Dollars First, Then Deeper Involvement
Often, the reason for pursuing greater corporate resources is not simply a matter of increased fundraising but something more strategic: a desire to raise companies’ interest in solving a problem or pursuing a cause. More than just dollars, the desire is to build relationships and a sense of investment among the contributing firms.
A grantmaker who works with community organizations on transportation issues found, somewhat to his surprise, that a corporate donor gradually became involved in the strategic side of the work: “They stayed in touch with us — presumably to see that their donation was being used effectively. But little by little it was more than that. As we were working with the county to get better transportation for our target area, [the company] started to realize that this was a community where they could be drawing more employees and customers — but not if people didn’t have transportation. So they started sending [company employees] to county planning meetings with us, and helping us draw up more professional proposals, and just generally acting like part of the team. And it started with a grant.”
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This takeaway was derived from Working with the Business Sector.