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How to build great CSR partnerships: 5 rules from DevEx

Finding the 'right' partner is just the beginning. Managing the relationship can make or break a great project. <a href="">o5com (flickr)</a>
Finding the 'right' partner is just the beginning. Managing the relationship can make or break a great project. o5com (flickr)

When corporations begin to look at high-functioning social responsibility partnerships, DevEx has identified 5 keys to keep them on the right track.

At the Business Civic Leadership Center’s conference on emerging markets in late November, corporations, nonprofits, and international donors gathered to discuss the most effective aspects of successful corporate social responsibility partnerships.

Perhaps the most important key is candidness.

“One of the biggest challenges is uncovering what the other party’s priorities are, so we can start to have a tactical conversation about whether a partnership makes sense,” said Yasmina Zaidman, director of communications and strategic partnerships at the Acumen Fund. “If your goals are to increase brand equity and improve staff retention, don’t shy away from saying that.”

Corporations in particular are sometimes hesitant to share the business drivers behind their desire to invest in development work, and instead talk more generally about a desire to do good.

The other four keys identified by DevEx include:

  • Ensuring the people at the center of the partnership are comfortable with fluid processes
  • Learning the language of the potential partner
  • Creating "multiple high-level interconnections among all the key players" rather than relying on one point person
  • Keeping the end goal in mind: impact at scale.

Read more about DevEx's 5 keys here.

RESOURCE: Business Civic Leadership Center 2012 Global Corporate Citizenship Conference

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