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When Business and Nonprofits Partner, Communities Thrive

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By Shelia Bravo

Sheila Bravo
President & CEO of DANA

Businesses and nonprofits are both integral parts of our communities. Businesses provide the public with needs and services that make communities attractive places to live and raise families. Nonprofits add to those communities by contributing to the local economy in ways businesses do not and filling in the gaps where private industry cannot. It is a unique partnership between the two – and when in lock step – it’s benefits not only the dance partners, but the communities they serve.

Nonprofits create healthy local economies in more ways than one can count – through arts and cultural offerings, child- and school- related educational programming, help for the homeless, care for seniors, the disadvantaged, and even animals, to name a few. All services that make for vibrant communities where people want to live and work.

Just like the business community, nonprofits face challenges related to running their businesses – especially in 2020. Business is down – or up in the case of nonprofits who serve the neediest in our communities, fundraising has taken a huge hit, revenue streams have all but dried up, and nonprofits have been forced to be inventive (usually at a cost) when it comes to delivering their services. Nonprofits are simply businesses with a different mission and IRS classification – with the same obstacles and struggles.

And, nonprofits depend on their community partners – local businesses – for operational support. Nonprofits use the services and products of local businesses every day – accounting, HR and payroll services, advertising and printing, cleaning, software/hardware. The list is long. All of these businesses are vendors to nonprofits. Nonprofits need their local businesses.

So, in 2021, if your business serves a nonprofit or is in a community with an active nonprofit presence, consider investing in an Associate or Alliance Partner membership with DANA, the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement. Not only will your business reap the rewards and perks* of being a DANA member, but you will be investing in the long-term health and well-being of nonprofits here in Delaware – and thereby, ensuring healthy communities statewide. Your partnership with the nonprofits you serve will also be strengthened. We are all in this together. By working hand-in-hand, businesses and the nonprofit sector can affect great change here in Delaware.


Sheila Bravo is President and CEO of DANA, a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to strengthen, enhance, and advance nonprofits and the nonprofit sector in Delaware through advocacy, training, capacity building, and research.

For more information about DANA, visit its website at www.DelawareNonprofit.org

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