Patience. Not very sexy is it? Not as appealing as success! But they go hand in hand. Bill Gates, of all people, knows this to be true.
In my blog last week, I highlighted the internal factors that underpin a successful approach in corporate partnerships. Here, I tackle the EXTERNAL factors.
Is there appetite within the corporate community to partner with your cause? Does your charity/non-profit sit within the top 3 causes that prompt consumers to switch corporate brands to support you? What’s the current corporate sentiment towards partnerships, given we’re at the precipice of an economic downturn? Understanding the corporate landscape, the four purses that you can tap into and the reasons for partnering, is vital. I find it extraordinary that some non-profits invest in training about major gifts, fundraising, bequests etc to hone their skills and understand the giving environment, but assume corporates are the same. They’re not.
Let’s stop right there. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. If you embark on a corporate partnership strategy thinking that success will come quickly or, that getting money out of corporates is easy, you’re setting yourself up to fail, in a most spectacular fashion.
So, what IS achievable in corporate partnerships? What DOES it take to achieve success? There are two major things to consider here. INTERNAL factors and EXTERNAL factors. This week I dive into INTERNAL.
Is your organisation actually ready to pursue corporate partnerships? Within readiness there are two levels – 1) ORGANISATIONAL readiness and 2) PARTNER readiness.
1) Organisational readiness factors include having clarity on; the societal problem your organisation solves; what you do with clear brand essence and values; and what you have to offer (specifically). You need support from board & management, an attitude of abundance...
Let’s dive into my favourite purse – MARKETING.
Why is it my fave? Because I’m a former corporate marketer (and therefore it speaks my language); it’s the largest purse, holding the greatest potential for untied funding (hooray, untied funding!) and it can make a quiet achiever into a household name!
Marketing is fundamental to the survival of a company, yet it can be bamboozling for non-profits. It’s at the practical, pointy end of the spectrum, where a commercial return on investment is required. Projects like sponsorship (funding a charity event or program), brand-aligned partnerships and Cause Related Marketing are funded from this purse.
Using the wrong language with this purse-holder will result in it snapping shut. A marketing or brand manager is not interested in...
As a reminder, the 4 purses are: 1) HR, 2) Philanthropy, 3) CSR, and 4) Marketing.
Let’s dive into the most exciting and fastest-growing purse, that of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Whilst large and growing the CSR/ESG purse is also the most complex purse of all, with multiple motivations, intriguing pockets of activity and the most inventive jargon!
It began in the 90’s as a simple, idealistic and completely optional idea – that companies should not only consider the financial bottom line, but also, their impacts on society and the environment. It was called the Triple Bottom Line (Planet, People and Profit). In the past 30 years, it’s mushroomed into a solid, essential part of doing business today.
Motivations range from addressing a negative impact, pressure...
In the previous blog, I examined the first of the four purses (the HR purse) that non-profits & social enterprises can tap into when approaching corporates for resources & cash.
As a reminder, the 4 purses are: 1) HR, 2) Philanthropy, 3) CSR, and 4) Marketing.
Let’s dive into the Philanthropy purse today.
The Philanthropy purse is the most well-known to changemakers, who live and breathe philanthropy. Predominantly focused upon societal impact, this purse is likely to use jargon that you’re familiar with, such as grants, gifts and donations. Throughout my experience advising the Vodafone Foundation, Mondelez Foundation and AMP Foundation, I’ve witnessed a big shift towards corporate foundations funding a handful of strategic, business-aligned causes that deliver a tangible impact, instead of providing small grants to multiple charities.
Whilst this purse at first glance may be large, what’s important is how they slice up the pie.
The main motivation...
In my previous blog, I revealed the four distinct purses that non-profits & social enterprises can tap into when approaching corporates for resources & cash (yes, I put cash second, more on that later).
As a reminder, the 4 purses are: 1) HR (Human Resources), 2) Philanthropy, 3) CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and 4) Marketing.
Let’s start by diving into the HR purse.
Of the four purses, this one holds the smallest budget for your organisation, and yet it can be time-consuming, meeting the needs of a corporate that’s hungry for meaningful, purpose driven engagement opportunities. As the Great Resignation is being felt across the world and Australia, companies are doing all that they can to retain and attract talent. So hopefully the financial aspect of this budget may indeed grow.
Whilst not financially lucrative, this purse is great if you have knotty problems that only innovative thinking and specialist expertise can solve. Or you have big events...
In over two decades of matchmaking companies with causes, I’ve witnessed a consistent error that non-profits make which prevents them from even securing a meeting with a prospective corporate partner. Here’s the problem: they view a corporate (that includes a company or brand) as a ‘donor’ with just one purse (budget), when in fact, there’s four purses. Additionally, non-profits often see that purse as holding just money, when there’s usually many more valuable resources that you can access. These include promotion to millions of customers (promoting your brand and also, where relevant, behaviour-changing messaging), campaigning, product (GIK), specialist skills and services, contacts and creative agencies - all of which could be potentially transformative for your non-profit.
Just like the government has numerous departments and therefore many budgets, or an individual might donate from different purses (their will, salary, or...
To say the pandemic changed many things is an understatement. The way we work, socialise, the way we shop, and for many things, there’s no going back to ‘normal’.
Given that going out to shop was a risk to our health (especially if buying toilet rolls!) have you changed the way you purchase products? Even a former staunch anti-online purchaser like Hailey has embraced the e-commerce world and found it to be, for the most part, an efficient and reliable way to shop.
Whether shopping F2F or online it’s good to have a credit card that gives back every time you purchase. It eases the guilt of consumerism a little doesn’t it?
A brilliant example of an Australian credit card that does just that, is the Pink card from ME Bank. The pink everyday transaction account card contributes 1c to the cause of breast cancer research, every time it’s used.
The campaign theme is ‘Buck it Forward’ where cardholders are invited to turn every...
“I don’t want more untied money” said no-one working within a non-profit, ever.
Untied money into a non-profit is gold, is it not? You can spend it on whatever is a priority, and often it’s the ‘not very sexy’ things like staff training & salaries, rent, IT improvements, infrastructure etc. So why then do so many non-profits go chasing after TIED MONEY!?
A philanthropic grant – whether from government or a company foundation - is tied money. It’s tied to the program or service that you request the money for. And generally, the reporting requires very detailed accounts of how every dollar has been spent and the impact of the investment – what difference has it made? All very time-consuming. And if all the money from the grant goes to the program or service, who’s paying you to manage the relationship and write that detailed report? Aha! Unless the grant has an allowance for that, then you must dip into another pot...
Bupa is a healthcare company committed to helping people live longer, healthier & happier lives and making a better world. Conservation Volunteers empowers communities across Australia to take action for a thriving future for humans and nature. This shared commitment to people and planet is at the heart of the partnership. After all, the health of the planet and the health of humans is intrinsically interwoven.
The partnership is a significant next step in Conservation Volunteer’s ambitious 5-year agenda to build and activate a nationwide community of 1 million Nature Stewards focused on protecting our natural environment against climate change and biodiversity loss and their impacts.
At the launch of the partnership, Bupa Asia Pacific CEO, Hisham El-Ansary, said: “As millions of Australians emerge from...