Have Sustainable Brands delivered right to your inbox.

Walking the Talk
Reimagining Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships in Times of Crisis

In a time when needs are growing but government resources are constricted, nonprofits are being asked to do more with fewer resources. Promises made by companies to fulfill the needs of their communities and their stakeholders are more important now than ever before — which is why we need social impact solutions that can do both.

The global COVID-19 pandemic — and its economic consequences — are quickly reaching every corner of the world; generating a series of complex, interwoven challenges that governments cannot solve alone.

As both federal and local governments struggle to support the people and places impacted by the global health crises, public officials are turning to nonprofits, social enterprises and NGOs to help those that are most at risk. In fact, US Representatives are even introducing the Save Organizations That Serve (SOS) America Act, which would provide nonprofits $60 billion in emergency funding.

Nonprofits are social-centric by design — with the networks, procedures, and solutions in place to ensure people’s needs are met and social issues are addressed. As Pennsylvania Representative Brian Fitzpatrick explains, “Our community and our nation, and those most in need, cannot survive without [nonprofit organizations].”

Yet, in a time when needs are growing but government resources are constricted, nonprofits are being asked to do more with fewer resources. While Feeding America is working to ensure food banks across the country are stocked and emergency food boxes are distributed; the UN Foundation is delivering essential supplies and critical information to workers on the frontline of the crisis.

In addition to critical needs such as access to food and health services, nonprofits such as DREAM are addressing educational inequality by sourcing computers for families as they move towards distance-learning models; while organizations such as Kiva are making it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses to have access to affordable capital — which may be critical to keeping their doors open.

What’s incredibly alarming is that COVID-19 is putting the very existence of many impactful nonprofits at risk. Across the country, nonprofit programs are in “grave danger of using up what funding they have; which could cost millions of jobs across the country, and result in long-term shutdowns of community centers,” according to ABC News.

That’s why, now more than ever, we need the business community to step up and help fill the funding gaps the nonprofit community desperately needs. It’s time we shift to a new paradigm, one that creates a sustainable funding stream to address the fallout from COVID-19 — and, moving forward, persistent systemic issues such as climate change, social inequality, educational disparities; and the gaps in the delivery of healthcare, the seriousness of which have been highlighted by the current crisis.

In the past, businesses have helped support social causes through corporate philanthropy, which is separate from day-to-day business operations. In this model, giving is limited by financial constraints, as companies determine their donations based on profits. Unfortunately, this approach results in woefully inadequate contributions to support critical social causes because we’re addressing these challenges from a place of scarcity.

To address this, Givewith is leveraging social-centric design to put people in need at the center of everyday business activities. By enabling companies to direct a small percentage of their B2B transactions to fund highly effective, pre-vetted nonprofits, social enterprises and NGOs — it’s helping nonprofits tap into a new and vast ocean of resources, where $16.5 trillion flows between businesses annually in the US.

From the business perspective, this funding is sustainable because it is the result of business practices that benefit the businesses, too. By pairing companies with relevant nonprofit programs and equipping them with high-quality, experiential assets to share the impact with their customers, employees, communities and other key stakeholders — companies can improve multiple key performance indictors and derive business value that exceeds the fraction of the B2B transaction itself.

In fact, research by Boston Consulting Group shows companies who use these assets can benefit from an increase in sales up to 7 percent; an increase in employee engagement and retention up to 5-7 percent; a boost in Net Promoter Score (NPS) by up to 7 points; and positive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings.

It’s time for the businesses community to step up and deliver on their purpose-driven commitments. Promises made by companies to fulfill the needs of their communities and their stakeholders are more important now than ever before — which is why we need social impact solutions that can do both. To ensure the health and longevity of both companies and their communities, we need to reimagine corporate-nonprofit partnerships — not just to address COVID-19, but all of society’s challenges going forward.

Advertisement

More Stories

Featured Brand Voices

Have Sustainable Brands delivered right to your inbox.
We offer free, twice weekly newsletters designed to help you create and maintain your company's competitive edge by adopting smarter, more sustainable business strategies and practices.
Copyright ©2007-2020 Sustainable Life Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Sustainable Brands® is a registered trademark of Sustainable Life Media, Inc.