Guidance for non-profit organisations entering into, and managing, partnerships with profit-making entities, especially companies looking to address social or environmental concerns.
This tool is part of our How to Strengthen Collaboration toolkit for civil society organisations.
The guidance can be used in parallel with our partnering policy tool. It can be used as part of research and preparation for establishing private sector partnerships and then initially how to get the best out of these partnerships.
Framing the opportunities of partnering with profit-making entities
- Significant market opportunities can be available for companies who choose to take new approaches to how their businesses operate in new and emerging markets; for example, reaching new markets and engaging with new producer and consumer groups in developing economies can be essential to remaining competitive
- Not-for-profit organisations seeking to partner with the private sector can capitalise on business’ search for new market opportunities by designing and implementing programmes that bring both business and social gains
- Examples of this include programmes which help companies responsibly generate efficiencies in supply chains, or else create dignified employment opportunities for underserved population groups; this can, and should, include how the private sector can play more of a role enabling people with disabilities to economically thrive and operate within society equally with others
What non-profits bring to the table
- Technical skills, resources and relationships to tackle the social, economic and environmental issues that impact on business activities
- The ability to co-create initiatives with the private sector, from research and design phases to implementing pragmatic, outcome-based solutions to challenges on the ground
- Able to work across multiple industry groups, with every partnership tailored to individual circumstances and needs
- Strong relationships with their partners’ in-house teams, as well as with peers in the CSO community, in order to deliver optimal solutions.
- Ensure clearly defined roles and responsibilities and establish mutual trust and understanding between partners
- Create spaces for learning and evaluation
- Consider how the private sector and public sector can come together in support of social purpose outcomes