Key Points

While philanthropic relationships between nonprofits and businesses are complex and ever evolving, the dominant pattern is one where the process is largely managed by the nonprofit, with businesses providing little more than monetary resources or in-kind donations in response to specific “asks.” This article explores the Transformative Impact Model, a new approach to corporate donor-led giving employed by the Wynn Resorts Foundation that allows community partners to take ownership of capital improvement projects.

In support of two such projects for a pair of nonprofits in Las Vegas, Nevada, the foundation not only lent its expertise, but also leveraged its professional network to encourage and coordinate in-kind donations and cash gifts — a process that normally would have been led by the organizations themselves through capital campaigns. In addition, the foundation’s engagement of leadership and front-line employees from Wynn Resorts Management in these philanthropic efforts led to new and lasting volunteer relationships with the two nonprofits.

This article reviews some traditional approaches to corporate-led donor community engagement before it examines the planning, coordination, and completion of the Las Vegas projects. It goes on to outline unique elements of the Transformative Impact Model, and discusses the strengths and challenges that shape the model’s applicability to other funders and communities.

Open Access