We’re all familiar with sponsorship, we see sponsors whenever we attend a sporting event, festival or theatre. The images above, show what is called a ‘lock up logo’, combining the corporate sponsor and sponsee together.
In the context of a corporate-cause sponsorship, the best definition is “when a company contributes financially towards a non-profit program, campaign or event”. A sponsorship is driven by a commercial desire by the company, it’s at the opposite end of the investment spectrum from a philanthropic gift. The benefit for the sponsor is usually a marketing benefit such as exposing a company/brand name/logo to a particular audience, sampling a product, getting ‘rub off’ halo effect from the alignment, and so on....
In the past decades, there’s been growing demand for companies to take responsibility for their negative impact on society and the environment. As a result, two concepts – and terms – were born: CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance). While these terms are often used interchangeably, it’s important to understand that they’re different.
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) refers to a company's voluntary practices and actions aimed at improving social and environmental conditions, beyond what is legally required. The term was coined in 1953 when American economist Howard Bowen published a book called ‘Social Responsibilities of the Businessman’. It became part of corporate language globally in the 1990s.
There are two expressions of CSR – one is internal and the other is external, or, publicly visible. Internal activities involve ensuring that the daily operations of...
There are distinct and different ways of partnering with a company, and therefore, an array of different terms (jargon).
If your organisation wants to partner with companies, it’s vital your Board understands the different terminology as they have funding & legal consequences. If YOU are the changemaker tasked with winning corporate partners, you must know the differences, so you can enter negotiations with authority and confidence.
Regular readers of my blog will be familiar with the 4 Purses: the four purses within a corporate, company or brand that may hold resources, expertise and cash for non-profits & social enterprises. Each purseholder has a different motivation for partnering with a non-profit or social enterprise, hence why there are so many techniques and terms. If you’re unfamiliar with the 4 Purses, download our free Infographic here, it’s a gamechanger in understanding the corporate sector.
Let’s dive into the largest and most...
Let’s demystify a term that frequently makes headlines but is often misunderstood: recession. It’s easy to get sucked into doom and gloom thinking, which can erode your confidence when approaching corporates and undermine your negotiation.
A recession definition
A recession is typically defined as a significant, widespread and prolonged decline in economic activity across a country or region. A common rule of thumb is that two (2) consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP), reflecting a decline in output and income, means recession. However, it's important to note that the term ‘recession’ is not just about numbers and statistics; it has real-life implications for businesses, individuals, and the overall economy.
Economic Downturn definition
While a recession is generally associated with a decline in GDP, an economic downturn can be a broader term encompassing various indicators, such as rising unemployment, falling consumer spending,...
Sally & Hailey at Harry Styles, February 2023
When Hailey met Georgia in 2019 she’d been running her modular training program for 22 years. The popular program, HeartSmart®, was delivered via Masterclasses and later as a physical toolkit.
Georgia and Hailey’s vision for the program was to take it online, and thankfully Georgia had all the skills needed to make that a reality. However, Hailey knew that there was one critical element to the program that had to be resolved before they could move forward.
That one thing? Finding a way to enable non-profits to place a dollar value on their assets, that didn’t involve outsourcing to a media expert.
“We need to find someone that has the skill and breadth of experience to create a DIY model , otherwise an online program simply won’t work” said Hailey. “But I know just the person who could do it for us”.
Enter Sally Phelps, who was Business Director at global media &...
Back in 2019, Hailey was burned out from running a small business for 24 years. Her husband Tyrone – and rock of 19 years – was concerned. The vibrant, funny woman he’d met all those years ago was depressed, despite having built over 50 partnerships investing over $40 million into charities, she felt like a failure. One day, his wife came back from the shops with a glint in her eye. It wasn’t a purchase that had done it, she’d met a young lass named Georgia. Hailey felt it was a serendipitous meeting. It was. Georgia had the skills Hailey lacked (online technology, social media, filmmaking, editing to name a few) and the energy and enthusiasm only a 23 year old has.
After one meeting it was clear the two women were going to create magic together. Georgia insisted on getting Hailey’s training for non-profits into an online format so that it was not lost forever. But skills and enthusiasm were not enough, money...
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...