Foundation vice president weighs in on establishing successful corporate partnerships with non-profits

Dan Lambe, vice president of programs for the Arbor Day Foundation, offered his insight on forming successful corporate partnerships with non-profits in a recent article for the daily trade publication, Environmental Leader.

In this article, Lambe highlights several of the Arbor Day Foundation’s programs that are flourishing thanks to corporate partners and states that “corporations can further their environmental missions by forming strong and lasting conservation-oriented partnerships.”

He then outlines four key recommendations when forming conservation-oriented corporate partnerships.

Lambe’s first recommendation notes the critical importance of making a sustained commitment. He explains that, “companies assisting with replanting in national and state forests often pledge to support decades-long efforts as needs arise, rather than a one-time project that may result in less of a lasting impact”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a great example of a partner that has made a sustained commitment. Enterprise commemorated its 50th anniversary in 2007 by forming a long-term partnership with the Foundation to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years, for a gift totaling more than $50 million dollars.So far, nearly seven million trees have been planted.

Lambe’s second recommendation for corporate partners is “to come to the table with ideas on a potential niche,” adding:

Many smaller partners, for instance, choose to support replanting in neighborhoods or state and national forests close to their headquarters. Many larger partners are interested in larger projects that command national attention.

Toyota, the sponsor of the Tree Campus USA program has a particular interest in engaging young people in sustainability, Lambe points out.

The essential support from Toyota for the Tree Campus USA program develops the connection between the college student niche and the environment through tree planting events and recognition on college and university campuses.

Corporate partners recognize the positive impact that playing an active role in conservation efforts has on their customer base. A corporation that does not make a strong effort to be socially responsible will ultimately have a harder time doing business in the future.

Lambe’s third recommendation puts forth the requirement that “effective partners bring local contacts and credibility to initiatives. For big events, employees and their networks can serve as a volunteer base,” says Lambe. “Most corporate partners also maintain strong relationships with the media and can open the door to new visibility.”

The fourth recommendation advocates that “tree planting is an ideal project because it is unifying,” with Lambe adding that “a tree-planting mission is able to rise above political conflicts and achieve significant outcomes for corporations and non profits alike.”

Read the entire article here.

Enterprise to run ad during Olympics touting 50-Million Tree Pledge, partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation

When you tune in for the 2012 London Olympics starting tomorrow, keep an eye out for an advertisement from Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, that features their 50-Million-Tree Pledge.

The pledge is an aggressive, multi-year partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service to plant 50 million trees in high-need national and state forests. Nearly seven million trees have been planted so far.

The newly-planted trees are crucial to protecting wildlife habitat, recreational benefits and clean water for millions of Americans.

Enterprise has been one of the Foundation’s stand-out corporate partners, and we look forward to continuing the relationship for decades to come.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the company’s hometown newspaper, reported on the ad buy this week, noting that the spot is slated to run from July 27 through August 12, including during closing ceremonies.

The full story includes an early viewing of the 60-second spot, which contains gorgeous footage of national forests. A shorter 30-second spot will also be in rotation. Learn more about the 50-Million Tree Pledge here.