Non-profit partnerships for social enterprise: 5 ways to generate money & do good

May 10, 2023
5 min read
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Unlike most people tend to believe, generating money whilst doing good in the world is possible. The question remains how to do this since the challenge has been profit motives always outweighing the social impact generated. It’s about clearly defining your goals and objectives and applying proven ways of generating income and doing good to your business. Remember that, with a variety of options to choose from you have to find the best fit for your business.

Non-profit partnerships can be a valuable tool for social enterprises to generate income while making a positive impact. 

This blog discusses five ways that non-profit organizations can partner with social enterprises to generate revenue while also doing good. It provides practical examples and insights for creating successful partnerships that benefit both parties.

1. Corporate Sponsorship

In today’s world, many companies are looking to align their brands with socially responsible initiatives, making them more likely to support social enterprises. Take time to research companies interested in socially responsible initiatives. You can identify this by taking a look at  their mission, goals and objectives for their business or even as part of a reformation. Partnering with corporations can provide a significant source of funding for your non-profits. In addition to funding, partnering with corporations can also bring other benefits to non-profits. Here are some ways in which corporate sponsorship can be advantageous:

  • Access to expertise: Corporations often have employees with specialized skills and knowledge that can be valuable to you. For example, a tech company may offer to help you with website design or social media strategy.
  • Increased visibility: Partnering with a well-known corporation can increase the visibility of your brand and message. This can lead to greater public awareness and support for your non-profit's cause which can help you generate money in the long run.
  • Networking opportunities: Collaborating with corporations can also provide non-profits with access to new networks and potential partners. This can lead to new funding opportunities, as well as opportunities for collaboration on future projects.

It's important to note that you have to carefully vet potential corporate partners to ensure that their values and goals align. A strong partnership can be mutually beneficial, but it's important to make sure that the partnership is a good fit for both parties.

2. Grant Funding

Grant funding can be a game-changer for you, and can help you make a greater impact in your community. There are many organizations that have grants available that you can apply for to support your cause. It’s all about researching and finding those that align with your initiative. Check if you’re eligible to apply and put together a great application. Grant funding can be a reliable source of income and help further your organization's mission.

As a non-profit, you can apply for a variety of grants to support your social enterprise initiatives. There are several types of grants that you can apply for depending on your focus and goals. Some common categories of grants include:

  • Government grants: These are grants provided by government agencies at the local, state, or federal level. They can be highly competitive, but can provide substantial funding for you.
  • Foundation grants: These are grants provided by private foundations and can range from small grants to larger, multi-year grants. Private foundations often have specific areas of focus, so it's important for you to research and target foundations that align with your mission.
  • Corporate grants: These are grants provided by corporations as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives. They can be a great source of funding for your non-profit, and can also provide opportunities for partnerships and collaborations with corporations.

It's important for you to do your research and find the grants that are the best fit for your organization and its goals. 

3. Social Impact Bonds

Social Impact Bonds have gained popularity in recent years due to their potential to address social challenges while providing a return on investment. This innovative financing model involves partnerships between private investors, social service providers, and government agencies. 

How it works 

Investors provide funding to social enterprises, and if certain social outcomes are achieved, the government pays back the investors with interest. The involvement of private investors in funding social services can help to bridge the gap between public and private sectors, allowing for innovative solutions to social problems.

The good thing is by linking financial returns to social outcomes, social impact bonds incentivize service providers to focus on achieving measurable results. While social impact bonds have the potential to be a powerful tool for social change, they are not without their challenges. Critics have raised concerns over the potential for profit motives to outweigh social impact. However, constantly monitoring your social initiative can help you keep this in check.  

4. Crowdfunding & Donations

Online crowdfunding platforms can be a powerful way to raise funds and awareness for your social enterprise initiatives. You can create compelling campaigns and encourage supporters to donate and share your message.

Donations can come in many forms, including cash and you can use these donations to support your programs and services, as well as cover operational expenses.

Have a clear and compelling message that resonates with your audience. Crowdfunding can be an effective way to engage with a wider audience and build a community around your cause. By leveraging social media and other online channels, you can reach potential donors and supporters who may not have been aware of your work otherwise.

In addition to raising funds, crowdfunding can also help you build relationships with donors and supporters. Keep donors informed about the progress of your campaigns and the impact of their contributions, so you can create a sense of transparency and accountability that builds trust and loyalty. Ensure that any donations or sponsorships you accept aligns with your mission and values.

Building relationships with donors and sponsors is key to long-term sustainability. Connect with donors and start your crowdfunding campaign today! To learn more about crowdfunding and crowdfunding platforms, take a look at 10 Must-Have Tools for Any Social Enterprise where we dive deep into some crowdfunding platforms available and the benefits you can expect from using them. 

5. Social Enterprise Partnerships

Partner with other social enterprises that can help you create a network of support and opportunities. Collaborating with like-minded organizations can help multiply the impact of your social enterprise initiatives.

When you partner with other social enterprises, you can pool your resources and tackle bigger projects that you might not have been able to do alone. This can lead to greater impact and a wider reach for your initiatives.

Social enterprises often have expertise in different areas, so partnering with like-minded organizations can help you learn new skills and knowledge.  You can also access new networks of supporters, advocates, and potential beneficiaries. This can help raise the awareness of your social enterprise initiatives and expand your reach. Ultimately, you’re able to address a wide range of social and environmental issues, including poverty, inequality, climate change, access to healthcare and education and generate more income for your projects by collaborating with other social enterprises. 


In conclusion, we have highlighted various ways you can partner with social enterprises to generate income while also making a positive impact in your community. These partnerships range from corporate  partnerships to social enterprise partnerships and can be customized to fit the unique needs and goals of each organization. When the strengths and resources of both non-profits and social enterprises are leveraged, these kinds of  partnerships have the potential to create sustainable positive change.

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