Aug 2, 2019

Phoenix, AZ: Corporate Philanthropic Guide


Phoenix, Arizona, is a city known for its arid weather, warm temperatures, sprawling cacti and multicultural origins, all nestled into the aptly named Valley of the Sun.

As the fifth-largest city in the United States, Phoenix’s size and diversity warrant an equally dynamic ecosystem of nonprofit organizations, with each dedicated to improving the quality of life in the city they call home.

In this guide, we’ll explore many of today’s top corporate sponsorship opportunities in the greater Phoenix area. Corporate partnerships continue to provide a premier fundraising and revenue model for area 501(c)(3) classified organizations yet can be notoriously tricky to identify. Corporate sponsorships can unlock new levels of stability and security for recipient nonprofits, supporting the continued execution of their missions.

To skip right to our list of corporate sponsors by segment, choose one of the options below

This guide also includes:

Find additional corporate donation guides, as well as fundraising resources on ourblog and nonprofit resource page.

To access our other regional and city Corporate Donor Guides, click one of these options:

And now, without further ado, our Corporate Donor Guide for Phoenix.

Major fundraising causes in Phoenix, Arizona

This guide explores eight of today’s top fundraising causes, or segments, in Phoenix and surrounding Maricopa County.

Segments are broken down according to many of the individual and systemic issues underlying each. Phoenix nonprofits today exercise creative and dynamic fundraising, outreach and sponsorship models to address this complete spectrum of philanthropic work, including robust corporate partnerships.

1. Arts, Culture and Humanities

Nonprofits in the humanities segment preserve and amplify Phoenix’s diverse cultural portrait. Through funding traditional cultural institutions to supporting artist residencies and creative youth programs, arts, culture and humanities thrive in Phoenix, thanks in large part to city nonprofits. Arts and cultural work include:

  • Historical, cultural or themed not-for-profit museums
  • Fine arts
  • Professional and youth theater
  • Music
  • Food and dining
  • Performance venues
  • Public works of art
  • Other cultural amenities, attractions and quality-of-life attributions

2. Animal Welfare

Animal welfare organizations work tirelessly to give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. Their work blends the ecological and the environmental, with fundraising necessary to support several sub-concerns requiring unique expertise and resources:

  • Municipal and private animal shelters
  • Pet adoption
  • Animal rescues and rehabilitation
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Habitat preservation
  • Animal rights advocacy and legislation
  • Animal education

3. Children and Youth

Phoenix is home to roughly 500,000 youths — those 18 years or younger — who make up about one-quarter of its population. Nonprofit fundraising for the children and youth sector addresses issues uniquely related to this demographic, issues such as:

  • School breakfast and lunch programs
  • Youth wellness initiatives
  • Tutoring
  • ACT and SAT test preparation
  • Youth sports
  • Free afterschool activities
  • Toy drives
  • Family-friendly events and community functions

4. Education

Similar to the Children and Youth nonprofit sector, fundraising efforts in this cause aim to create accessible and equitable educational opportunities for underserved populations. This segment, however, serves Phoenix residents across many stages of life, from elementary math and reading programs to college scholarships to career placement and continued mentorship. Funding assists:

  • Underfunded or struggling districts
  • GED preparation
  • College preparation
  • Scholarships
  • Before and after-school tutoring
  • Special education programs
  • Career placement services
  • Higher education or career mentorship

5. Environment

The Valley of the Sun is home to one of the most geographically and environmentally distinct places in the United States — and the closest major city to one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural landmarks, the Grand Canyon. Funding for Phoenix’s environmental groups helps ensure the continued preservation of these wonders as well as seeks sustainable and restorative solutions for the region’s resources, including:

  • Water conservation
  • Land preservation
  • Habitat and wildlife education
  • Energy reform
  • Renewables
  • National parks conservation
  • Disaster relief
  • Agricultural policy
  • Healthy and sustainable food models

6. Homelessness and Housing

Homelessness and housing issues in Phoenix are complicated and multifaceted, requiring tailored solutions. The financial and in-kind resources generated from corporate sponsorships have historically made a significant impact supporting the following:

  • Short and long-term overnight housing
  • Crisis centers
  • Family shelters
  • Urban renewal projects
  • Systemic issues of poverty

7. Health and Human Services

Health and human services are one of the broadest and most pressing philanthropic concerns in Phoenix — and, indeed, throughout the state of Arizona. As such, nonprofits spearheading its issues are tasked with fundraising for an equally diverse range of causes and needs, many of which come intertwined:

  • Affordable and accessible healthcare services
  • Disability resources
  • Mental health resources
  • Food banks
  • Immigration and refugee issues
  • Specialty medical treatments and research
  • Domestic and international aid
  • Career training and placement
  • Financial literacy
  • Reproductive rights

8. Military and Veterans

Nonprofit veterans organizations serve those who’ve served our country, often tackling issues that statistically affect veterans at higher, concerning rates. There are numerous opportunities to sponsor and work with military and veterans nonprofits in the Phoenix metropolitan area, including:

  • Rehabilitation and mental health
  • Networking and mentorship
  • Career training and placement
  • Veteran housing
  • Veteran healthcare
  • College preparation

Top Corporate Donors in Phoenix by Segment

Phoenix maintains a thriving corporate philanthropic environment. Below, we’ve provided some of today’s top corporate donors in the Phoenix area, categorized according to each organization’s stated charitable missions, interests and sponsorship history.

Aligning donation or fundraising requests with a business’ stated philanthropic interests is a primary way to secure partnerships. These relationships are far more likely to be high-impact and ongoing, providing a true value-add for both you and your corporate donor.

This section also highlights:

  • A localized overview of each fundraising cause or issue as it pertains to Phoenix
  • The kinds of companies to seek within a target cause, nurturing a more organic philanthropic relationship
  • Links to each company’s donation or philanthropic websites

1. Corporate sponsors of the arts, culture and humanities in Phoenix

Phoenix’s distinct culture, geography and history imbue the city with an equally unique arts scene.

Indebted to its indigenous ancestry, Arizona recognizes over 20 Native American tribes, the largest of which include the Navajo, Tohono O’odham, Apache and Hopi Nations. Dozens of cultural centers and museums exist within the Salt River Valley region honoring indigenous culture and amplifying their legacies.

Phoenix’s arts scene is also heavily influenced by Latino culture. In addition, the city supports humanities-based initiatives such as an official poet-in-residence program, fine arts gallery nights, youth arts grants, artist showcases, and over 12 public museums.

  • Ideal sponsorship alignment: Businesses with regional or main headquarters in Phoenix, with a vested interest in keeping the Valley of the Sun the cultural hub for fine arts, history, literary arts, performance, dance and dining in Arizona — and the broader American Southwest.

Area organizations most aligned to work with Phoenix philanthropists in the arts and cultural segments include:

2. Corporate sponsors for animal wellness in Phoenix

The Phoenix metropolitan area is home to a large population of stray animals; shelters in Maricopa County receive around 35,000 animals each year and provide assistance to prevent owners from abandoning their pets.

Phoenix animal shelters aim to combat systemic animal welfare issues like facility overcrowding and caretaker support plus animal rescue, rehabilitation and adoption operations. In addition, the animal welfare segment is also concerned with animals rights lobbying and legislation and is intertwined with larger wildlife and ecological preservation.

  • Ideal sponsorship alignment: Petcare or pet-related businesses providing relevant products or services as well as “green” brands and organizations with a significant emphasis on minimizing their environmental impact, habitat and wildlife preservation and environmental advocacy.

Phoenix nonprofits in the animal welfare segment have a variety of corporations to turn to. Businesses with Maricopa County ties to animal welfare donations include:

3. Corporate sponsors for children and youth programs in Phoenix

Arizona fourth and eighth-graders scored “significantly lower” in reading, writing, math and science than national averages, according to the most recent report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Maricopa County, in particular, faces low literacy comprehension levels and below-national-average high school graduation rates in addition to mounting health and wellness concerns facing today’s youth.

Phoenix nonprofits in the children’s empowerment segment aim to overcome many systemic issues and allow children to live happier, healthier lives. Many take a granular approach to larger issues such as income inequality, underfunded schools, afterschool programs, tutoring, mentorship and more.

  • Ideal sponsorship alignment: Organizations with pre-existing youth mentorship or internship programs, as well as those headquartered in Phoenix wishing to see the city as a safe, healthy and economically attractive region for youth.

Organizations than engage with children and youth empowerment causes include:

4. Corporate sponsors for educational programs in Phoenix

In 2019, Arizona fourth-graders scored significantly lower than national averages in reading and math on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. They averaged 216 out of 500 on reading and 238 out of 500 on math.

Maricopa County, in particular, faces low literacy comprehension levels, with around 500,000 out of 2.8 million people lacking the necessary literacy and technical skills to thrive in the modern workforce. Many organizations are looking to the county’s youth and schools to help raise literacy and graduation rates.

Education nonprofits in Phoenix tackle a variety of individual and systemic issues. From tutoring and working with underserved populations to career preparation and enriching the programs and resources of Phoenix’s 325 public schools, there’s no shortage of opportunities for corporations and nonprofits to combine forces for the greater good.

  • Ideal sponsorship alignment: Colleges and universities, organizations in the STEM fields, brands with youth-facing products and services, and local businesses whose owners or leaders hold a personal connection with area schools and higher education institutions.

Companies with an expressed interest in doing philanthropic education work in Phoenix include:

5. Corporate sponsors for environmental causes in Phoenix

In 2020, the environmental nonprofits sector experienced tremendous growth from an increase in donor activity. Overall, the sector saw an 11.6% increase in donations, leading to over $16 billion in earned donations for these organizations. Environmental actions and organizations are incredibly significant for Phoenix and Maricopa County, where the area suffers from poor air quality, extreme heat, wildfires, and droughts.

In 2020, the city saw an increase in air pollutants, with 149 days of high pollution levels, causing the city to rank fourth for the worst air quality in the U.S. behind San Deigo and Los Angeles. The Environmental Defense Fund projects that the county’s heat levels will lead to a 64% increase in deaths, adding to the urgency and necessity of nonprofits that take donation requests in Arizona.

Phoenix’s environmental nonprofit work mirrors these trends, particularly in areas of water conservation, renewables, land rights, parks conservation, and environmental legislation funding.

  • Ideal sponsorship alignment: Corporations in the energy and utility sectors, transportation, and STEM, as well as those with regional ties to Phoenix and reliant on its natural-resource infrastructure.

Maricopa County companies embodying corporate environmental philanthropy include the following:

6. Corporate sponsors for homelessness and housing projects in Phoenix

In 2020, there were over 7,400 people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County alone, causing the percentage to rise by 11%. That year, the county saw the highest percentage of individuals living on the streets instead of in shelters, with unsheltered populations rising to 51%. Over 500 people died between January and September of 2020 from preventable deaths.

Much of the county and city’s homelessness is systemic. Arizona ranks 12th in the country for homeless populations. This lack of help highlights the need for charities that provide aid and services to the homeless and address other housing issues.

These statistics position Phoenix as an epicenter for the state’s housing and rehabilitation nonprofit services, with more than a third — 37% — of the Maricopa County homeless population made up of families with children.

Companies that partner with nonprofits for urban development and housing assistance help break the cycle of poverty associated with homelessness. For children, in particular, experiencing homelessness correlates with higher instances of hunger and health issues, less social and emotional support networks and more difficulty in the classroom, behaviorally and academically.

  • Ideal sponsorship alignment: Businesses and brands aiming to widen their local, physical footprint in Phoenix by enriching area neighborhoods and infrastructure and directly impacting lives.

Phoenix organizations working to combat homelessness and increase community housing infrastructure include:

7. Corporate sponsors for health and human service initiatives in Phoenix

One of the broadest nonprofit subsectors, Phoenix’s health and human services charities address everything from immigration settlement and affordable healthcare to crisis centers, food banks and financial literacy programs. The social justice-scope of their work often puts health and human services at the forefront of neighborhood issues. Partnerships between area businesses and Phoenix’s human service charities often generate the most immediate local impact, maximizing your social returns on philanthropic investments.

8. Corporate sponsors for military and veterans affairs orgs in Phoenix

  • Phoenix is home to over 73,000 veterans. In addition, the state is home to numerous active duty military stations and duty bases, making it a premier domestic military post in the American Southwest. Support for military and veterans is, therefore, one of the leading nonprofit subsectors in the Grand Canyon State, with many veterans-affairs organizations located in Phoenix itself.
    • Ideal sponsorship alignment: Veteran-owned businesses — of which there are over 47,000 registered in Arizona alone — or organizations with military staffing quotas or military contracts.

    Organizations that regularly support military and veterans’ causes include:

  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Credit Union West
  • Food City
  • Meritage Homes
  • Troon Golf
  • U-Haul
  • Abrazo Community Health Network

3 Characteristics of Nonprofits That Thrive in Phoenix

There’s no single model to follow to be a successful nonprofit in Phoenix. Every organization with a 501(c)(3) status has identified a pressing communal concern and seeks to deliver sustainable solutions, often employing their own systems, initiatives and programs to do so.

While nonprofits are all aligned in this mission-driven commitment to propel positive social impact without monetary reward, the missions and impact themselves radically differ. So do their means to achieving financial and operational stability, with some organizations choosing corporate partnerships for assistance, financial or in-kind.

With that said, there are a few core tenets that set high-achieving, high-impact Phoenix nonprofits apart from their counterparts. These traits offer insights into what it takes to be a competitive — and continuous — nonprofit leader in Phoenix.

1. They Have a Business Plan — And Tailor It to Social Returns on Investments (SROIs)

SROIs measure the actual monetary value behind the outcomes of a nonprofits’ work. Calculated using several formulas, SROIs are often the meat-and-potatoes of a compelling corporate sponsorship pitch. They indicate that your organization conducts communal work and that the money behind that work compounds into something greater.

In other words, SROIs communicate the economic and social value of your nonprofit.

Business plans detail your nonprofit’s future goals and objectives. These documents also roadmap the short and long-term steps to achieving those objectives, including relaying revenue models, programs and project value propositions, key performance indicators (KPIs), organizational structure, volunteer needs and more.

Given their data-backed objectivity, SROI calculations go hand-in-hand with a business plan. They provide compelling yet quantitative direction for endeavors your nonprofit intends to spearhead, what it needs to spearhead them — and how they’ll measure its effectiveness.

2. They’re Connected to the Communities They Serve

A nonprofit’s impact resonates more when it reflects, encompasses and actively participates within its targeted community. In simpler terms, nonprofits tend to succeed if perceived as an insider and a natural fit in the neighborhood it seeks to serve.

There are many ways for Phoenix nonprofits to foster organic connection amongst target populations and therefore generate greater buy-in and impact.

  • Volunteer demographics: Source volunteers who are connected to or living within the populations your nonprofit champions. For example, seek veterans to provide career training and mentorship for recent military discharges and retirees, or college students to afterschool tutor middle and high schoolers.
  • Location: Nonprofits with outfits physically in or near the neighborhoods they serve tend to be more holistically embraced than ones with offices located across town, with names locals have never heard.
  • Language: In 2019, over 22% of adults ages 18-64 spoke Spanish in Arizona. Additionally, over 23% of Arizonan children and teens ages 5-17 spoke Spanish. Nonprofits that produce bilingual materials, post bilingual signage, include Spanish-English translations on their websites and use bilingual volunteers and employees will have an easier time communicating with constituents and create far more comfortable and compelling spaces.

3. They Build Ongoing, Mutually Beneficial Sponsor Relationships

Both nonprofits and corporations alike prefer close, continuous involvement across the years, not ad-hoc check writing or in-kind donations.

This kind of relationship benefits both parties. Businesses generate sustained social, economic and environmental outcomes, which enhances their philanthropic reputation. In return, nonprofits build rapport with a go-to partner they can contact across initiatives, lending peace of mind and generating a lasting local impact.

Nonprofits that provide continuous opportunities for their corporate partners to stay connected are far more attractive — and financially successful — than ones without strategic and dynamic touchpoints.

How Silent Auction Software Can Amplify Corporate Partnerships and Fundraising

Silent auction software helps create win-win sponsorship opportunities for nonprofits during major fundraising events.

In 2020, corporations donated over $16 billion to organizations. To keep this precedent up, Phoenix nonprofits can’t rest on their laurels, assuming last year’s funding strategies will meet tomorrow’s scope. Silent auction software is a modern answer to meeting and then exceeding fundraising goals, all from a screen.

  • Convenience: Silent auction software provides an effortless event management portal. Many of the tasks and responsibilities necessary to run a traditional silent auction are now online, managed at your fingertips, including donation itemization, item listings, online “paddle” bidding and self-checkout payments.
  • Contemporary: Silent auction software permits your organization to participate in modern fundraising techniques like digital pledging, mobile auction bidding and text-to-give campaigns.
  • Customizable: Silent auction software creates unique campaign sites and profiles. You can tailor portals to your corporate partners, including relevant multimedia, updates and dashboards pertinent to your philanthropic partners.
  • Scalable: Silent software isn’t static. It grows, changes and adapts as you do, reflecting SROIs, business plans and corporate partnerships across the years.

Boost your corporate sponsorships with GiveSmart

Schedule a free, no-obligations GiveSmart fundraising software demo today.

Our leading platform turns end-to-end fundraising event management mobile. Perform everything from ticketing and item and seating management to campaign creation, text-to-give contributions, online bidding and more, maximizing the revenue — and impact — of your Phoenix-based nonprofit.


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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County