Written by Georgina Oxlade, Director of Operations, Remarkable Partnerships.
To achieve success in corporate-charity partnership it requires a team effort, and your team must include your trustees or board members. When times are tough, it is even more important to be on the same page with your board about the direction, and ambitions for your partnerships so that you can work together more effectively. Here are 5 recommendations for getting your board onboard:
- Demonstrate how partnerships will help achieve your goals
Corporate-charity partnerships are a great way to achieve your organisations’ mission. When your Board understands the positive impact that partnerships can make, they are more likely to actively engage and help your partnerships grow. One way to do this is to share examples of similar organisations where partnerships have helped them achieve their goals. For example, Prostate Cancer UK partnering with The Football League helped raise awareness with their target audience of men. It may take time and persistence, but it is important to get your Board to see the bigger picture.
- Cultivate partnership champions
The problem is that you can’t influence every board member at the same time. However, a small number of partnership champions can influence change. We recommend you engage those who have some corporate-charity partnership or fundraising experience. Identify Board members who could be your champions and take time to nurture those relationships. If you don’t have any Board members with these skills, you should look to recruit some more.
- Get their early buy-in
One of the best ways to avoid problems down the line is involve your Board in your corporate-charity partnerships from the start. Involving them early means you can use their skills and contacts to build and deliver partnerships. When board members feel their insights are valued they will be more invested in the success of partnerships. For example, if you have plans to grow partnerships then share the action plan and financial projections with them for their input and feedback before it is set in stone.
- Ask them to suggest potential partners
Your Board are the ideal people to discuss your ideas for who you would like to partners with, as they are well connected. By running a contact mapping session with the Board you could get them thinking about the ideal prospective partners for your organisation, and get them to see where they have connections. Keep it focused, just two or three quality contacts from each Board member will be enough for you to research further.
- Celebrate success
Just like with your colleagues, don’t forget to celebrate when things go well. The problem is we sometimes expect that board members should help us, and forget to acknowledge their participation when things go well. By remembering who made that introduction, or who gave you feedback on an idea you were building is vital to acknowledge that your Board was part of your success. By sharing photos, or writing a thank you note, or giving positive praise to an individual who helped you, will likely spur them and others on to continue to engage and support you.
Getting your Board onboard requires persistence and effective communication. By implementing strategies like getting their early buy-in, finding your champions, and celebrating success, you can cultivate a board that not only supports your vision but actively enhances your corporate partnerships programme. As you embark on this journey, remember that a united and engaged board is a powerful asset in your journey to corporate-charity partnerships success.
If you have feedback on our blog, or have questions about our services related to engaging your board, or colleagues to unite them in the possibility of partnerships, then please contact us: email@example.com.