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You need to be in it for the long haul

By Forster Communications

25 November 2015
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We’ve undertaken our own survey of charities on the issue of partnerships with businesses and the findings reveal the potential for partnerships to work harder and achieve more for businesses and charities alike if they both seek a longer term, more strategically driven relationship.

We consulted 28 charities with annual incomes ranging from £1m to over £200m. Over three quarters of the charities surveyed feel genuine buy-in from partners’ senior teams is a limiting factor. Almost half say businesses need to do more to motivate their staff to get behind the partnership and 85% call for more integration to help ensure the best possible outcome.

However, charities also need to consider the depth of relationship they are looking for with businesses – 70% of those surveyed said the first aspect of a partnership they look at is the money on offer. Further, over 90% would accept a partnership if it was purely a donation with no additional depth of relationship. At the same time, every charity said that they consider brand values of a partner and over two thirds said they had rejected a partnership due to fears of negative brand association.

There is recognition that money isn’t everything in partnerships – For example, there is widespread interest in working with technology companies in order to realise the advantages that new and rapidly changing digital platforms and intelligence could bring to service provision.

The research follows on from the Business to Society research we conducted with over 700 business leaders in September which revealed they also have a desire to do more to address social need. Over half of business leaders agreed they should be doing more to tackle the social issues faced by our society and 56% said they should be part of the solution to tackling climate change.

We have pulled together a comprehensive report presentation on business, public and charity attitudes to partnership and social change. Drop us a line if you would be interested in us presenting those finding to you in more detail.