The Role of Brokers in Partnerships
Partnership brokers may facilitate and guide the partnership process by interpreting one party to another or negotiating agreements. A broker’s specific technical expertise and familiarity with the local or sectoral culture may also be useful when developing a community business partnership.
The number of partnership brokers in Australia is testament to the role they play, particularly in supporting smaller NFPs that need to ‘outsource’ due to capacity constraints, or to seek counsel, connections and expertise.
Partnership brokers often play an important role in ‘matching’ schools and business, using their expertise to establish aligned relationships.
WynBay LLEN partnership brokers follow the principles of interest-based negotiation to:
- build trust between the partners;
- reveal underlying interests;
- widen the options for solutions;
- achieve agreement between the partners that satisfy interests and adds value to organisations.
Partnership brokers are also helpful to corporations that have recently entered the community investment arena, and for smaller businesses that require external assistance.
Brokers are more important for NFP organisations that don’t have the relevant internal resource.
The number of brokers in the corporate community partnership area, working with corporations and NFPs, suggests demand remains strong for the services of brokers.
Figure 1.1 highlights the motivations of not-for-profit organisations engaging with brokers. The results indicate 42 per cent of respondent not-for-profit organisations use broker organisations or other intermediaries to secure funding.
Significantly, only 3 per cent of NFP organisations stated that they have more confidence in achieving results if a broker is involved.
This result may reflect that 42 per cent of NFPs indicate that fundraising — a time-intensive and resource-exacting activity — is the main reason their organisation works with brokers, effectively outsourcing an activity that if conducted in-house would distract too much from core mission, but which if they had the resources, they could conduct effectively.
Fig 1.1: Motivations of not-for-profit organisations to work with brokers
Survey question: What is the main reason that your organisation works with intermediaries/brokers?