Companies that Don’t Partner with Faith Groups
As a conference organizer, non-profit developer, and leader of a church, I often approach companies for partnership on various projects. For the most part, businesses have been great in supporting many of the efforts I have proposed to them. Nevertheless, there are some who refuse to work together when a project, initiative, or conference is connected to a faith group.
I think this is VERY unfortunate. My thought is that this perspective may be rooted in some of the following reasons:
- They don’t want to be associated with a faith group because of fear that their clientele would associate the company as “supporters” of a particular religious view or agenda.
- They experienced something negative from a previous point of interaction with a faith group.
- They saw something in the media that projected a negative image of faith groups and chose to project it on every other faith group.
- They think they should take the principle “Separation of Church and State” and apply it to their business.
- They believe that faith groups are dangerous! Religious people will work towards brainwashing the entire company so that they can take them to a secluded mountain where they will be sucked into UFO’s for examination. (Ok, a little exaggeration and sarcasm here.)
In light of these concerns, I thought I would share the following thoughts for companies that think this way in order to break some of these misconceptions:
- We’re not out to get you!
- Are there some wacky and crazy faith groups? Most definitely. Nevertheless, which field or industry doesn’t have these extreme groups? If you do your homework and research the track record of the faith groups approaching you, I’m sure that you can choose groups to work with that will become mutually beneficial.
- We like you!
- Believe it or not, we’re probably asking for your partnership and support because we believe in your company. In fact, in most cases, we actually love what you’re producing. As much as you might be concerned about brand affiliation, so are we. We probably wouldn’t even ask if we thought there was a clear disconnect between products and purpose.
- Remember, we’re not just looking for handouts. Not to mention, many of us are your current customers as well.
- Stay consistent with your value of being inclusive.
- Many companies communicate how welcoming and inclusive they want to be with people (i.e., potential clients). Here’s your chance. I’m hoping we can move past pre-conceptions and older models of business partnerships and what faith groups are really like. Most are surprised to see the growing number of faith groups that seek to benefit humanity in practical ways. Spirituality is a core value of who we are, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t partner with “non-faith-based” groups or companies.
- Let’s Come to the Table
- I think if we approach each other with the right posture (a posture of humility and collaboration), we’ll become beneficial to one another. If you’re thinking about the bottom line as a business, think of how that will be greatly that could be potentially enhanced by creatively and intentionally partnering with faith groups. There’s a big world to help out there. Let’s do it together. Who knows? You might even come to like us 🙂
- When in doubt, ask.
- I believe that most of the companies who hesitate to partner/support faith groups simply don’t know what’s all involved. If you have questions (even tough ones), please ask. Don’t miss out on a potential opportunity to do something great by pre-maturely dismissing a group.
There’s so much work to be done in bring sustainable relief to people around the world. There’s a lot of good to be done whether you come from a faith perspective or not.
My plea is that we would do this together!