64% of Best in Class (BIC) Cause Campaigns take four to 12 months to execute. Which begs the question – who’s involved in the process, what are the best ways to achieve buy-in and how can you best work with these key stakeholders?
For Momentum found that the three departments most involved in approvals, planning and execution of almost all corporate-cause campaigns are senior leadership, marketing/communications and public relations.
When it comes to how specifically each department is involved, the nuance shifts a bit to highlight CSR, Marketing & Communications and foundation.
To bring these insights to life, we asked four EFG members – on both the corporate and nonprofit side of the house – to share their top tips for getting these players to the table and collaborating cross-functionally for the greatest impact.
Julisa Colón, Director, Brand Marketing, National Audubon Society
An important key to any successful cross-functional collaboration is communication. Communicate often, and ask the questions needed to move things forward. Keeping the lines of communication open strengthens rapport and builds authentic relationships with stakeholders who can also become champions of the partnership.
Campaign and partner-specific questions are great. Pulling back more broadly, I like to ask, “What are your goals for the partnership?” to begin driving toward measures of success.
EFG Note –> Chad Royal-Pascoe, SVP of Resource Development at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, also has some great ideas for setting goals and aligning on shared values.
Elizabeth Pettengill, Sr. Director of New Partnerships, Feeding America
As nonprofit fundraisers and relationship builders, one of the key things we can do is establish strong rapport with our point of contact at the company and recognize our role in helping that person succeed.
Our POC often receives thousands of questions from different teams and stakeholders on their end. We can help by anticipating the kinds of questions they may be getting and proactively offering customized resources in the style most helpful to them – bullet points for an internal brief, a short deck, glossy one-pagers, a short video about our nonprofit’s mission and activities, a draft communications plan, FAQs, etc.
These help as they “sell” the partnership around and up at the company.
EFG Note –> Interested in building long-term partnerships? Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ VPs Staci Cross and Julie Breckenkamp recently shared their three principles. Plus, CSX’s Bryan Tucker and Verizon’s Dee Fraley share how to thoughtfully tailor corporate partnership opportunities that align with each organization’s unique CSR goals.
Jess Moes, Social Impact, Manager of Innovation & Advancement, Best Buy
In working with partners across the business, it’s critical to understand their larger business goals, motivations, and challenges.
Ask questions and spend time understanding their existing work. In doing so, you can ultimately tailor your approach and help them understand how collaboration for impact can help solve a business problem they’re wrestling with.
Some questions to consider include:
- What are your biggest priorities this week?
- What work things seem to be causing your boss stress these days?
- What goals have you set for yourself/your team this quarter?
EFG Note –> If one of their biggest goals is employee engagement, World Wildlife Fund’s Cheron Carlson has some great tips you may want to check out! And, if JEDI is a key focus area, these insights from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Deborah Barge may help.
Stephanie Franco, Head of Global Giving & Volunteerism, TELUS
The key to our success is early partnership with executive sponsors and stakeholders, developing champions at all levels, inspiring high participation, increasing capacity and celebrating remarkable outcomes.
To achieve outstanding participation levels across our team member and retiree base, TELUS strives to make giving so easy that one can’t help but get involved. We promote giving back through time, dollars, and skills, enabled through a full suite of always-on programs, engage all areas of the business on ways to participate and challenge each leader to be the champion of TELUS’ social purpose in action. #GiveWhereWeLive.
EFG Note –> Amazon’s Abe Diaz and Save the Children’s Sarah Thompson recently spoke with EFG’s Alli Murphy about gaining stakeholder buy-in and engaging multiple areas of a business in partnerships. Check out their EFG podcast episode when it releases next week (10/24) for more tips!
These insights are part of our monthly EFG Member Newsletter. Interested in becoming a member? Click here to learn more and join over 1000 of your corporate social impact peers!