Going Corporate

Check out this 2 minute video in our “Insider Tips” series!

From Shellie Speer, Senior VP, BDI Academy

Corporations can be great allies for nonprofits… easier said than done, right?

With so many charitable organizations vying for grants, event sponsorships and long-term partnerships, nonprofits often struggle to turn corporate relationships into fantastic friendships.

So how do you make sure your first ask sets the stage for a strong relationship?

Do your homework BEFORE you make your first connection.

Every company wants to positively impact their community. But many have strict guidelines on:

  • How you approach them
  • How you share your nonprofit’s needs
  • How you make your request
  • How the company will provide a response

Some may have an online application process. Others have a more direct approach, like face-to-face interviews or letters of request.

Gather this information first! It will save you time, embarrassment and disappointment. Plus, your research will give you better ways to engage with each company, and provide a more targeted approach to secure the funds, in-kind gifts or volunteers you need.

SO… before you jump in your car to drive over and make that bold ask, check out the company’s website. Search for a community service page for grant and event sponsorship applications, vision statements and even types and amounts of contributions they offer. Be clear on how the company wants you to approach them, what’s reasonable to ask for and that your vision aligns with theirs.

Here’s the bottom line: Your best bet is an approach that starts long before you hit the business’s reception desk.

BDI Academy has a helpful strategy guide on developing Corporate Relations that is free to you today! I encourage you to use it and develop new corporate partnerships now. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.


And keep an eye out for all of BDI Academy’s upcoming “Insider Tips” videos!

BDI Academy – led by Shellie Speer – offers personalized mentoring and consulting for nonprofits. And that help is just an email away! Email Shellie now.

  • Shellie Speer

    Shellie Speer-Burnett, Senior Vice President, BDI Academy

    With over 30 years of partnership in Rescue Missions and nonprofit organizations, Shellie Speer-Burnett brings her expertise, counsel and philanthropic-centered passion to assist in furthering the work of BDI’s Rescue Mission clients. For 22 years of her career, she served as the Founder and President/CEO of her own agency, ENEX Group, which helped her clients capture hearts and donor loyalty in their communities.

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