Profitable partnerships

Nonprofits that partner with businesses can boost their fundraising and improve their public image, a new study says.

Commissioned by Cone, a Boston marketing and communications company, “The 2004 Cone Corporate Citizenship Study,” says almost nine in 10 Americans believe nonprofits and businesses should collaborate to benefit nonprofits.

Three-quarters of those surveyed say such partnerships boost the reputation of nonprofits and make them more likely to tell a friend about the nonprofit, the study says.

Eight in 10 say they are more likely to buy a product if it will help the associated nonprofit, and seven in 10 are more likely to donate money to a nonprofit involved in such a partnership.

The majority of respondents said all corporate resources should be used in supporting chosen causes, including employee volunteers, monetary and in-kind donations, marketing support and contributing a percentage of product sales to charity.

Eight in 10 Americans considered education, health and the environment important causes, the study says, while more than six in 10 said poverty, crime and terrorism were important.

Given the survey findings, Cone recommends a business choose a cause that fits its overall goals, then select nonprofit partners, employ all available assets and communicate the effort thoroughly.

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