Business partner: Santander and Marie Curie Cancer Care

The bank assisted the charity for people with terminal illnesses

Santander and Marie Curie Cancer Care
Santander and Marie Curie Cancer Care

The most lucrative charity of the year partnerships seem to be with either banks or supermarkets, which is perhaps reflective of the British economy.

Santander is a case in point. The Spanish bank began running charity of the year partnerships in 2008, but has since experienced pronounced fundraising growth. This defies recent research, including the UK Giving 2012 report, which found a 20 per cent fall in giving as a whole.

The bank's first partner, the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital Charity, raised £140,000. By 2011, £600,000 was raised for the Alzheimer's Society. In 2012, the fundraising total - for Marie Curie Cancer Care - reached £900,000.

"We've had a lot of backing at the top level," says Jonathan Elliott, community manager at Santander. "We've been tasked with growing the community and staff engagement programmes, and have had real support from our senior leadership."

In 2012, Santander also launched two flagship events: It's a Knockout tournaments, based on the 1970s TV programme, and a flame relay, inspired by the Olympic torch relay. These initiatives raised £60,000 each. Counter campaigns raised £90,000 from Santander customers.

Experienced charity partners, such as Marie Curie, have also refined the way they work with businesses to maximise fundraising potential.

"We assign a dedicated person to manage the partnership, our regional teams support their fundraising activities and we invite our nurses to talk to staff and demonstrate what the money will fund," says Arun Sharma, head of corporate and commercial fundraising.

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