[caption id="attachment_16530" align="alignnone" width="448"] 2013 Giving is Living Award Winner, Mark Lowry of OC Food Bank, with the 2014 winners, Sharon Ellis of Habitat for Humanity and Sherry Caraway of the Home Depot Foundation, and OneOC President Dan McQuaid.[/caption]
Gone are the days where companies blindly write and hand over a check to an organization and then call it a day. Today, companies want strategic partnerships with organizations that share the same values and goals so that they can work together to produce more impactful results. Because companies are actively seeking ways to not only “do good” in our communities but to also demonstrate excellent corporate citizenship, nonprofits have more opportunities to partner up with companies and amplify their work in the community.
For our Giving is Living Award this year, OneOC asked Orange County nonprofits and their for-profit partners to tell us about their collaborative projects that generated results beyond what each party could have otherwise achieved alone.
Our judges evaluated all the nominees on several criteria, including the quality and innovation of collaboration, how the partnership leveraged volunteerism to further the mission of the nonprofit, and how each party measured its impact on the community.
Although the 34 nominations we received were all outstanding, one stood out above the rest. On April 9, 2014 at our Spirit of Volunteerism Awards, we honored Home Depot and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County with our Giving is Living Award in recognition of the two organizations’ exemplary collaborative effort called “Veterans Build” that culminated in the repair of 30 veterans’ homes.
The Home Depot Foundation’s mission to ensure that every veteran has a safe place to call home complemented Habitat OC’s goal to serve veterans and their families through home construction and home repairs. Habitat OC’s veteran outreach activities and resources in the community coupled with the Home Depot’s financial and skills-based volunteering support allowed the two organizations to form a meaningful and productive partnership that provided a tangible service to veterans.
Both Habitat OC and the Home Depot found reward and satisfaction in combining complementary strengths that accomplished great results.
“Partnering with Home Depot allowed us to better serve our community,” said Sharon Ellis, CEO/President of Habitat OC, “Home Depot offered not only funding, but the additional manpower and skill we were able to use to build more houses.”
Ellis, who looks forward to continuing a long-term relationship with the Home Depot, encourages nonprofits to form strategic partnerships with companies.
“Find a company that shares similar visions, and try out the partnership on a small scale,” Ellis advises, “Know what each partner will bring to the overall mission, and then move forward from there.”
Habitat OC and the Home Depot demonstrate that by working together, we all have the potential to achieve so much more for our community.
Does your organization have a partnership with any businesses?