Zip Up Your Corporate Partnership — with Alignment

Guest Post by Jen Filla 

This is the second in a series of three micro-learning pieces focused on how fundraising research can maximize giving from corporate philanthropists.

Do you remember when you were a child first learning to zipper a jacket? 

When I was little, it seemed hit or miss to me until the day I finally understood how the mechanism worked. Once I realized that the two sides had to be seated properly next to each other – aligned – then it became routine. Line up the side, pull, and zip!

Similarly, corporate alignment with your organization might seem a bit hit or miss in the beginning. But once you understand the mechanics of corporate philanthropic partnerships – how they align – you will be more often successful.

Tracy LaMondue, of American Geophysical Union, says the first thing she looks for is alignment between the organization and the company. That’s essential. She looks to see where the company has given, how much they have given, and what the company’s overall behavior over at least the last 30-120 days has been. She takes a holistic approach to a company to ensure that the relationship could be a win-win.  –In Good Company

Get the Ebook Here

When it comes to corporate relationship building, Tracy LaMondue at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) knows what she’s talking about. 

AGU began a partnership with Wiley publishers back in 2012, when they announced that they had selected Wiley to publish its portfolio of journals and books. The press release was all business and no mention of philanthropy. In 2017, just before Tracy LaMondue joined AGU, the partnership was renewed. 

But the relationship had definitely grown. In the press release, Wiley’s President and CEO Mark Allin said, “Through our deep collaboration and shared organizational values we have successfully partnered to further strengthen AGU’s brand…”

In August of 2021, an AGU press release announced a partnership with four other science associations – and Wiley – to create a portal to foster community science. This partnership includes “an open-access journal devoted to community science supported by Wiley and hosted on their platform.”

That is corporate alignment in philanthropy!

According to the press releases, in nine years Wiley went from simply publishing for AGU all the way to supporting AGU and the broader scientific community in promoting community science.

As LaMondue advocates, it’s about looking for actions that support the words – and sometimes actions where there are no words. What does the company do in the operation of its business and in its philanthropy? Does that line up with what your organization wants to do?

Watch the video below for search techniques you can use in iWave to find company alignment.

iWave’s Corporate Philanthropy Micro Learning Series:

  1. Who Doesn’t Want to Raise $16.88 Billion? You Can! With Corporate Relationships.
  2. Zip Up Your Corporate Partnership — with Alignment
  3. What’s in a Corporate Capacity Rating?

Jennifer Filla is President of Aspire Research Group LLC, a fundraising research consulting firm, and Prospect Research Institute, an online learning community. She can be reached at

Stay Up-to-date on Fundraising News and Resources

Want a Free Demonstration of iWave’s Fundraising Intelligence Platform?

Request a Demo