A good corporate partnership can be mutually beneficial for both charities and sponsors. For charities, these benefits include increased funding, support and visibility, and organisations can benefit from good PR, brand building and the chance to make a difference and support a worthwhile cause. These partnerships are becoming more strategic, often tackling issues that staff care about whilst ensuring that sponsorship has the greatest possible impact.
So, what are the main benefits of establishing strong corporate partnerships where the two sides can work together to bring about lasting change?
Benefits of Corporate Partnerships for Charities
One of the biggest (and most obvious) benefits of corporate partnerships for charities is funding. However, while the giant novelty cheque and one-off donation may have summed up how these partnerships worked in the past, organisations are moving instead towards more long-term strategic partnerships. Data gathered by LBG in 2018, the global standard in measuring and managing corporate community investment, showed that more than 70% gave strategically and less than 20% went in ad-hoc donations - a reverse from that of a decade ago. This shift can only have a positive impact on charities as funds will be raised in a structured manner, providing a longer-term sustainable income for charities, and partnerships will go beyond one-off donations.
Another major benefit of corporate partnerships is increased awareness and visibility. Not only do these partnerships allow charities to reach a wide employee base, but they can also reach and engage with the organisations larger network. Communication and marketing plans can be invaluable in the context of a charity’s corporate partnership. The online and offline presence of a charity across a company’s network - whether this be branding on the company website, promotion across social media channels, offline collateral or fundraising activities and challenges which are promoted by an organisation - will increase awareness and engagement with a cause.
While corporate partnerships offer benefits for charities themselves, they also offer the opportunity for charities to help a wider group of people by connecting them with teams and individuals who could benefit from the important work the charity does. A charity like CALM, for example, offers mental health training for managers and works with organisations to improve workplace wellbeing and help colleagues to take a proactive approach to looking after each other.
Benefits of Corporate Partnerships for Organisations
Selecting the right partner charity can prove to be invaluable for organisations. Partnering with a charity which shares an organisation’s core values will invite interest in a cause, invoke passion, and can increase staff engagement at all levels. Connecting with and supporting a charity, particularly one that means something to employees, will only have a positive impact on staff.
On another note, businesses are increasingly investing time and money into causes important not only to their employees but also to wider society. CSR is a driving factor behind businesses dedicating time towards supporting charities and helps companies be socially accountable - to itself, its stakeholders and the public. Commitment to corporate partnerships has been driven by customers and employees who want businesses to be seen to be going the right thing, and commercial organisations are taking brand perception more seriously than ever. Corporate partnerships are a big way for organisations to improve their reputation and Dominic Cotton, founder of the CSR consultancy Epiphany found that the majority of consumers - particularly younger ones - will be more attracted to (and pay more) for a service when it comes from a company that is actively seeking to solve social problems.
Increased awareness can benefit commercial businesses as well as the charities they are supporting. Implementing a well-thought-out marketing and fundraising plan will increase a charity’s visibility, but will also increase engagement with an organisation’s brand. For example, Peterborough United Football Club recently launched a social media campaign #UnitedWeWalk with Alzheimer’s Society involving short video clips and highlighting the impact of dementia to encourage people to take part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk - increasing visibility of, and engagement with both the charity and the football club. Creative projects can help both parties stand out, a prime example of this being the Big Knit Campaign - an imaginative approach taken by Innocent which has raised over £2.65 million for Age UK and has become one of the most recognisable charity corporate partnerships in the UK.
Here at Pro, we have partnered with CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity which is close to our company. This charity is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. We will be working closely with CALM to create campaigns, increase awareness, and offer support through engagement and fundraising events.