Creating successful volunteer partnerships between business and nonprofit organizations

Degree Name

MS in Management

First Advisor

Jeff Lewis


Relationships between nonprofits and businesses are evolving and volunteer partnerships are a creative and valuable way to obtain benefits beyond the satisfactions of traditional philanthropy. Business owners are looking for ways to increase employee moral while increasing their market share and keeping employee costs in line. At the same time, many volunteer based nonprofit organizations find themselves competing for funding and volunteers' time in a resource-limited environment. Both parties are moving to create innovative ways to obtain the scarce resources and market advantages they need. A solution that has benefited these two distinct organization cultures is to create a volunteer partnership. Volunteer partnerships unlike traditional business partnerships are based on corporate volunteers working with a nonprofit organization to help achieve the nonprofit's mission. During this case study, nonprofits and businesses involved in a volunteer relationship were interviewed. Information gathered on volunteer partnerships included: initial discovery and background, operational management, and benefits and payoffs. The research concluded in the development of essential needs for successful partnerships, as well as a guide of important questions to ask the other party. Finally, a new model for volunteer partnership was created to show the assets and capabilities of both parties and the benefits to the community these parties can create.

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