Debate: What makes a successful bid for a charity of the year partnership?

Three charities that have recently landed partnerships with businesses reveal how they approached the pitch

Ruth Powys, Arun Sharma and Paul Amadi
Ruth Powys, Arun Sharma and Paul Amadi

Ruth Powys is chief executive of Elephant Family, which expects to receive up to £1m as one of Deutsche Bank's two charities of the year

Ruth Powys is chief executive of Elephant FamilyThe secret to winning is to be different and daring. If you aren't winning 'charity of the year' partnerships, then you have nothing to lose by trying something new. Don't look at what's been done before; invent original ways to nail those all-important staff votes and panel interviews. Throw everything you have at it and make sure you inspire your entire team along the way. Just think of the end of a football match when a manager puts the whole team into attack to score a goal.

Arun Sharma is head of corporate and commercial fundraising at Marie Curie Cancer Care; its two-year partnership with Superdrug has a £750,000 target

Arun Sharma is head of corporate and commercial fundraising at Marie Curie Cancer CareWe took part in a three-stage pitching process that involved a staff and customer vote-off on Facebook. We used our social media channels, emailed 350,000 supporters, galvanised our fundraising groups, created a Pinterest board of nurse and supporter stories and images, and got our staff on board to get as many votes as possible. Once we were shortlisted, we built on our mutual presence in local communities, emphasising the synergy between Superdrug customers and our supporters.

Paul Amadi is director of fundraising at Diabetes UK, Tesco's charity of the year for 2013; it has a £10m target

Paul Amadi is director of fundraising at Diabetes UKIt sounds like a cliche, but winning the Tesco partnership - like any great tie-up - began with us working hard to ascertain what Tesco wanted to achieve with its charity partner. We worked equally hard to confirm our own internal goals and ensure that there was complete organisational alignment on what we wanted to achieve. Clarifying our mutual objectives meant that pulling together a compelling proposal was straightforward. And on pitch day our press team secured blanket coverage about diabetes, which I'm sure didn't hurt.

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