Friday, August 12, 2011

Nonprofits And For-Profits: Can They Work Together?

Note: This is a summary of a story in the latest episode of The NonProfit Times TV

Nonprofits and for-profit corporations sometimes have an uncomfortable partnership of money and mission.  This hasn't been the case with Livestrong, the charity founded by champion cyclist Lance Arsmtrong.  The organization has had a long and successful history of positive relationships with corporate sponsors.  The NonProfit Times TV recently caught up with Chris Brewer, senior manager of development communications at Livestrong, and found out why they have been so successful in these sometimes challenging partnerships: (NOTE: These interview highlights have been paraphrased)

NPTtv: How does Livestrong go about finding corporate sponsorships?

Chris Brewer: Livestrong makes sure that the sponsors they are working with don't just want to slap their brand on something.  They want their partnerships to be more than just the corporation writing a check to them; They want them to be engaged.  Brewer cites their relationship with Nike as an example of their ideal corporate sponsor.  They have not only been able to create a successful line of merchandise using the Livestrong brand, but they have also delivered the organization's message across the globe.

NPTtv: What can the average nonprofit learn from the way Livestrong uses Lance Armstrong?

CB: Brewer reminds listeners that Lance was not that well known an athlete when the organization first started.  He also tells nonprofits that they have to make sure that if they do use a celebrity to promote their organization, they have to make sure it's the right fit.  You can't just assume because the person is a celebrity that they will help your cause.

Check out the full interview with Chris Brwer at The NonProfit Times TV.

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