Corporation Solicitation Programs – Part 2 of 3: Not For Every Nonprofit

Sections of this topic

    In considering the creation of a corporate solicitation program (a CSP), the first questions I’d ask of a nonprofit is whether they realize that only five-percent of all “charitable” giving to nonprofits comes from corporations, and (considering “return-on-investment”) how much of their time, energy and assets do they want to dedicate to this effort?

    Whether the NPO does or does not deal with that basic concept, the major issue in creating a CSP is evaluating whether the NPO can do it successfully.

    The planning process begins with the questions: How do corporations view your NPO? Do they see a history of good service to the community and good fiscal management? Do they see a history of other corporations supporting your NPO and getting the “quid pro quo” that they want? How do they know they’ll get what they want if they support you? Do you have a mission/program/service that dovetails with a corporation’s mission and/or product/service line?

    Corporate fundraising is about the needs of the corporation; and a corporation’s needs are pretty much about their bottom line – they have stockholders they must satisfy.

    If supporting an NPO gives them good visibility and good credibility, that would likely result in increased sales of their products/services. A corporation might give to be a good member of the community, or just to appear to be a good member of the community. But a corporation would certainly not give, if giving would hurt their bottom line.

    Corporate fundraising is also about the needs of the corporate officers and board members – what will they (personally) get out of having their corporation support you!! That becomes more of an issue of individual cultivation – getting one or more of those people to see how supporting you will benefit them, and getting them, therefore, to become your (?) advocate within the corporation.

    So, the first step in the process is determining if a CSP can/would work for your NPO. Once you’ve done the study to determine that, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of help you might need to implement/expand your CSP.


    Have a comment or a question about starting or expanding your fundraising program, your corporate solicitation program, major gifts fundraising program or a capital campaign? Email me at With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs and the planning studies to precede these three, we’ll be happy to answer your question.