Charities fret over corporate tie-ups

Fewer than a third of charities feel comfortable campaigning against their corporate partners, a Third Sector survey has revealed.

The finding calls into question whether charities can really work with companies and still maintain their independence.

"This suggests that charities value income above all else, and that these partnerships are a good way for companies to muzzle charities," said Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, the think tank that conducted the survey.

However, some charities argue that working with companies can be more effective than campaigning against them. WWF-UK has a five-year partnership with HSBC. "It means that we can influence one of the biggest banks in the world," said the charity's company relations manager, Dax Lovegrove.

The survey also revealed that fewer than half - 48 per cent - feel like equal partners in their relationships with companies. Despite this discontent, 73 per cent of charities would like to get involved in more corporate partnerships.

- See survey feature, p26.

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