Can Corporate Sponsorships Harm Nonprofit Brands?

money-dollarsjpg public domain image
Public domain image

A study by Kings College and Vlerick Business school has found that corporate sponsorships have negative impacts on nonprofit organizations. Since I co-chair the board for a small nonprofit about to embark on a new round of fund development, I’m curious about how various sources of support–including corporate–will impact the organization. Danielle Holly writes:

Organizations accepting significant funding from companies are seen as compromising their artistic and strategic freedom as part of the package. While this may or may not be true, and likely varies from organization to organization, this is a case where perception matters more than reality.

So when you decide to accept a donation, keep in mind that it’s not just a matter of what “strings” may or may not be attached, but how the public views your relationship to donors. Read more of Holly’s article, “Study Finds that Corporate Sponsorships Negatively Impact Nonprofit Brands” in the NonProfit Quarterly.


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