You may want to ask a Development staff person, whoever handles corporate relationships, to take the lead on managing this one.
- A common motivation for corporations is getting coverage in TNC's newsletter. Discuss the implications with your Communications staff. What if a partner who has quietly given more for years gets upset about all the publicity around this new relationship? Do you want to set a precedent for publicizing every case of corporate involvement? Cause-Related Marketing at Home Office has guidelines about what benefits TNC will give to corporate partners. Consider developingsome for your chapter.
- Meet with the company's project coordinator, usually someone in Human Resources, to discuss the project. Negotiate with the company (or with the person at HO responsible for coordinating the multi-local TNC-Company agreement) about who will be responsible for what. You might suggest that the company provide any of the media or press coverage that they ask for. Other items to discuss are transportation, food and drinks for volunteers, publicity, and recognition items.
- Scheduling the project on a weekday will increase TNC staff availability, the number (and perhaps morale) of corporate volunteers attending, and will keep you from working yet another weekend.
- Find out if the company has an internal means of recognizing volunteers after a project; support that effort.
The time for creative thinking is now! Many of the companies that offer us work crews are also corporate donors. Some volunteer managers feel that it won't be long before large corporate donors ask us how they can involve their employees with TNC. In addition, the company volunteers could be great resources for future on-call professionals with skills or connections you can use. Finally, as the Conservancy's community-based work matures, working with corporations will become increasingly important. We will continue to get requests and might even consider seeking the relationships ourselves. A good relationship with a large company in a small town will have lasting effects for your chapter.