Nonprofit organizations looking for a boost in activity should consider a partnership with a startup business. Whether the charity is looking to expand its donor base, increase funding or enhance awareness of its mission, reaching out to local startups is a viable option.
Startups and doing good
Today, many startup businesses are incorporating social responsibility into their operations early on in the company’s life. ReCode reported that corporate social responsibility is typically viewed as a large corporation writing a giant check to an organization of its choosing. That is slowly changing as members of younger generations begin building their own companies from the ground up. Small for-profits are embracing a leaner startup framework that allows them to give back sooner rather than later.
Salesforce began devoting 1 percent of its time, equity and products to charitable institutions about 15 years ago. Called the 1-1-1 model, many other businesses have caught on and are also implementing this strategy into their company structure. Since Salesforce was founded, it has contributed over $73 million in grants and more than 743,000 hours of service in communities around the country, according to the Salesforce Foundation website. While Salesforce is no longer considered a startup, its model is clearly a great launching pad for small businesses looking to make a difference.
Another driving factor to incorporating social good in with startups is millennials. Young adults born between 1980 and the mid-2000s have already considered social impact as part of their livelihoods. Many startup businesses are headed by millennials who place a high value humanitarian efforts and want to improve conditions for others. They see success not merely as a calculated financial figure, but as a well-rounded experience and presence that a business can bring to its community.
Combining forces from the start
There are also opportunities for the nonprofit and startup worlds to work as one. Nancy Lublin is both an entrepreneur and an advocate for social good. Wake Forest’s student newspaper, Old Gold & Black, reported on Lublin’s recent speech to students about her experiences as a nonprofit entrepreneur. Last year, she was one of Fortune’s “50 Most Influential Leaders.” This year she will continue her work on two charitable startups, Something, a charity that helps connect youth with volunteer opportunities, and Crisis Text Line, a service for teens in need.
Lublin provided a terrific example for Wake Forest students of the effect one entrepreneur can have on the vast nonprofit sector. Organizations should embrace this aspect of operations if they have not already.
Managing the partnership
Charities looking to partner with a startup business can benefit from document management software. A system that enables streamlined communication with donors, more accurate accounting practices and reliable volunteer tracking procedures can dramatically enhance a nonprofit’s success. Even if an organization has not yet partnered with a for-profit business or sponsor, document management software can help the entire fundraising life cycle move smoothly and more deliberately, as this type of platform make accumulating data and generating reports incredibly simple.