Hot issue: Will fundraising by companies undermine charities' efforts?

Companies increasingly use non-profit fundraising and campaigning methods, with or without charity involvement: do they help or hinder the cause?


Gill Moody, director of fundraising consultancy Craigmyle

But only if charities don't hold corporates accountable for results and if companies don't take seriously the need to create a financial legacy for the sector.

Companies have to place more and more emphasis on defining the impact they have on society, and some see high-profile campaigns as one way of ticking a number of boxes on their impact statement checklists. But will they be able to deliver real benefits for vulnerable people, and are these sustainable?

Companies can talk the talk and sometimes have huge resources at their disposal to do so. Can they walk the walk, or is the latest campaign a fad that, with the next change of marketing director, will leave high and dry those same vulnerable people it was designed to help?

Sainsbury's and Associated British Foods are examples of corporates that continue to make their presence felt beyond their original initiatives. If driven by marketing departments, will this new generation of activity really change the lives of vulnerable people for the better? And will any changes be sustainable? Surely that is the litmus test.


Anna Segatti, president of Avon UK and Ireland

Corporate fundraising generates vital funds and raises awareness for charities that enhances their efforts. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has worked with Breakthrough Breast Cancer since it began in the UK in 1992, raising more than £12m to propel Breakthrough from fledgling to major breast cancer charity.

Avon and Breakthrough share the goal of working towards a future free from the fear of breast cancer. Significantly, our partnership also allows Breakthrough to access a wider audience and communicate breast-awareness messages to 1,600 staff, 170,000 sales representatives and six million women through the Avon brochure every three weeks.

The initiative is a long-term commitment, not just for Avon UK but for Avon globally. In its 50 markets that run the campaign, Avon has raised £286m for women's causes worldwide, with £255m going to breast cancer causes.

With shared goals and strong partnerships, corporate fundraising has the potential to raise necessary funds to help charities achieve and exceed their goals, not undermine their efforts.

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