Charity partnerships with corporates are now longer and worth more, says report

Publication by the consultancy C&E Advisory is based on a survey of 130 corporates and NGOs involved in partnerships, including Marks & Spencer, which has linked up with Oxfam

Oxfam's Shwopping partnership with Marks & Spencer
Oxfam's Shwopping partnership with Marks & Spencer

Partnerships between companies and charities are becoming longer and worth more money to charities, according to a new report.

The consultancy C&E Advisory’s annual Corporate NGO Partnerships Barometer is based on a survey of 130 corporates and NGOs involved in partnerships.

It says there has been a 12 percentage point increase over the past year in the proportion of corporate partnerships that are worth more than £10m, to 22 per cent of charity respondents.

The report says that 95 per cent of NGOs selected "access to funds" as a reason for corporate partnerships, the most popular response, while "reputation and credibility" was chosen by 92 per cent of corporate respondents – these were the top answers in each case.

"Long-term stability and impact" was chosen by 73 per cent of corporate respondents, up from 60 per cent last year, and there was a 15 percentage point increase in respondents from NGOs that selected this answer, to 71 per cent.

Eighty-nine per cent of respondents said they thought corporate partnerships would become more important over the next three years, and 11 per cent said they thought their importance would remain about the same.

Respondents chose as their most admired partnership the "Shwopping" link between Marks & Spencer and Oxfam, which encouraged M&S customers to donate their old clothes for use in Oxfam stores and raised £3.2m for the charity last year.

"Overall, it is noticeable how high up the agenda NGO partnerships now are for corporates – particularly at a senior level, and how there is a real opportunity for NGOs to help corporates communicate the effects of their partnerships better, most notably to external audiences," writes Manny Amadi, chief executive of C&E Advisory, in his introduction to the report.

"It is also interesting to see how both sets of practitioners seem to be gaining a deeper understanding of the potential for corporates to harness their expertise in delivering NGO objectives. Understandably, NGOs’ focus remains principally on cash – but the ground is shifting towards a deeper understanding of the value that mission-led partnering can yield."

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