Companies are increasingly seeing corporate social responsibility as a key to long-term success and are collaborating with nonprofit organizations in various ways to establish themselves as good corporate citizens. This article delves into a promising form of company/nonprofit collaboration called social alliances, which are long-term, collaborative efforts between companies and nonprofits that are designed to achieve strategic objectives for both organizations. The characteristics, factors, and circumstances that enable or impede social alliances are examined through an investigation of 11 social alliances involving 26 organizations. Though social alliances may be fraught with problems, they can be designed, structured, nurtured, and maintained in a manner that will enable them both to contribute to solving pressing social problems and to fulfilling important strategic objectives for companies and nonprofits.
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