Let's Talk Levers: Partnership

Let's Talk Levers: Partnership

By: Emily Kane Miller

The Ethos Lever Model: Partnership, Explained

The Ethos Lever Model utilizes fourteen different “Levers” by which an organization can make an impact. Each Lever serves a real opportunity to create value - but when strategically pulled together, result in a powerful and cohesive Social Impact strategy. 

In this blog series, the Ethos team breaks down each Lever - complete with expanded definitions and real-life examples - so you can best understand how to pull the right Levers through your organization's social impact work. See all 14 Levers here.

Lever: Partnership

The Partnership Lever refers to when nonprofits and businesses collaborate to create social impact value that one could not achieve without the other.

Maximize Partnership:

  • Consider your organization’s mission and think about companies or nonprofits that work in similar fields. For example, a clothing company could brainstorm nonprofits that work to donate apparel to unhoused or underserved populations within its community. If a nonprofit focuses on feeding lower-income families, perhaps it could partner up with a local grocery store.
  • As always, create (and utilize) criteria to ensure Partnership efforts are strategically leveraged - as a starting point, all activations should align with at least one other Lever.

Partnership: Two Real-Life Examples

1.Bumble is an Austin-based dating app built to allow women opportunities to create personal connections – dating, friendship, or professional networking. In 2020, they launched a partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, supported by a significant financial commitment to educate and empower young people to prevent abusive domestic relationships. This new partnership is on top of Bumble’s longtime zero-tolerance policy in regard to harassment on their platform. “Through this partnership, we hope to demonstrate our continued commitment to creating healthy relationships on our platform and in our communities,” Bumble Associate Director of Strategy and Social Impact Cybil Zhang said. 

2.Los Angeles-based technology company Snap, Inc., the parent company of social media platform Snapchat, has partnered with nonprofit LA-Tech.org for four years running to create Snap Academies. Through the program, 15 community college students from Los Angeles participate in an eight-week-long, hands-on design training program focused on different aspects of content creation, such as storytelling, engineering, and photography. Students also receive stipends to cover at-home expenses and Wi-Fi costs, and are mentored by Snap employees and LA artists. As 2020 Snap Engineering Academy Scholar Mark Cavelo put it, “I look forward to the chance to work with cool technologies and work in teams to accomplish great things and learn from the best in the industry.”

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