Corporate Engagement for Small Teams: Where to Begin?

By Miquette Thompson, MNA, CFRE

As corporate philanthropy continues to evolve, the private sector continues to present an array of unique opportunities and challenges for nonprofits seeking to engage them. While nonprofits of many different sizes can struggle to develop a strategic approach to corporate engagement, smaller organizations with lean development teams often deprioritize or do not consider engaging the private sector, for various reasons.

“We’re just too small to do anything with corporate funders, so we haven’t really put much thought into it.”

“We’re not in a big city with big corporations, none of the businesses here are big enough to give to us.”

“The one time we received a grant from a bank, we were forced to host a 100-person volunteer experience for their staff. We’re never applying again.”

“We’re so small, there’s no way Google or Meta or any of those big companies would ever fund us.”

Do any of these sentiments shared by real nonprofit leaders feel familiar to you? Has your small organization or team struggled to gain traction with corporate funders? Have you had concerns about whether pursuing corporate funding was worthwhile?

One tool often recommended by Essex & Drake to organizations and teams is a corporate “one-pager”. This simple document is intended to clearly communicate the following to potential corporate partners:

  1. Your organization’s mission and values
  2. Programmatic information, including data on impact when possible
  3. What your organization can offer in terms of on-site and offsite employee engagement, and whether your organization is open to customized engagement opportunities
  4. Who to contact regarding potential partnerships

Join Miquette Thompson, MNA, CFRE, and Vanessa Baker Rodriguez, MNA, CPCC on Tuesday, July 18th from 12:30-1:45 PM as we dive deeper into how to create a strong corporate “one-pager”. We will also explore effective tools for developing partnerships with businesses and best practices for corporate engagement, all geared toward small organizations and small teams. Click here to register.