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How to approach a community partnership.

Community partnerships are an important part of any company’s CSR programme. Often, companies will choose to partner with a charity or other community organisations and create an ongoing relationship, rather than a one off donation.   

When choosing an organisation to partner with, it is important to choose one whose values and goals align with the values and operations of your company, as this will help communicate to your employees and customers that the partnership is genuine.  Further, companies are more likely to make a difference if they are genuinely invested in the work of the charity or organisation they have partnered with.   

 

The best way to reach out to a community organisation.

While this all sounds great on paper - how do you actually go about partnering with a community organisation? 

 
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Finding the right community organisation for your business 

We realise that finding the right community organisation for your business can be tough.  With so many to choose from (there are 30,000 registered charities a further 60,000 unregistered community organisations operating in New Zealand) and no easy way to search for them, it can be hard to discover what worthy causes are out there. That is why we have developed a database of registered charities in New Zealand and a way to search through them. You can submit a brief to our team for what you’re looking for and we can get back to you with a list of viable partnerships to consider.


Engaging with your chosen organisation

Once you have found a community organisation you would like to partner with, the next step is reaching out and establishing a relationship. They will no doubt be excited at the prospect of your support (it can take years for a community project to secure corporate funding) and so they will likely be keen to know more about who you are, what your organisation does, and how you anticipate supporting them in partnership.

To help you know what to write in your first engagement with a community organisation, we have developed a template you might like to adapt to reach out to the organisation.  Check it out here.


Establishing a partnership 

Every partnership will be different. It is up to you and your community organisation to decide how your partnership will look and what each parties expectations are. While a partnership may be founded on a more casual basis, you may want to consider entering into a more formal agreement with your chosen partner, depending on the level of time and resources to be donated. This supports the community organisation with a clear commitment and a clear understanding of the expectations. To help with this, we have prepared a sample letter agreement. This letter can (and will need to) be adapted to suit your particular situation. We have provided a more comprehensive sample letter with the idea that you can strip out the sections that are not necessary for your partnership. 


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