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Partnerships that are OHHH, so Good

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

I've always been a fan of partnerships. Even in my Radio Days, I found that collaborations between clients helped them both get more "BANG FOR THEIR BUCK."


Take, for instance, a partnership I once orchestrated between Campbell’s V-8 Juice and Gold’s Horseradish. Wondering what the heck these two have in common?


Campbell’s V-8 Juice

The answer: the best New Year’s Eve Bloody Mary you've ever had.


They both chipped in for advertising—10K each. Back then, 20K could buy some significant radio frequency.


I share this old story because I work the same way in nonprofits.

Find the common denominator and maximize the services you can offer and the funding you can find.


I believe there are basically three types of partnerships:


1. A partnership that brings two organizations together to deliver a better service or offering to a particular cohort.

2. A partnership that joins two services that naturally go together to secure funding.

3. A partnership that does both 1 & 2.


How do you put nonprofit partnerships together?


Think and discuss how and who can help you do what you do better—then call them.


Explain your thinking and then hear their thoughts—together, build the partnership.

(I was once at a nonprofit meeting where many attendees felt it was someone else's job to match partners. Well, unless we create Match.com for nonprofits, this is simply not happening.)


An example, we work with a foundation that gives out scholarships, focusing on kids filled with potential but not with resources. There are several organizations in the area they serve that could be good partners for this foundation:

  • Mentoring Organizations

  • Youth Development Organizations

The list goes on.


We called four of them, and all were simply thrilled to share the applications with their students.

The foundation's world got more significant, and the organizations were more than delighted to share this opportunity with their deserving students—WIN-WIN!!!


Another example comes from my days at Gift of Life. We were working hard on diversifying the registry so more people could find their life-saving match. Note: A person's match is based on their heritage.


Parachuting into new communities is often a challenge. So, I called other organizations that served the groups we would like to contact, and it worked! Before long, we had developed relationships with The Sickle Cell Foundation, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The YMCA, and so many more—WIN-WIN!!!


Where is the money??


An offering that merges two missions together or different missions that serve the same group is VERY attractive to funders.

  • Grants: Many foundations find it uplifting and purposeful to have two organizations work together. Do your homework (or call our Grants Director, Ben, for more info on this).

  • Individual Donors: Often involving board members in the vision and execution of this partnership will help cultivate excitement and donors. Share the news of your partnership with your database and get support from those who want to see you grow.

  • Corporations: If it helps serve the community in a new and special way, the corporate community wants to hear about it. Ask how they can help, be involved, and FUND this partnership.

I guess my message is really this—think about who can help you and who you can help by working together. How can you exponentially grow service delivery? How can BOTH organizations garner the funds needed to explode this partnership?


It’s not hard—pick up the phone and talk to the other nonprofits in the market. It can be a win-win—I promise.


I love discussing, brainstorming, and helping your organization create win-win partnerships. Reach out to Team Kat & Mouse consultants for nonprofits today!





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