But corporations are also well suited to help offer knowledge and resources to nonprofits, as their business expertise can help to uncover new ways to solve big problems on a budget.
This is where technology can help in a big way. Nonprofits already think nimbly — they have to, because of tight budgets and a strong focus on mission. This applies to how they think about technology as well. For example, many nonprofits were early to cloud computing, in part because of the potential for cost savings. They may not want to run the servers in-house anymore, but they still need the benefits those servers once offered.
Like Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits want the best technologies and infrastructures to increase their reach, make sense of the data they receive and reach their broader goals. But working with tighter resources often means they must get clever, using tools such as customer relationship management platforms — along with emerging technologies such as machine learning and Big Data — to bring a degree of science to their outreach and fundraising.
Corporations are ideal partners to build upon these nimble efforts and bring even more innovation to missions that deserve this kind of focus.
A Savvy Approach to Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is becoming more important than ever. When recent college graduates apply for jobs in 2020, for example, they ask potential employers what they’re doing for the greater good — a phenomenon I’ve seen myself.
Nonprofits can maximize the impact of this phenomenon in service of their causes. But it requires a focused message. Nonprofits need to continue being savvy about how they present themselves to the business world to show why their missions matter and are worth supporting.
With the right approach, a corporate partner can help nonprofits turn an important cause into the start of a shared mission, with innovation leading the way.