Consumers 'more likely to buy products associated with good causes'

Paul Farthing of Cancer Research UK urges IFC delegates not to undersell charity brands

Charities should not underestimate the value of their brands to businesses, according to Paul Farthing, high-value relationships director at Cancer Research UK.

Speaking at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands, Farthing said research showed 83 per cent of consumers in the UK would prefer to purchase products that were associated with a charitable cause.

He said 66 per cent of UK consumers would buy a different brand from the one they usually bought as a result of a charity partnership.

"Companies spend millions persuading the public to switch brands, so charities need to be telling them that they are a way of achieving that," he said.

"Businesses want your values and attributes; in their eyes charities are a desirable asset and they should be willing to pay a decent amount to associate themselves with you," he said.

Farthing said more charities should find out the financial worth of their brand. In 2006, the most recent year for which he showed the data, CRUK was the highest-value charity brand in the UK and was worth £209.2m. It was followed by the National Trust and Oxfam.

Farthing also urged charities to develop guidelines on the types of businesses they would be willing to partner with. "Write down what your principles are and keep it as a live document," he said. "It only needs to be five or six principles about the sort of relationships you will or won't have." 

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