Today’s economic climate has nonprofits scrambling – for donors, new ideas, survival. This is compounded by the reality that people’s perception of nonprofits just may not be what you want them to be. Nonprofit Revolution NOW recently asked 125 nonprofit, entertainment, technology, education and business professionals, along with donors, ” What is the public perception of the American nonprofit sector?” The answers were chilling. In sum, they saw nonprofits as do-gooders with no business sense asking for money all the time, but not letting you know where your money is going. Hmm. . . Nonprofits were not exactly seen in a positive light. Although these are perceptions, perceptions become reality. And that reality may prevent a nonprofit organization from moving forward with donors. What better way for a nonprofit to build the RIGHT perception than networking.
Networking Can Play A Key Role For Nonprofits
Networking allows nonprofits to share their story in one-on-one conversations. This type of personal communication provides an exceptional opportunity to evoke positive emotional responses. It is the type of networking events, however, that will make all the difference.
The usual, customary for profit networking events are often one sided, leaving little room for nonprofits to find new friends. Seeing this disconnect in the Hudson Valley, a group which included myself, felt a need to bring both sectors together in a way that was not being done. The B2BBash was created. It offers a new way for businesses and nonprofits to MINGLE TOGETHER. Networking parties are held after work at nightclubs, lounges and other cool venues. It combines the best of networking with the best in socializing with the best venues. As the nonprofit liaison bringing organizations to the event to meet, mingle, flirt and date with the local businesses, I find it is a great way to inspire and build upon corporate social responsibility!
A New Way To Network
The Bash, which is attended by business owners, professionals and nonprofit organizations, is designed for all types – from networking newbies to the experienced. For seasoned networkers there is an open networking format where you can meet as many people as time permits. For those who are new to networking, or just want a more targeted approach, there is facilitated networking – similar to speed dating. If you just want to talk business in a relaxed atmosphere, you can do that too. A key part of The Bash is that it features one nonprofit partner for each event, which receives visibility and the opportunity to promote their mission and cause, a great way to highlight your organization.
These FUN events offer a different way to create a positive perception and build new relationships. Nonprofits are businesses, whether large or small, that now need to reach out to others. Organizations can no longer rely on one donor – the government. The new reality asks new things. As Gary Wexler from the Nonprofit Revolution Now says, “No single nonprofit is immune from the perception of the sector as a whole.” The time has come to network outside of your sector and turn that perception into a positive one.
Recent Bashes in Dutchess and Ulster Counties have been hugely successful. The next B2BBash will be held at the Gansevoort in Manhattan. To the best of our knowledge, the B2BBash is the one and only two sector event “happening.”