• Emily Rothberg

    The challenge you pose is real for some nonprofits and some companies for sure. Well-intentioned businesses know community involvement has become tablestakes, but sometimes lack the knowledge to develop and manage their employee volunteer programs. When well-intentioned nonprofits are too “nice” to push back, or are afraid of upsetting their corporate patrons, that’s a recipe for failure, or at least passive-aggressive behavior. Like any strong partnership — think of what it takes for a good marriage work – lack of communication is a recipe for disaster. Strategic nonprofit-corporate partnerships require a relationship of equals. Nonprofits can’t just tolerate poor volunteer habits because they’re afraid of hurting the feelings of their corporate funders. How about saying – this isn’t working – how can we sit down together to define success? Let’s work on a partnership that will help you accomplish your business objectives, help us serve our clients and community, and we’re both stronger as a result? Moving beyond a “charity” mentality – of corporate givers and nonprofit recipients – would be a good first step. I welcome thoughts on a recent blog posting: Changing the Charity Conversation: http://www.emilyrothberg.com/changing-the-charity-conversation/