Charity-corporate tie-ups are still primarily about money

When it comes to choosing a corporate partner, the biggest factor for most charities is still the money on offer, according to research from UK agency Forster Communications.

Cash: Top consideration for charities being courted by corporates
Cash: Top consideration for charities being courted by corporates

However, brand values remain important with two-thirds of the 28 charities surveyed revealing they have rejected a partnership due to fears of negative brand association.

Retail, leisure and banking industries emerged as sectors charities were most keen to partner with, while energy, manufacturing and housing were some of the least attractive.

Charities still feel that one of the biggest obstacles to driving social change is the lack of genuine backing from senior teams at enterprises, the research found. Half of respondents felt that corporates needed to do more to motivate staff to get behind the partnership and 85 per cent called for more integration to help ensure the best possible outcome.

George Ames, head of Forster’s new activation practice - which will work to encourage individuals to support a cause or join a movement - explained that charities are caught between a need to raise funds urgently and build longer-term solutions.

"While the potential for corporate-charity collaboration is clear, the reality is often frustrating with the majority of relationships still based on passive giving from business to charity," he said.

"We know this is starting to change and there are examples of active and involved partnerships being led by progressive leaders from both sectors, undoubtedly delivering better value for both partners. It requires new thinking and the ability to try to test over the long term, but the long-term potential of uniting the different insights, knowledge and resources around a common cause is very exciting."

A previous study from Forster showed that consumers wanted businesses to work more with charities - saying this could positively impact purchasing choices.

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