Source 7: Advantages and Barriers of Strategic Partnerships
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Source 7: Advantages and Barriers of Strategic Partnerships



  • Provides one of the most secure sources of ongoing—and often unrestricted—funding
  • Can cover capital and endowment campaigns, as well as seed money or venture capital—unlike most other funding sources
  • Increases public image, visibility, and prestige
  • Can provide expertise and support on how to market your program and special events
  • Usually includes minimal reporting requirements
  • Features a straightforward and simple application process
  • Offers new technology and expertise
  • Provides increased access to other corporations, key community and business leaders, supporters, and potential volunteers
  • Can lead to donations of in-kind services and goods


  • Comes with strings attached
  • Communication can be difficult because of differences in language and culture
  • Takes time and patience to overcome negative stereotypes and historical distrust toward one another
  • Could include power imbalances
  • Includes risk of tarnishing your nonprofit reputation
  • Could hurt charitable contributions and other sources of funding if the relationship is seen as negative
  • Could risk your nonprofit tax status if the deal is not structured correctly
  • May generate misgivings among staff, board members, and other volunteers
  • Requires personal contacts to forge a partnership
  • Requires considerable ongoing attention and recognition of your partners’ support
  • May invite too much control from the business
  • Requires careful monitoring because corporations can undergo significant changes every year

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