My father once told me that if something sounds too good to be true, well then, it’s probably not true. So I’m faced with an interesting dilemma: I have bona fide proof based on 35 years of deep experience in the development of cross-sector partnerships, that these partnerships will raise a company’s revenue or a nonprofit’s donations, exceptionally increase an organization’s brand awareness, raise employee morale and thus reduce employee turnover, which results in a better bottom-line…and a rather long list of other financial, marketing and community benefits.
Yet as one of the few people in the country who consults and trains organizations specifically to receive these benefits through the development of cross-sector partnerships – partnerships between two or more from the nonprofit, for-profit, education or government sectors – what I don’t understand is why aren’t more organizations jumping all over this opportunity? The results are real.
For example: When the doors open for the 5th Annual Health and Wellness Fair September 15 at Oakland’s Eastmont Town Center over 1,000 people will discover nearly 50 San Francisco Bay Area health and wellness providers standing ready to offer their services. This free-to-the-public Health Fair is designed for ethnically-diverse, low income and underinsured populations, and is the result of a unique community partnership. Oakland-based Ramsell Corporation, Alameda County Public Health Department, California State Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson and the Center for Elders’ Independence have joined together to do what none of them could have accomplished on their own.
Each of the partners in the Health Fair has their individual marketing objectives for coming together. Ramsell Corporation is looking to attract business, raise brand awareness and generate community goodwill in the marketing region for their pharmacy, The Apothecary, which is located at Eastmont. With many of their employees volunteering for the event, it’s also an opportunity for these employees to participate in a community activity that brings benefit to a serious need in their community and thereby brings personal satisfaction and raises employee morale and dedication to their company. For the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Center for Elders’ Independence, which works with seniors dealing with multiple medical challenges, it’s an opportunity to take their missions to the streets in a hands-on, share their information and services event. And Assemblymember Swanson welcomes this opportunity to reinforce his commitment to the underserved of his community.
It’s an “everybody wins” scenario, especially for the thousand or more people who will receive free medical screenings and other health services that they may not know about or in most cases, be able to afford without this free Health Fair.
“Combining the abilities of these diverse for-profit, nonprofit and governmental organizations means that far more Oakland and East Bay residents will benefit from the services provided at the Health Fair. This innovative partnership stands as a promising model for others to follow,” commented Assemblymember Swanson.
I am honored to have brought this unique partnership together and am directing several aspects of the Health Fair.
Over the years, I found 38 distinct benefits that a for-profit organization can receive when working in partnership with a nonprofit, educational or government sector. And also found 31 benefits that a nonprofit organization receives when partnering with a for-profit. These benefits go far beyond just generating community goodwill. They provide increased sales, raised employee morale and thus employee retention, new donation and earned income streams, increased brand awareness, expanded market share, and many other benefits that are not normally considered when a for-profit or nonprofit consider working together. The adage of “Do well by doing good,” is proven every day in cross-sector partnerships.
Now I realize that many organizations feel too time-constrained and stressed to explore new avenues of opportunities. However, when you look at the multiple benefits, not the least of which is just feeling good in these times, not to consider cross-sector partnerships is, in my opinion, a serious business mistake.
This is not too good to be true. There is nothing in business today that provides as much economic and social benefit, on as many levels, to as many stakeholders as a partnership between two or more from the nonprofit, for-profit, education or government sectors, especially when the partnership is focused on the greater good. Nothing else comes even close…. and we can prove it.
If you would like to download the list of benefits, please go to “Free Downloads” at www.bruceburtch.com.