Business partner: Classic FM and the National Autistic Society

The autism charity has reached six million potential donors through its radio station link

NAS volunteer
NAS volunteer

When charities look for corporate partners they sometimes have a particular prize in mind. Media partners offer the prospect of reaching a large audience and increased fundraising - think of the partnership between the armed forces charity Help for Heroes and The Sun newspaper, for example.

The National Autistic Society's link with the radio station Classic FM fits this category. The charity has so far raised about £75,000 and informed an audience of approximately six million about its work.

Since 2012, the NAS has been a beneficiary of Classic FM's Christmas auction and raffle. The charity will fundraise at three Classic FM Live events during the year and receive funds from the station staff's overseas treks and UK challenge events.

Paul McIntyre, corporate partnerships manager at the NAS, says a "cross-team" effort is required - the charity has, for example, provided volunteers to take phone calls during Classic FM's Christmas auctions. "Press and PR, campaigns and community events are all deployed on this partnership," he says.

John Stratton, fundraising manager at the Classic FM Foundation, says the station's audience is older and has more disposable income. "If we present them with the right cause in the right way, they are willing to donate," he says.

The foundation runs a campaign to provide music therapy to disadvantaged children. But every summer the NAS has to reapply to be the station's partner. "We take an open-minded approach to whom we choose," says Stratton.

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