No other organization has served as long or as effectively as The Salvation Army. And it's all thanks to the men and women who have come alongside them over the years. So why do we so often feel like we have to go it alone?
“There is enormous value in collaborations, and every Salvation Army leader should be intentional about making these happen,” says Shawn Reed, Senior Vice President of TrueSense Marketing. “When I meet officers who have been in a community for a couple of years, but haven’t taken the time to reach out to other organizations — whether public or private — it frustrates me. Fundraising partners are only as good as the boots on the ground, and nothing pays more dividends than honest, thoughtful partnerships.”
Here are three partnerships that should matter to you, according to Reed:
- Local colleges and universities. These are a great source for volunteers, of course, but also for engaging faculty members. Find key professors who would be willing to use their class to create and promote an event or a marketing campaign around a need. Every program you have can be impacted by teachers and students whose special studies coincide with your outcomes. From social work, to cooking, to marketing, and lots more.
- The biggest employers. Yes, companies are a great source for Angel Tree donors, bell-ringers, and workplace giving. But try this: Ask yourself who is employing the most people in your community, and let them know that you are there to serve them and their employees. Yes, you read that right: Offer your service. When companies have to cut jobs, they’re never happy about it. How can your services be of help? Want more visibility? Get permission to set up a canteen unit in the parking lot to give away hotdogs, water, hot chocolate ... whatever. A sign or sandwich board highlighting your service will help, but mainly you want to be there to serve.
- Other nonprofit organizations. Donors love to see collaboration between agencies! It ensures that services are not unnecessarily duplicated, and it demonstrates that “we are all in this together” when it comes to meeting needs. Each year, you should be in conversations with other service leaders about what you have planned. If nothing like that exists, then host it! You may even walk away with a project you can work on together!
Remember, you are not alone — nor should you be!
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