Business partner: The Alzheimer's Society and Tesco

The health charity links up with the supermarket chain

Alzheimer's: Personal connection
Alzheimer's: Personal connection

The charity of the year partnership with Tesco could lay claim to that shopworn phrase "making a difference". For example, the chosen partner for 2010, the children's cancer charity Clic Sargent, received £7.2m - equal to nearly half its voluntary income for that year.

The current incumbent, the Alzheimer's Society, is only half way through its term, but is on course to achieve a similar windfall. The charity's chief executive, Jeremy Hughes, believes that stressing the personal connection between the people and the cause was a key factor that led to the charity attaining charity of the year status with Tesco.

"We showed the importance of the issue of dementia to Tesco staff and customers," he says. "We calculated that almost half the staff and customers were affected in some way by dementia in their family."

The society also pledged to set up a mobile information unit, called the Dementia Community Roadshow, within a few months of the start of the partnership.

Josh Hardie, head of corporate responsibility at Tesco, says that sending a clear message about what the supermarket chain is raising money for - in this case, helping 100,000 people with dementia - is a vital ingredient of success. "We always put a lot of work in to make sure we've got that message right," he says.

But this year's partnership is on course to match last year's total, which was itself a record. Hardie says Tesco could raise even more than that for its charity of the year. There is potential for suppliers and customers to contribute more than they have done already, he says.

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