Whizz-Kidz corporate partner commissions external review

Tania Mason

Whizz-Kidz and DHL UK have asked independent consultants to evaluate the impact of their two-year fundraising partnership on both organisations.

Maplecroft was contracted to evaluate the Yellow Wheel Appeal by the courier giant at the start of the partnership, in agreement with Whizz-Kidz, the children's disability charity.

As well as two national DHL staff fundraising appeals, the partnership comprises skills-sharing between the two organisations and in-kind provision of transport services.

The evaluation will examine how the partnership has boosted awareness of disability issues among DHL staff, whether the fundraising helped teamwork and if it brought people together from different parts of DHL's business.

It will also look at how the donations and skills sharing have affected Whizz-Kidz at its organisational and beneficiary levels.

Whizz-Kidz will use the results to demonstrate to prospective corporate partners the value that a deal with the charity can bring to their business.

But the audit also has a deeper purpose for the charity too: it contributes to Whizz-Kidz' new strategy of evaluating and promoting its wider impact on society.

Steve Crump, the charity's fundraising director, said the recent Charity Commission research showing that public trust in charities scores only 6.3 out of ten means the sector "has a lot of work to do".

One way charities can improve, he suggested, is by analysing and promoting the positive effects they have on society. Businesses on the whole had failed miserably at CSR, he said, so there was an opportunity for charities to step in and do it better. Whizz-Kidz is currently exploring how to achieve this.

"Surely there is a wider application of a charity's work and performance than cost-benefit ratios in fundraising," Crump said. "Perhaps the new model of CSR should be charitable social responsibility."

Allison Murray, DHL UK's corporate responsibility manager, said it was the first time the company had externally evaluated the impact of a charity partnership.

"External consultants are better because they come from a neutral perspective, outside the partnership," she said. "Because they are independent, they can interview all parties and come to accurate conclusions on what works well and what needs improvement."

The Maplecroft consultant assigned to the review spent time at both organisations, to develop a methodology and identify the indicators they wanted to measure.

She completed an interim report after 12 months, and will write the final report after the partnership concludes next spring.

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