Last week, we had the privilege of attending an event cosponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The event shared the University of Miami’s work at Little Salt Spring, uncovering prehistoric remains in south Sarasota County. Attendees at the standing-room-only event were members of the Community Foundation’s Legacy Society and Rosenstiel alumni.
While I ate my plantain and bacon skewer, I identified these win-win outcomes for the event’s cosponsors.
For the Community Foundation of Sarasota:
- An interesting program about a local resource for Legacy members as a benefit for their continued relationship with the Foundation
- An opportunity to meet local University of Miami graduates and share with them the Foundation’s work
- Open the door to future partnerships with University’s’ advancement office and explore using the joint program model with other institutions
For the University of Miami:
- Offer an onsite program to the many University of Miami graduates in the greater Sarasota area
- Share an interesting project in need of funding for its next phase with alumni and Sarasota philanthropists
- Open the door to future partnerships with other community foundations across the state
- Enhanced name recognition in the Sarasota area for freshmen recruitment efforts
How can you use this model, or elements of it, in your nonprofit to grow and expand your relationships with people who potentially care about your mission? Consider these questions to help you identify potential partners and programs:
1. Which universities or colleges either local or outside your area have a large alumni presence in your community? Or if you are a college, where do you have a large alumni presence?
2. For any college or university you identify, does the college have a distinguished speaker or project in your field locally? For the college, what connections do you have with that community?
3. Can you offer an education program using their resources at your site to appeal to your donors/community and to their alumni?
4. If no, what other possibilities for interactions are there to create win-wins for future partnerships?
For more on partnerships see: Added Value February 2010