By: Lucy Spratlin, Account Director, For Momentum
Corporate development professionals spend the majority of their time and are largely measured on one thing: making the sale. Hours of prospecting, strategy, outreach, calls and negotiation over many months, ultimately leads to the hard work paying off with a partner commitment for a new cause marketing promotion. VICTORY! Make sure your hard work reaches its full potential by dedicating time and resources to cultivate, steward and recognize your new partnerships.
For Momentum’s Cause Partnership Sales Cycle Research shows that it takes much less time to renew existing partners, versus securing new partners from a cold prospect list. Partners that are also raising funds on your behalf in-store have a wide group of stakeholders involved in your campaign’s success. We recently had the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity International in support of their first integrated cause marketing campaign, Home is the Key, and together we put many of these tips into action to recognize and reward store associates.
- Showcase Benefits and Campaign Results: Make it as easy as possible for the corporate contacts who managed your partnerships to highlight your work with their internal colleagues. Regular campaign updates and tangible examples of how the nonprofit promoted the partnership are valuable.
- Leverage your Local Offices: Store associates are perhaps the most important element of a successful retail fundraising campaign. If your organization has offices across the nation, be sure to leverage your organization’s footprint to visit retail locations and thank associates for their dedication to the cause, and gain valuable on-the-ground feedback about how the promotion is being received by consumers. Local staff or volunteers can also serve as “secret shoppers” to surprise and delight associates who remember to ask them for a donation.
- The Power of Thank You: Even if you do not have local offices with staff who can visit each store location, a brief phone call can prove inspiring and meaningful to a store manager and his or her team. Budget time during the campaign to make calls to individual locations to recognize the work that they are doing. It could be just the boost they need to keep asking customers for more donations and to meet their fundraising goal!
- Plan for The Future: Collaborate with your partner to secure feedback from every part of their company so you can better understand how your partnership can continue to evolve and grow over time. Use this feedback to craft plans or renewals for the following year. It’s never too soon to start this process.
Consider budgeting time and resources for your next campaign to make certain your partners feel the recognition and support they deserve.