Complete an asset map of your surrounding community resources. An asset map is a tool used to take a first-hand look at organizations, local businesses, and community resources in your surrounding area. It allows the person/organization that is conducting the exercise to look at their immediate surroundings from another viewpoint. What you have once thought of as an empty parking lot can also be seen as the future site of an urban garden. Asset mapping will lead you to identifying schools, mom & pop shops, gas stations, churches, etc. - all of which can be assets to a community, and to a nonprofit organization. These entities are your community stakeholders, and although their purpose may vary greatly from your nonprofit, they are also vested in the community because it affects them too. There are many tools you can use to complete this exercise. Here is a FREE asset mapping guide created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Neighborhood Networks initiative to get you started. I've personally used this before while providing technical assistance to nonprofit computer learning centers through HUD, and it is pretty thorough.
Branded Out Loud defines an elevator pitch as a "short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition (the unique value you offer)." When you are conducting your follow up or cold calls about your organization, or even when you are out networking, it will be important to get the same type of information that is in your introductory letter into a verbal pitch. Again, keep timing in mind, and remember to touch on key tidbits... enough to make the other party interested in learning more. If you can not successfully peak a person's interest about your organization in less than 1-2 minutes, you may want to to go back to the drawing board. Don't know how to make your elevator pitch more concise? Take a moment to visit Branded Out Loud's blog post, The New and Improved Nonprofit Elevator Pitch to guide you through this step.
Identifying, cultivating, and solidifying strategic partnerships for your organization can bring about excellent benefits to your organization. Incorporating these steps into your strategic planning for developing partnerships will give you a great foundation for laying the groundwork to get the ball rolling!