Social Friday events are a global celebration of generosity and good deeds. Through Social Friday, companies, organizations, and student volunteers create partnerships to collaborate and make a positive impact on society on four selected dates every year. If the retail industry can have a Black Friday at the end of the year, we can make four of them for the nonprofit sector throughout the whole year.
An open letter to nonprofits
Your work is invaluable to our society and our communities. But, you don’t have to be alone in your mission. When we work together, we can achieve more, we can do it better, and we can change the lives of more people for the better.
How nonprofits can build partnerships with businesses?
Building a relationship with a business can benefit you and the company in ways you may not have anticipated. However, the first step, asking a business if they’re interested in a partnership, can be the roadblock that prevents both companies and nonprofits from reaping the rewards.
For many nonprofits, especially smaller ones with few volunteers or support staff, business partnerships are an overlooked or underestimated avenue for growth. However, simply asking for donations often leads to closed doors. We’re all experiencing the drawback of the recession and no one is eager to give out money. Yet, nonprofits have a lot to offer a business, even if they’re small.
What can you offer?
Companies partnering with nonprofits can be closer to reaching their corporate goals if they can realize the opportunities that this type of partnership can offer. Yes, for any business, the end goal is a positive financial performance, yet achieving that goal depends on different factors that are not necessarily based on revenue.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is a form of self-regulation that reflects a business’s accountability and commitment to contributing to the well-being of communities and society through various environmental and social measures. Consumers are demanding more transparent and responsible products and services. This means you could actually help a business become more profitable and attractive to consumers through your partnership.
There’s another unexpected benefit to partnerships between nonprofits and for-profits: employee productivity. In a world where employees feel disengaged and disconnected from their work, volunteering and giving back in the workplace can actually improve feelings of engagement and loyalty. This, in turn, decreases turnover, increases productivity, and builds company culture.
With marketing, a business and a nonprofit will likely see a boost in brand recognition and overall visibility – and they might not even have to pay for it! Because consumers want to see businesses supporting social causes, it’s possible that a partnership could lead to media attention, social media engagement, and a better “word of mouth” reputation. This level of recognition can help attract new customers to the business.
Finally, an increase in sales, better shareholder returns, and an improvement in return customers are all possible with nonprofit partners. That’s because studies show consumers want socially responsible businesses and will actually choose socially engaged companies over their competitors. They may even seek out responsible products and services as alternatives.
How to find a business partner
To find a business partner for your small or medium-sized nonprofit, look for a business with values that align with your mission. Small and medium-sized businesses in your local area may be open to partnerships, as they likely haven’t formed other partnerships themselves.
To get started, take the first leap forward by joining the Social Friday family. No worries, there are no application fees and no membership fees. We firmly believe that your budget should be invested directly in your projects, for the benefit of those in need, and not for paying any fees.
Next, familiarize yourself with our calendar. We organize four Social Friday events annually, one in each quarter, when companies, nonprofits, and student volunteers team up to work together for a local social cause. Yours is as important as any other, so take that opportunity to reach out and get in touch with the businesses that you want to connect with.
Social Friday is the most convenient way to get your foot in the door and establish a partnership and a long-term collaboration. It doesn’t cost anything to any involved parties, it creates a global buzz because all participants host events worldwide at the same time, and most importantly, it requires an on-field collaboration.
Why is an on-field collaboration important?
In today’s world, the Internet has become the main tool of communication. Online meetings, emails, and chat apps have reduced face-to-face interaction. People often go for days, even months, without seeing a familiar face. Team gatherings are and will become even more important due to this situation.
When your nonprofit reaches out to a company to ask if they are willing to contribute to your mission and projects, it’s almost certain that you won’t get a positive response immediately. Developing a partnership is very similar to developing a friendship. It needs time, personal involvement, and mutual respect – all of which can be established with an on-field collaboration during Social Friday events.
Social Friday is more about building friendly relationships between companies and organizations than it is about donations. Donations and long-term support come after you get to know the people from your partner company by their name. It’s much easier to ask for help from someone you know personally than from someone you don’t know.
How to create partnerships through Social Friday?
Friday is the least productive time of the week. The mission of Social Friday is to reinvent Fridays and to question the status quo of unproductive time. We use the Friday afternoon, to generate togetherness, collaboration, and social engagement through partnerships between businesses and nonprofits.
Once this type of partnership is established, there are more opportunities for your nonprofit to gain long-term support, donations, and future collaborations. Because that’s what friends do – they help and support each other.
Act. Connect. Impact.
Every Social Friday event has its own motto. It’s the main message that all participants send through their social engagement. The next event’s motto is “Act. Connect. Impact.” It’s the formula explaining the success behind the concept of Social Friday.
To act means to challenge the status quo of the least productive time. To get out of the office and to get personally involved in the community through volunteering and collaboration. To use your energy for good deeds, to set an example, and inspire others to do good as well.
To connect means to establish and build a partnership between a business and a nonprofit for the greater good. Giving back to the community is easier and more efficient when you do it with a partner and a friend.
Finally, it’s all about the impact that we can create together. When we work together, we can achieve higher goals, faster and better.
So, let’s join teams at the next Social Friday event on September 30th. Reach out to a company that you believe shares your values and invite them to be your partner. It’s the smart thing to do.
Social Friday Team