits or improves ROI for business interests
Ethical or altruistic - addresses need in community or where company does business
Political - protects power and builds influence
Stakeholder - improves corporate identity for constituents, employees, community
Tips From the Front Lines
Understand that in most cases, companies and their related corporate foundation have separate governance structures.
Corporate foundations typically fund on a annual cycle with a process for application, awarding, progress reports, and invitations for renewal funding.
Not all corporate foundations accept unsolicited grant proposals.
Engaging corporate leadership on the business side sometimes helps prompt or accelerate invitations to submit a grant proposal.
Corporate foundation grants tend to follow an ethical or stakeholder model.
Inside Look at Successful Proposal
Source: Tempel, E. R., Seiler, T. L., & Aldrich, E. E., eds. Achieving Excellence in Fundraising (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011), 138-161.