Donors receive numerous proposals for a partnership with non-profit organizations.
However, their selection criteria for a partnership in any project is dependent on four main elements explained below.
When determining the appropriate partner for a partnership in any project, foundations look for the available organizations from various sources. To ensure that your non-profit is visible, an effort has to be put in putting the organization in these strategic places. It begins from the government registration bureaus for non-profits. Registration of a not-for-profit organization with the various government(s) authorities should be reflective of the organization’s intentions. For example, a foundation that seeks to work with an organization at the state level will start by checking the specific state records as opposed to checking the records of the local or federal governments first. Other efforts to make an organization visible to the foundations include listing in the various directories from different stakeholders and in various manifests and databases online and offline. It is also important for an organization to publicize its activities using the various media appropriately.
There are numerous non-profits providing services or claiming to provide services across different areas. In an industry that is almost crowded, it is important to present your organization’s brand and strategy in a unique manner, different from what the rest are doing. A unique approach to providing solutions and services is what donors and other development partners look at before teaming up in a project. The positioning statement of the organization is key to providing an explanation of the manner in which the organization is different from others in the same field.
Before responding to the proposals of an organization, a foundation is likely to investigate the capabilities of the proposing organization on several fronts. The first is the human resource capacity regarding the existing skills, competencies, and professional experience of the leadership and staff of the organization. Another front where capacity is investigated is the social capacity available and the social capacity required for the implementation of a particular project. This includes establishing the extent of the local network that the organization has and the numbers of staff. The investigation of an organization’s capacity is critical for any foundation seeking to develop a partnership with the organization because it highlights the ability of the organization to efficiently utilize the funds and most importantly deliver on the goals and objectives of the projected using prudent management practices.
4. Culture and values
This is a critical component of any organization which donors use as one of the considerations before selecting their partners. It is interesting to note here that not all development partners have to agree with their partner’s values and hence at times partners agree to work together while acknowledging an acceptance of differences. However, there has to be shared values and understanding in the way of working with “can-do” values for a successful partnership. This is fostered by the mutual respect and enthusiasm exhibited by the development partners without reinforcing status barriers. With this mentioned, the communication loop is a major consideration with the foundation seeking.
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