In a world that divided religion and politics, some businesses opt out of partnering with faith-based institutions. While there is plenty in play, including who the demographic is and what the nature of the market is some consider this hesitation a lost opportunity. How can the business world and religious institutions partner for the greater good of the communities they serve?
The heart of it should be the people and ensuring that their needs are met. With this focus, here is how both entities can navigate the partnership.
Focus on the building of a relationship based on mutual respect
Both the business and the faith-based institution have their guiding beliefs. They might not all align, but have enough similar values to build on. Each party has to be intentional and abide by them to avoid causing friction. Though there might be a different way of looking at things- or even arriving at the same conclusion- remember to find balance. Learn what each can compromise without affecting the overall functioning of each entity. Respect comes with not imposing and keeping open communication channels for hard conversations.
Learn from each other
Keeping an open mind is indeed an essential part in partnership. Consider a web development company sharing tools with a local Christian charity. It would be tempting of both to try and educate the other over what is new in the market. What could follow is an instance of adopting new technology without looking at how they plug into their demographic. Each person should approach the other with an open mind and a willingness to learn something new. Equally, learn to adapt, especially if everything is very new.
Device a common vision
When partnering, there’s an awareness that it ought to be mutually beneficial. You, therefore, want to put together a strategic plan that reflects the partnership and its mission. Having this document keeps your efforts focus and offers a mechanism that fosters accountability. It also lets both parties work from their strengths as roles will be clearly defined. The entire strategy should reflect a spirit of partnership, where either party feels inferior and the other overworked.
Partnerships can be challenging, especially when there are strong affiliations to faith or political party. However, companies can still work together to bring impact. Ideal examples are corporates that work with faith-based non-profit organizations that operate as first-responders during catastrophes. It has been done globally you only need to find the right partner to forge a path with.