By Jaidyn Crookston | May 24, 2022 | 7 Minute Read

How to Run a Successful Partnership with a Nonprofit Organization

Bank employees partnering with a nonprofit organization

Creating and maintaining relationships in your community is one of the most important things you can do as a bank or credit union community specialist. Your financial institution probably has a wide variety of formal and informal community partnerships, and chances are that you’ve built, or plan to build, relationships with nonprofit organizations. 

 

Your nonprofit relationships serve to support the community, help those in need, and (possibly) receive CRA credit, but it can be difficult for a financial institution to take full advantage of this partnership. Here are some ways your bank or credit union can run a successful partnership with a nonprofit organization.

 

 

Work with a nonprofit that closely aligns with your institution’s strengths

 

There are likely hundreds of nonprofit organizations in your area. But that doesn’t mean you should form a partnership with just any nonprofit that comes your way. 

 

Instead, work with nonprofits that align with your institution’s strengths. For example, if your institution specializes in commercial lending, you could partner with an organization that helps minorities or immigrants start a business.

 

You can partner with more than one kind of nonprofit, but you should still be selective when forming partnerships. This will help your institution stick to its values and be effective in making a difference. 

 

In 2020, North American Savings Bank (NASB) was looking for a way to responsibly repurpose decommissioned computer equipment. They partnered with PCs for People, a nonprofit that recycles and refurbishes used electronics. Working together, NASB and PCs for People refurbished the donated equipment and gave it to local community organizations. This partnership was a good match for both businesses, as it kept hundreds of computers out of the landfill and supported NASB’s efforts to close the digital divide felt by LMI communities. Read the rest of the story here. 

 

 

Set clear goals

 

One problem some financial institutions run into is that they aren’t quite sure what to do with their new nonprofit partner. To avoid this, make sure you set clear goals and expectations when working with each nonprofit. If your partnership is forged under the agreement that your institution will donate $10,000 per year and your nonprofit partner will host seven events with your team, write this down and make sure it happens. 

 

In 2020, Veritex Community Bank wanted to help local nonprofits get exposure during the worldwide pandemic. Courtney Taylor (Senior VP and Community Development Officer) and her team made a goal to help 50 nonprofit organizations. Their plan was to work with local TV stations and air commercials promoting each nonprofit partner, which was a huge success. Without a clear goal in place and a plan to achieve this goal, these nonprofits wouldn’t have had the support or reach they needed. Read the rest of the story here.

 

Track your goals

 

Another way to stay on target and get the most out of your partnership is to track everything you do. Take the goals you made together and put numbers to them. As your partnership progresses, track those numbers. 

 

Is your goal to raise $5,000 by promoting the nonprofit to your social media followers? Track these donations and frequently update your team, the nonprofit’s team, and your social media followers.  

 

You can easily track your institution’s goals, donations, investments, volunteer efforts, and more with Kadince. Instead of spending hours tracking this data in various spreadsheets, Kadince keeps all your community involvement data in one place. Now you can see the big picture of your impact and know where you need to spend a little more effort. 

 

 

Document progress and share

 

When you forge a new partnership, share the news! Share it with your team, on social media, in a press release, in a newsletter, and more. 

 

If there’s ever an update or event, share this as well. You can share pictures, stories, and stats. Your employees, customers/members, and the community will be interested and may even ask how to get involved. 

 

Isabella Bank is a great example of this principle. After the bank’s annual Compassion Into Action event (where all bank employees spend the day volunteering at various nonprofits), a highlight video is made with pictures, interviews, and videos of employees serving their community. Isabella Bank shares this video on social media, internally, with community members, and more. Because Isabella Bank does such a good job spreading the word and documenting this event, the community has come to view bank employees as people who give back to the community. Read the rest of the story here.

 

 

Give employees a chance to participate

 

Whether your institution has a formal volunteer policy or not, partnering with nonprofits is an opportunity for your employees to volunteer and get involved. 

 

Encouraging employees to volunteer will build internal support for nonprofit partnerships and show the nonprofit that your institution cares and is committed to the relationship. 

 

For example, Northern Bank’s partnership with nonprofit Heading Home gives employees the chance to participate. Heading Home gives families experiencing homelessness a place to live and a way to get back on their feet. Northern Bank employees are able to volunteer and donate what the family needs in their new home, including furniture, food, decorations, toys, and more. Employees love this partnership and often ask when their next chance to participate will be. Read the rest of the story here.  

 

Continue the relationship 

 

So many financial institutions partner with a nonprofit and hold an event only to never continue the relationship. Don’t let this be you. If you’ve taken the time to build a relationship with the nonprofit and it has been mutually beneficial, you don’t want to lose it. 

 

To avoid a forgotten partnership, create plans for an annual event or fundraiser with each of your nonprofit partners. By holding an annual event, you’ll ensure that communication, and your relationship, continues. 

 

So whether you’ve had partnerships with nonprofits in the past or you’re preparing for your first one, follow these tips and you’ll find yourself in a mutually beneficial partnership that may last for years to come. 

 

And if you want to learn more about how Kadince streamlines the way you track and manage all your community involvement data, schedule a personalized demo.

 



None of Kadince, Inc., its affiliates, or its respective employees, directors, officers, and agents (collectively, “Kadince”) are responsible or liable for any content or information incorporated herein. Read full disclosure.


Jaidyn Crookston | Content Manager, Kadince


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