• ClaireLouise

Charity Partnerships - do it right.

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

Thinking of setting up a Charity Partnership? Here's a short 'how to' vid with some easy steps. Approach it professionally and both parties will get great things from it! #csr #charitypartnership #sponsorship #companyvalues #corporategiving

Many businesses receive requests from charitable purpose organisations to support them in some way, usually in kind donation (items for raffles for instance) or monetary donation. Responding to these requests will require some level of staff time and resource. So, are you making it work for your business? In fact do you even feel that it should have a benefit to your business? If you’re thinking of setting up a Charity Partnership, here’s some practical advice.

Businesses choose to support charitable causes in a number of ways, and for a number of reasons. From purely altruistic giving, which is sometimes even anonymous, to commercial sponsorship agreements, there is no inherently right or wrong way to give.

The most important thing is to understand your motivations. This might sound odd, so I’ll clarify – understand why you’re giving – why has this particular request for support motived you to give? Is it the type of charity, the location or even the timing or the way they’ve asked? Has the request come from an employee or out of the blue?

Taking a little time to consider this will help you to think a bit more strategically about your company giving. While this might not sound important, it’s very useful for a number of reasons:

1. Clearly communicating the kind of charitable activity you support will reduce the number of inappropriate/unwanted requests – and trust me, this saves charities time as well – they can focus their resources towards companies more likely to support them.

2. Asking your staff which charitable causes they’d like to support will create greater staff loyalty – if it’s within your budget (and it doesn’t have to be big money) consider having a charity fund which staff can make nominations to.

3. Think about all the ways you could support charitable causes which don’t necessarily cost you lots of money, and which could have a benefit for your business – for example, could you loan staff time to charities to provide specialist support? Finance, legal and HR for example are all skills which charities would welcome! This also gives employees creative CPD opportunities and builds great relationships with local charities.

4. If you’re looking for charity partners, be in it for the long term for maximum benefit. Think 3-5 years, so choose your partner carefully. Make sure that they have a good reputation, are well managed (think H&S and legal stuff!) and that you can work well with them – personalities are often quite important.

5. Have a clear agreement (written) which outlines the support you are giving, what joint promotion you are doing (and if this feels uncomfortable, if you do it well, remember that it will have a massive benefit for the charity to be able to tap into your promotions), the length of the agreement, any monies agreed and other operational issues that essentially clarify who is bringing what to the party.

Charity partnerships can bring massive value to both parties. Don’t see this as you doing all the giving – approach this in a way that respects the skills and abilities of both organisations and it can be a learning process that benefits everyone involved.

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