Adeela Warley: Partnerships may help rebuild trust in the sector

They can provide opportunities for charities to innovate, writes our columnist

Adeela Warley
Adeela Warley

From the scandals dominating news reports, it's easy to think trust is as rare as hen's teeth. Meet Rachel Botsam, who argues in The Great Trust Shift that there is no crisis, just that trust is shifting from experts and institutions towards distributed trust in our friends, family and networks.

In a conversation with the Bank of England's chief economist, Andy Haldane, Botsam explores his aims to rebuild public trust in banking, starting with a roadshow characterised by a more localised communications style to embody the bank's core mission to serve the British public. That is a useful provocation for charities. Trust in us remains high, but are we truly focused on our core purposes? Are we talking to the right people? It's easy to stick with business as usual and continue preaching to the converted.

Can bold strategies lie in partnerships with companies? There are risks, but gains to be made too. Macmillan Cancer Support linked with Lloyds Bank to provide financial support for people facing cancer and reduced income. Tesco's partnership brought the BHF and Diabetes UK together to engage millions of customers with healthy lifestyles.

C&E's 2017 Corporate-NGO Benchmark reports that reputation and credibility remain the major reasons for corporates forming charity partnerships. For charities, the opportunity to innovate and re-gear purpose and mission are key. The value of partnerships is seen as game-changing for companies and charities alike, and society gains.

Not all partnerships succeed, and setting measurable impact targets is vital, but they could be powerful ways to build new networks and rebuild the trust we all need.

Adeela Warley is chief executive of CharityComms

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