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Q&A: Profitable Partnerships: Creating and Expanding Your Corporate Giving Program

We recently hosted Profitable Partnerships: Creating and Expanding Your Corporate Giving Program in partnership with Sarah Andrews (Andrews Consulting LLC).  It was a lively discussion, we had many great questions roll in throughout that we were unable to get to!  Sarah has taken the time to answer your questions.  Please find them below!

Q: How do you get your board to personally give more and/or get more invested after they leave the boardroom space?

A. Have one on one meetings with each board member and try to get to know more about what programs or projects interest them most. Or discuss new/expanded initiatives or events of interest and ask for an increase over their previous gift, or perhaps a larger gift spread out into multiple installments over a longer period of time.

Q:Any good tips on what to say on linkedIn message?

A. Keep it short and simple! A quick introduction and why you’re reaching out. What about your mission might align with this person (or company). Ask for a time to connect for a 30 min meeting and offer a few dates and times in the near future.

Q: I have an annual in-person meeting with a donor. We would like them to up their giving but the donor usually shows up to the meeting with their check already determined and written. How do you get a specific ask to this type of donor?

A. Thank them for their ongoing support and generous contribution. Tell them about the impact their previous giving has had with some meaningful stories about your mission. If there is a specific designation of this gift, you might address the opportunity for increased support this year and would they consider increasing their annual contribution to $X amount this year?

Q: What are corporations looking for in a volunteer event (like what is motivating that — retention/marketing?)

A. There may be some marketing opportunities, like photo ops for social media, etc. Oftentimes this can also tie in with employee engagement and team building strategies.

Q: First, awesome suggestions for infusing into future fundraising strategies. That being said, based on your own experiences, what corporate outreach tactics do you find most effective with Capital Campaigns vs annual giving and/or lower level fundraising?

A. With larger campaign asks, certainly dealing with the top level decision maker will be key. I would also suggest to research corporations with a foundation arm or existing match programs.

Q: How can we filter out groups that do “greenwashing” or “rainbow-washing” or other types of exploitation? It seems like the worst companies talk the best talk.

A. Do a little bit of research and ask for a face to face meeting or give them a tour to see what interests them most about your org. Asking questions like what the potential partner is hoping to accomplish through their volunteerism/ giving and how they see themselves getting more involved in current initiatives, should give some insight into their intentions and long term objectives.

Q: My org also does workforce development. How did you get your corporate partners to begin participating in a corporate giving program or getting their staff to participate? What was your initial ask of the partner?

A. The first meeting could be getting to know more about their historical corporate giving and current partners. Educating them about your programs, increased partnership opportunities and desire to work together more intentionally. Ask for what these companies would like to see in a corporate partnership or corporate giving programs. Follow up, using some of their feedback and ask them to be a part of your launch with excitement!

Missed the webinar? Catch the on demand recording here: Profitable Partnerships: Creating and Expanding Your Corporate Giving Program

Get the slides here

About Sarah Andrews:


Sarah Andrews, owner and lead consultant at Andrews Consulting, has 18+ years of senior management & development experience, including capacity building, direct mail campaigns, donor engagement & stewardship, sponsorship & promotions, and major giving programs. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree from Assumption College and has since been an active member of many regional fundraising networks. She served on the Board for the Manchester Young Professionals Network & was on the executive team that led the organization through its merger with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Sarah oversees the George Butch Joseph Foundation in loving memory of her grandfather & personally fundraises for the March of Dimes in honor of her younger daughter.

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