[PODCAST] How Small Nonprofits Can Partner with Corporations | Ft. Julie Hirshey
“If we’re able to focus our light, we’re going to be able to do more good.” – Julie Hirshey
While working for an athletic team as popular as the Philadelphia Eagles can be difficult, communications director Julie Hirshey spends her time focusing their light rather than letting the disco ball get out of control.
Hirshey, Community Relations Director of the Philadelphia Eagles and Eagles Care, talks about being the “shiny” sports team that is constantly attracting attention. As Voltaire’s quote says, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and the Eagles football team takes this to heart.
Philanthropy in sports.
The Eagles work on their community outreach through their philanthropic endeavors mixed with the Eagles Care Summit, which is a free full-day conference designed to bring Philadelphia nonprofits together with a focus on capacity building. The goal is to make the Philadelphia community stronger by providing local nonprofit staff with the tools, information, resources and connections they need to perform at their highest levels, regardless of focus area or mission. The collaborative program features speakers, round-table discussions and panels. More information about the Summit can be found here.
As a proud Eagles fan, Hirshey helped develop Eagles Care. The program was established to create annual, strategic partnerships with local nonprofits in order to increase the impact of the team’s community efforts.
Working with large corporations.
As a large corporation, partnering with smaller nonprofits can be a challenge.
Companies exist to maximize shareholder wealth, so exercises in charity and philanthropy by companies must help them towards their goal in some way. Increased sales, greater brand awareness or employee retention are examples of possible benefits to companies by working with nonprofit partners. And while companies, particularly younger ones, are focusing more on social benefit, that focus is still very much tied to a fundamental belief that it will in some way help them meet their business and bottom line objectives. It’s also helpful if you’re working for the same community. A business wants to see the impact they’re helping make, just like you. So reach out locally first.
So when working with a large corporation, specifically potential donors, make sure you’re guiding your efforts toward a group that will help you just as much as you can help them.
By having a clear and strong brand, showing your impact (and how your impact can affect them), having strong research about your donor (we mean partner) and working locally, your nonprofit is ready for a corporate partnership.