Social Impact Insights
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In an era where the reputation of a business is driven heavily by corporate social responsibility (CSR), charity partnerships have many benefits for corporate companies. Read on to find out how a charity partnership can enhance publicity and improve brand awareness.
Written by: Gary Drew on behalf of HR Technologist. Read the full article here.
The reputation of a business is driven heavily by corporate social responsibility (CSR) these days and is an element that every organization should be growing. This article looks into the importance of charity partnerships and how they allow the ability to differentiate a brand - in terms of status, employability, and value. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should set up a partnership with every charity that you come across; the not-for-profit organization that you choose to support should reflect your business’ values.
A Value-Driven Approach
Workers are increasingly seeking employment in organizations that are meaningful to them and are in line with their own values. In fact, millennials have been known to take pay cuts in order to work for a company that is aligned with their own values and purpose.
In addition to attracting and retaining like-minded and motivated employees to your organization, a strong CSR strategy creates a community and gives employees a sense of purpose. It helps humanize corporate organizations and, in some cases, helps to identify a brand’s purpose - giving an idealistic view of how you want to appear to your audience.
Charity partnerships are often more effective and beneficial than donations as they pave the way for new sources of income. The announcements of such collaborations also enhance publicity, leading to improved PR opportunities and brand awareness. Additionally, these types of partnerships can help towards combating national and global crisis situations, such as, unemployment, climate change, homelessness and other issues.
There are many instances that show just how strong a corporate charity partnership can be and the difference they can make. Take SOFII’s fundraising masterpiece, ‘I Wish I’d Thought of That’ as an example. This campaign is based on the alliance: ‘Gay and Lesbians Support the Miners’, which raised £11,000 to support the Miners’ Strike (in 1980’s money) whilst overseeing the first commitment of LGBT rights into Labour Party Policy motion in 1984 - thanks to the block support of the National Union of Mineworkers. The original campaign faced many challenges as it was an attempt to raise funds and encourage support for an unpopular cause, but this just created more awareness than anticipated.
Despite being an unlikely union, it’s one that all organizations can learn from. When choosing which charity to approach and collaborate with, you should be asking yourself the following:
What should you look for in a charity partnership?
A partnership is a two-way thing and both the company and charity should complement and benefit from each other in order for it to be successful. It’s important to make sure that the reasoning behind the partnership is also aligned with the customer’s needs and interests.
CSR efforts – as discussed before – help to humanize a brand, which is important as purchasing decisions are often based on emotional reasons. So, if your target market has an interest in tackling environmental issues, teaming up with a charity that supports this cause, will have more of an impact than if you were to endorse a homelessness charity, for example. In addition to a relevant cause, what else should you be looking for in the charity that you decide to team up with?
Enthusiasm and Integrity
The reputation, attitude, and enthusiasm of charity are very important aspects to look for – it is important to strike a partnership with a charity, which shows a willingness to go the extra mile and tenacity to deliver results. Corporate partnerships will play a huge role in the reputation of your business, so it is important to ensure that you are making the right decision. It is not uncommon for charities to be victims of a scandal or crisis and teaming up with an untrusted charity would be a risky move.
Professionalism and Collaboration
The ability to work closely together and align corporate communications in a professional manner is important. You need to know all about your partner’s upcoming news and announcements in advance. If they are planning to carry out a controversial campaign or announce some negative news that might impact your business, it is important to be prepared for press enquiries and interviews, so make sure you have the ability for strong communications and forward planning abilities with relevant contacts.
In addition to having aligned objectives and goals, your charity partnership should also offer long-lasting benefits. It is important that the charity you decide to partner up with can be upfront and transparent about how you can work together and the benefits that they can offer.
Whether this is a dedicated page to you on their website, a chance to be a part of photo opportunities and other public relations opportunities or even invited to corporate events, it is beneficial to work closely together so people (stakeholders and customers) are aware that you are a part of endorsing that particular charity.