Many charities sometimes receive one off donations or ‘gifts in kind’, but struggle to turn this desire to help into a more sustainable partnership that is valuable to both parties.
This is a key challenge for all charities during a normal year, for some charities it has been even more pronounced as so many companies were moved to help during the early stages of the pandemic.
Businesses and their customers clearly care, but how can charities work with them to turn that into ongoing support that continues to make a sustained difference?
A couple of other challenges for charities wanting to grow their partnerships income include a) efficiently finding more companies that want to get involved in your cause (as we help you exploit on the Corporate Mastery Programme, your niche will appeal to some companies and their customers far better than others), and b) as a small team, not getting bogged down in the paperwork needed with such partnerships).
One fundraiser who faced these challenges this year was Laura Webb, Interim Head of Corporate Partnerships at Leeds Cares. Leeds Cares is the charity of Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Leeds Cares is a fabulous charity that supports NHS staff to deliver the best care for over a million patients and their families each year.
How Laura solved this
Laura was determined to transform the gifts in kind that her charity had already received from various generous companies, into regular, two-way partnerships that would generate income to help pay for the charities’ services, and give companies the chance to tell their customers about this contribution.
When she spoke to potential corporate partners, they articulated that they were very pleased to be able to help the NHS and recognised the amazing work of the teams.
Through the Corporate Mastery Programme Laura attended this year, Laura asked for advice from her coach. He suggested trying a platform called Work For Good. She registered Leeds Cares on the platform, so that local businesses in Leeds could find the charity when searching for a charity to support.
One benefit of Work For Good is the time it saves for both charity and business. If you have a small team, like Laura, you know that it can be very time consuming to arrange the appropriate commercial participation agreement. Using the platform you can make use of the agreement they provide.
It also makes it easier for small businesses to form a partnership even though they may not want to partner for an entire year. It puts the business in control, where they can choose how they support a charity and gives them the option to switch that support on and off.
Being part of a bigger campaign…
One move Laura made that has clearly helped was to give a focal point to companies interested in helping, so they feel part of a wider movement. She launched a campaign called ‘Thankful Thursdays’. As a health charity directly involved with the NHS, she took the momentum that Clap For Carers had gained, and used it to encourage even more people to support the NHS.
The campaign encourages local businesses in Leeds to donate a percentage of their sales on Thursdays (either a single day or every week), and she is inviting Leeds companies to be part of a movement that collectively raises £100,000 by the end of 2020.
So far, the results have been fantastic: for example, one restaurant has donated a full day’s takings to Leeds Cares; and a golf centre is donating a pound for every round that’s booked on a Thursday. It’s clear that local businesses want to support the hospitals and they do want it to be more than a one-off. The Thankful Thursdays campaign has made it easier for them and their customers to continue to make a difference to a cause that is still so important to them.
What is Work for Good?
Work for Good is an online fundraising platform that makes it easier for small businesses to donate to a charity through their sales, and to tell their customers about their giving.
One helpful element is that the platform digitally creates a commercial participation agreement, which means charities can receive donations easily and quickly and makes it accessible for businesses of any size to donate.
What is the Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme?
This is a six-month programme designed to give individual fundraisers the strategies, confidence and momentum to help you increase fundraising income for your charity.
Want to know more? Get in touch to find out more here.