Musings of a PR Professional

Chapter 10: Capitalizing on the Power of Partnerships

Lifetime Television Network, better known as simply Lifetime, hasn’t always been “Television for Women,” a fact that I was completely unaware of until reading this chapter. In fact, Lifetime was originally a medical channel that featured shows on “fitness, personal and family health, science, and medicine.” It wasn’t until 1995 when Lifetime was rebranded that it became the television network geared exclusively toward women.

Lifetime not only boasts award winning programming, but is also a great example of the way nonprofits can collaborate with television in order to gain support for their cause. Lifetime currently supports four different causes:

  • Empowering women
  • Increasing women’s involvement in politics
  • Breast cancer awareness
  • Heart health awareness

While all great examples of the power of collaboration for nonprofits, I think that Lifetime’s breast cancer awareness initiative is the best example of this. Formally called Stop Breast Cancer for Life, the network is partnered with the most prominent breast cancer advocacy groups in the country such as the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Action, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation,, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), and more.

Lifetime works with these organizations to create advocacy campaigns using things such as PSA’s, online discussion forums, events, among other efforts. The network also creates original programming that reflects the issues that they advocate.

They are even dedicated to changing American legislation, a goal of most nonprofits. For 13 years, they have worked to get Congress to pass the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which would mandate that women are allotted at least 48 hours of hospital stay time after a mastectomy.  Additionally, each October Lifetime puts on campaign activities in order to bring more attention and honor to Breast Cancer Awareness. You can read more about each of these campaigns here.

So what does this mean for nonprofits? It means that no organization is too small, no issue too miniscule to be recognized nationally through television. I really liked that the text included this example in this chapter because I think it imparts a lot of hope to readers. With the right partnerships, it is possible to reach unbelievably large audiences, impact legislation, and really make a difference via the cause the nonprofit works to promote.


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