Kyle Jones On Building Genuine Partnerships With Businesses

Kyle Jones On Building Genuine Partnerships With Businesses
 
 

Nonprofits and for-profit organizations have a unique opportunity to partner together and become allies for each other's work. When done right, you can do more than just raise funds for a campaign by building stronger relationships within your community and reach a whole new audience with your work. 

Kyle Jones is the Founder and COO of ICRYO and believes that a healthy body can lead to a happy mind. He joins the show to share how he partnered with Mission of Hope to collectively, raise awareness and send supplies to Haiti. 

Kyle’s Top 3 Takeaways 

 
  1. Take the time to get to know the organization and its mission thoroughly. Kyle and his team not only took a tour of the Mission of Hope’s facilities but also went to Haiti to see and understand the work they were doing. This helped ICryo develop a better appreciation for the work they do and find the best way to support their cause
  2. Encourage businesses to find ways to get their customers, staff and other supporters excited about your organization. ICryo decided to do a matching gift program to help purchase IV bags and found that helped build momentum around their campaign. 
  3. Find what makes your partnership unique. Work closely with your partner to find what unique resources or opportunities you can take advantage of. When working with Mission of Hope, ICryo wanted to do something that would really make a difference beyond a monetary donation. Being in the health and wellness industry, they had a lot of medical connections and decided to focus on gathering supplies like IV bags for Mission of Hope to use in Haiti.

Our Favourite Quotes


(01:30) Honestly, I think it's important for nonprofits and any size business to work together, whether it be small, medium or some mammoth-sized company. And really, for me, it's always the total goal of helping each other. Right. Regardless of how big or small you are in this world, everybody holds some type of platform.

(03:47) I really like to be involved with things that we do as a company. And so it was something where I told them up front, I told my buddy, I want to meet the executive team. I want to meet the founders of the company. I want to go over to Haiti. I want to experience this in person. I don't want to just stay here and say, hey, we're a part of something and not really understand the ground floor of it. So I did just that.

(17:57) Transparency has got to be number one on that list of what you're looking for to do business. If a nonprofit is looking to do business with a traditional small business or medium or large business, whatever it may be, just be transparent upfront. And at the end of the day, if your transparency doesn't get the deal done, that wasn't the company you should be doing business with in the first place.

Transcript 


Sabrina
Today we talk about building genuine partnerships with businesses with the amazing Kyle Jones.

Hello and welcome to Driven's Fundraising Superheroes Podcast. I'm your host, Sabrina Sciscente. And as an innovator in nonprofit technology, our team at Driven is determined to help you unlock your true fundraising potential. We specialize in donor, volunteer and member management and would love to talk to you about your goals, so give us a visit at trustdriven.com to learn more. As a nonprofit, you know how important relationships are in the industry. Building corporate nonprofit partnerships does require some effort and planning, but the rewards can often be well worth the investment. So how do you develop long term, mutually beneficial partnerships with a local business or Corporation? This is where Kyle Jones comes in to help. Kyle is the founder and COO of Icrayo and believes that a healthy body can lead to a happy mind. Kyle joins the show today to share how his Corporation partnered with Mission of Hope to collectively raise awareness and send supplies to Haiti.

So thank you so much kyle, for sharing your story on the show today.

Kyle
How's it going? How's it going? Good to be here.

Sabrina
So can you start off by explaining how important it is for businesses and nonprofit to work together? Do you feel that businesses have a duty to give back to their communities?

Kyle
Yeah. Honestly, I think it's important for nonprofit and any size business work together, whether it be small, medium or some mammoth sized company. And really, for me, it's always the total goal of helping each other. Right. Regardless of how big or small you are in this world, everybody holds some type of a platform. So to just be able to rally together and help in any way possible, I think is important. I think when people think about giving to nonprofits, they have this astronomical idea in their head, and sometimes it starts small and build. So for me, I always tell people to go in with their open mindset and give whatever you're comfortable with. Right. Don't feel forced to give something massive. Everything starts with one. So start with something small.

Sabrina
Nice. Yeah. And your business has done incredible things with Mission of Hope specifically. So can you share with our audience how that got started? What exactly did you do there?

Kyle
So actually, as a local friend of mine here, I would consider him a brother from another mother. He kind of was doing some work with Mission of Hope. I saw him from a distance. It's not like he had approached me with it originally. And I kind of asked him some questions around it. We go to the same local Church. And so him and I had some conversations around giving and spending some time giving, whether it was monetary commitment, whether it was sweat equity. Right. Physically doing something. And he just kind of opened up one day. I said, man, share with me about what Mission of Hope is. Let me know, kind of the founding thought of the organization and where they're headed. And he laid it all out for me. And it was something that I felt I was in the right time and place in my life. And the company iCRYO was at the right time and place in the company's life. To be able to give back and to be able to give back, like I said, not just from a monetary standpoint, but time. And that is, to me, one of the most valuable things on this planet is somebody's time.

And so for us to be able to give our time, energy, effort, and money and supplies, whatever they needed, that was something that I felt comfortable we were in a good place to do.

Sabrina
Yeah, time really is the most valuable resource.

Kyle
 and we did. I really like to be involved with things that we do as a company. And so it was something where I told them up front, I told my buddy, I want to meet the executive team. I want to meet the founders of the company. I want to go over to Haiti. I want to experience this in person. I don't want to just stay here and say, hey, we're a part of something and not really understand the ground floor of it. So I did just that. The executive offices are located in Austin, Texas. So I made the drive out to Austin. I got to meet the founders. I got to meet the executive team. It wasn't just but a few months after that, I actually took a trip to Haiti. I got to meet kind of their operations team on the ground there in Haiti. I got to see the schools that they're building. I got to see the houses that they're building. I got to see really meet the people that were in these communities, which was huge for me. So it was something where I just didn't want to talk to talk and put out a Press release or social media content around iCRYO.

 I wanted to be there, and I wanted to be a big part of this in person. So those were kind of some of the steps we took in building our relationship. And then obviously, a big natural disaster occurred. It was probably a month or two after I got back from Haiti. And once again, they didn't really need money. They needed supplies. They needed stuff to really help with that. From the recovery standpoint. They've got medical facilities, so supplies that we could donate to the medical side. So it was much more than just saying, hey, I chose this company, and we decided to team up with them and kind of put it in a rear view. That was definitely not the case. We were heavily involved.

Sabrina
Yeah, that's really important when you're working with an organization to have that connection. Otherwise the work that you do isn't going to eaning?have meaning and it's just not going to be as impactful.

Kyle
Most definitely, yeah.

Sabrina
Can you talk a little bit more about how you work towards getting all the resources and providing the relief for the people impacted by the disaster? What were the steps you took once you found out about what was going on in Haiti to actually taking action?

Kyle
Yeah. So it was actually pretty easy, pretty straightforward. I obviously heard about the disastrous news first. Right. It hit news pretty fast. Secondly, obviously, the operations team reached out to me and asked if we could lend any help in hand at all. Right. They're always going to reach out to their partners first. And so I said yes, most definitely. We can help. I got with our manufacturers and suppliers for medical supplies. I also got with our marketing team here at the corporate office, and we wanted to do something. Twofold, so number one, we wanted to create awareness for what happened. Right. So get as many people to understand what is actually going on over there. And two, we wanted to be able to give back and donate in whatever form or fashion we could. So we actually put a marketing campaign together at all of our locations across the country. And it was kind of like a two way street and said, hey, for every IV that's purchased in the month of I think it was September. So including our guests, including the people that walk into our building to get them the awareness right around the campaign, we'll donate one on our behalf.

So it was really cool to see our owners, our guests, really get involved in understanding. Okay. Well, they're running a promotion around what is this again, right. This disaster relief. So it got people to research it. It got people to understand what actually happened over there. So it created the awareness that we were looking for. And then it was a phone call to our suppliers and vendors to say, hey, this is something we're looking to do. So be prepared to ship this over to Haiti. We got logistics set up at a warehouse in Florida. Getting things shipped over there was really not that bad. So it was interesting to see, even though there were so many different parties involved, everybody came together so quickly, which was nice.

Sabrina
Yeah. You really have to act fast.

Kyle
Yes, most definitely. That's also something I encourage when people do work with nonprofit. A lot of the times it's curveballs. A lot of the times you're thinking one thing and the next day something completely changes, and you got to learn to work on the fly. And you definitely have to move somewhat quickly because the people that are in need, that are in true need, there has to be action taken now, not in two months.

Sabrina
Exactly. So as a business owner, what did you want to know before partnering up with the organization? Was there anything that you were really looking for, specifically when you were looking to work with a nonprofit?

Kyle
Yeah. For me, it's a feeling. I trust my gut a lot. I'm a big person on energy. When I sense something, I get that warm sensation. It just resonates. It hits me. And I know deep down my soul this is the right decision. And we looked at other nonprofit organizations prior to Mission of Hope, and nothing really just hit me in the heart. Nothing spoke to me how I really wanted it to. And meeting the founders of Mission of Hope, meeting their team, really digging into the roots of what their mission is. It just spoke to me. It's something where I knew leaving some of those meetings, these are the right partners. This is who we need to be in a partnership with. And so for me, it was a feeling I always tell owners, you definitely have to separate business from personal, but you got to understand that when you're partnering up with somebody, especially in a form of this type of relationship, it's got to mean something to you, the owner. Right. It's got to mean something to you. So when you wake up every morning, you have that gut feeling of saying, man, I've got a great partner that we're donating our time and resources to.

It should be something that's just a contract or just a monetary commitment that you're giving something every month just to feel good. Right. It should be something a lot more than that. It should be something of substance.

Sabrina
Yeah, definitely. And I think meeting the organization that you're partnering with is so critical. How could you work with an organization that you've never even seen the inside of their walls before or even just talking to the people that they serve can be really impactful? So I think that is really important when you know, you know.

Kyle
Right.

Sabrina
It's like it's that gut feeling, for sure.

Kyle
Yes, it is.

Sabrina
Was there anything Besides that initial connection that you really wanted to know about the organization? Was there any aspects that were important to you as a business owner when you were brainstorming how to actually make an impact with their cause?

Kyle
Yeah, I think for me, it was definitely meeting people that started the company that was kind of my first check box is I've got to meet these people and make sure that our core values align. Right. I got to understand and make sure that the things that we look for as far as a mission in driving our two companies forward. Right. We're two completely different companies. But at the end of the day, if the leadership team sees eye to eye, their core values match up. The things that they're trying to do just in life in general match up. For me, it was really understanding the founders of the company. Why did they start the mission program and what gets them up in the morning and makes them do this every day and what makes them tick. And for me, that was kind of the first big check box that I look for. After that, it was making sure that this was real. Being there in person, meeting their team in Austin, flying out to Haiti, I spent that time doing that to understand that this was real. This was a real initiative that they have put forward.

So the reality of the situation is sometimes people don't really vet out partnerships and they don't vet out things they're going into. And so I always tell people the first two check boxes for me is to understand the leadership team, make sure that we see eye to eye and we have the same core values, and then really vet the situation out, vet the partnership out, make sure that it's a real, genuine partnership. It's not something where you're going to look back and say, oh, well, that's not really the picture that I was painted online on the website or on a brochure or on a phone call. That's not what these companies about. Right. So really vetting it out and making sure it's something real.

Sabrina
And after doing that, because I'm really curious because a lot of nonprofit, they find businesses. But then it's like, how do you do more than just raise donations? How do you really find a way to connect the two values of your business and the values of the organization together? So I'm really curious if you can explain a little bit more about the promotional packages that you put together, how did you work to try to connect that mission with your own businesses values?

Kyle
Yeah, that's a great question. And it's something I would encourage every business to do and every nonprofit do as well majority of the time, if you're not familiar with nonprofit and you kind of just hear the word donation, you automatically think money, right? You automatically think dollars. And that's not the case all the time. Yes. Does money give that organization the ability to do what they need to do with it? Right. To spend on what they feel is a necessity at that point in time, 100% by the end of the day, there are certain situations where it's not money they need. It's resources, it's a connection. It's supplies, it's transportation. It could be anything. There's so many different things that you can donate or extend a relationship that you have and make sure that's an added value to the organization. So the prime example was kind of what we just did with the disaster relief. When there's a Hurricane or tornado or earthquake or something that really just destroys a community, there are people that are in need of a lot of medical attention. There's a lot of construction needs that need to be met.

So, yeah, can money buy all that stuff? It can. But if you have a specific relationship with somebody that can provide medical supplies or somebody that can provide construction services or somebody that can provide transportation services. I mean, a lot of those things from a logistical standpoint are hard to do if you don't have those relationships set up. So for us, we're a health and wellness company. We have great relationships with people in the medical field. So the first thing that hit my head was they're definitely going to need medical supplies. They're definitely going to need things to recover. There's a lot of people injured over there right now after the relief. There's a lot of people that need medical attention or seeking it, especially in a country like that where they really don't have a very well established medical community. So for me, I try to think outside the box and say, you know, what? Outside of money, what are these people needing right now? And for us, as I said, as a health and wellness company, we have those relationships in the medical field. So it was an easy one for us. I always tell people, take a look at what you can offer that that organization either needs right now or doesn't have easy access to.

Sabrina
Yeah. Get creative. Really try to fill in those gaps.

Kyle
Most definitely.

Sabrina
And what made you want to do the gift matching instead of just setting a goal of finding 100 boxes of medical supplies, what made you want to actually match other people's donations?

Kyle
I love getting our guests involved. Once again, it's creating the awareness. So we have a campaign for whatever it may be the guests that's buying into that package or that promotion, they're going to try to understand what they're buying into. Right. What is the promotion really around? So for me, it created the awareness for the people that were purchasing these products in our location. They wanted to understand what this promotion was about.

And when they understood that we were doing it to benefit this cause, it was a spike. Right. People took off and said, well, yeah, I'll definitely want to buy an IV if you're going to donate an IV on my behalf at no cost to me. Right. So for me, the awareness is huge. And I just thought it was a great way to involve the guests. The customer get more people than just the iCRYO home office involved in the process.

Sabrina
Yeah. So what advice would you give to nonprofit looking to partner with businesses in their community? Was there anything that was really helpful to you and your journey?

Kyle
There was transparency. Nobody's perfect. No company is perfect. No organization is perfect. Right. So when I meet somebody for the first time, I really just try to throw all the cards out on the table and just be very transparent. I think that was one thing a mission of hope did upfront. There were definitely some things that they shared with me, and they said, hey, look, we're not perfect. Here are some of the mistakes we made in the past. We're growing as a company won't continue to make mistakes because we're not perfect. So it was really setting the stage of, hey, we understand that we're not a perfect company. We definitely have some room to grow. We definitely have some gaps to fill. But we want to work with you in order to protect these systems and to be a better organization. So it kind of frustrates me when you go into a first meeting or a first conversation or whatever it may be. And the company that you're trying to do business with paints this outlandish picture of perfection. And in reality, it's like, hey, we're all human beings. Let's just sit down. Let's talk about the reality of what you want, the reality of what I want, and the reality of how we can work together to do some good.

So I would say transparency, transparency has got to be number one on that list of if you're looking to do business, if a nonprofit is looking to do business with a traditional small business or medium or large business, whatever it may be, just be transparent upfront. And at the end of the day, if your transparency doesn't get the deal done, that wasn't the company you should be doing business with in the first place.

Sabrina
Yeah. That honesty and an open conversation is really critical, I think, with any working relationship, because you're right, because nothing's ever going to be perfect. But the real importance comes in how you handle those imperfections, how you problem solve, and how you communicate. Really?

Kyle
Most definitely.

Sabrina
So before we go today, can you let the audience know how they can support you, where they can learn more about iCRYO and how they can get in contact with you?

Kyle
Yeah, definitely. So we're super active on social media, and most people go directly to our website, iCRYO.com. We're on Facebook, we're on Instagram. We love to communicate with people and learn more about our services. Learn more about our partnerships, learn more about the things that are happening in the company. We've got locations nationwide, New York, Florida, Texas, Midwest, Indiana, you name it. We're definitely a national brand. For me. Our services are part of people's lifestyle. We do things to better the health, wellness, immunity of just your daily life. And I've never met a person that says they didn't want to look or feel better. And so I always explain to people we have a service for you that can help in those categories, for sure. And like I said, we'd love to connect with you guys on the social platforms.

Sabrina
Thank you again, Kyle, for joining me on the show. I really appreciate you sharing your time with us. And for those listening, I have linked Kyle's website along with his social media in the description box below. He would love to connect with you like you mentioned. And if you'd like to connect with all of us at Driven you can give us a visit@trustdriven.com you can listen to past podcast episodes on our website, learn a little bit more about us or join our newsletter. We'd love to have you part of the Driven family. Thank you so much for listening to Show and we'll see you next time on the fundraising superheroes podcast.


 

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Podcast Apr 13, 2022, 12:00 AM

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