I approach partnerships with a focus on the problem we are solving and the potential for the partnership to be part of the solution. “What is the problem we seek to solve and what is the change we seek together?” That’s my starting point. Lead with the change we seek to accomplish together and consider assets beyond their cash register or piggy banks!
Apparently, donkeys are so afraid of water that
they will doggedly refuse to cross the most shallow water.
And let’s be clear. No amount of pulling, pushing, or cajoling will budge a donkey once a 400-500 pound donkey locks his front legs and makes a decision, it’s almost impossible to physically impose forward motion through normal force.
So, if you want to get your donkey to the other side without carrying it on your back, you need to build a bridge. It can be improvised, and it can look rather silly, as long as the donkey feels safe crossing it. In some cases it can be a simple string lying in the water – that gets them quickly over their stubbornness and tendency to just say “no”.
It’s also a mnemonic device.
In German and Dutch, a mnemonic device is called ‘Eselsbrücke’ and ‘ezelsbruggetje’, literally a donkey bridge. So a donkey bridge is a special effort which in the end will allow you to reach your goal more quickly and securely, or to reach it at all, just like a mnemonic device.
It’s a technique to help you remember something.
That partnerships are a means to do more good not just generate more zeros.
Donkey Bridge was launched with the support and enthusiasm of Laura's mother - a strong Dutch woman who always nudges her kids to think about creating more than zeros in a bank account but memories and moments. Thanks, Mom!
Laura Goodman has 16+ years of extensive experience in building strategic partnerships for greater social impact. Laura is especially passionate about engaging diverse stakeholders, driving exponential results, building campaigns, and leading cross-sector collaborations that drive social impact.
Laura launched Donkey Bridge after leading corporate partnerships efforts within the nonprofit world to help provide an intermediary between the nonprofit and companies and help both sides think BIGGER and BOLDER to achieve better results. As she noticed that corporations were not only asking for more from their nonprofit partners but also willing to do more – she noticed a need on the nonprofit side to be ready for these bigger more strategic partnerships.
Previously, as Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships for Share Our Strength, Laura led the team to launch and engage national corporate partners in the No Kid Hungry campaign, raising over $25M annually in critical funds necessary to end childhood hunger in America. Laura led strategic planning, campaign development, revenue innovation and generation, and change management – while engaging corporate supporters through leadership councils, major gifts, grassroots fundraising, online and employee giving, matching gifts, and foundation giving.
Prior to her work at Share Our Strength, Laura was a strategist at Social Capital Partnerships, a boutique fundraising consulting firm - working with clients such as Special Olympics, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Share Our Strength. Before Social Capital, she worked with Reading Is Fundamental, leading the corporate relations team to raise 70% of all charitable support and secure new corporate relationships with US Airways, Holiday Inn Express, and Capital One. Laura also previously worked at KaBOOM! leading sponsorship sales for this national playground nonprofit.
She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.A. and B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University. Laura currently teaches at Boston University Questrom School of Business Social Impact Program - on Strategic Fundraising and Corporate Partnerships.