Corporate partnerships 'barely affected' by sexual scandals in the aid sector

According to this year's C&E Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer, some respondents said the scandals had actually strengthened partnerships by forcing charities to improve their governance

The report
The report

Corporate partnerships have barely been affected by this year's sexual abuse scandals in the aid sector, according to a report published today.

The vast majority of NGOs and companies said they had seen little impact on the partnering agenda over the past 12 months, according to the C&E Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer 2018.

Indeed, some said the scandal had actually strengthened partnerships by forcing charities to improve in areas such as governance and due diligence.

The report, published for the ninth consecutive year by the business consultancy C&E Advisory, is based on interviews with 101 companies and voluntary organisations.

This year's survey, which was conducted in June and July, considered the impact of sexual abuse as a special topic.

Asked what effect it had had on their approach to partnering, 76 per cent of corporates and 73 per cent of NGOs said it had been neither positive nor negative.

Ten per cent of companies and 8 per cent of NGOs said it had been negative, but these figures were more than offset by the 15 per cent of corporates and 21 per cent of NGOs that said it had been either positive or very positive.

"The scandal necessitated a ‘pause and reflect’ by both companies and NGOs, but has not led to any lessening of investments in – or de-prioritisation of – cross-sector partnering," the report says.

Manny Amadi, chief executive of C&E, told Third Sector that the finding highlighted how deep and valuable partnerships had become.

"Overall, the message is that the partnership agenda is maturing and intensifying," said Amadi. "It's becoming more important to both parties."

The report reveals that income generation and reputation remain the key considerations for entering partnerships.

Access to funds was cited by 95 per cent of NGOs as a reason for getting involved, followed by access to people and contacts (81 per cent) and innovation (77 per cent).

Reputation (88 per cent) was the most popular reason cited by NGOs.

The number of partnerships worth between £5m and £10m increased by 13 per cent, but partnerships worth less than £1m decreased by 9 per cent.

Eighty-eight per cent of NGOs and 86 per cent of corporates said they saw the role of partnerships becoming more or much more important over the next three years. Not a single respondent anticipated they would become less important.

Survey participants included Cancer Research UK, the NSPCC, Marie Curie and Christian Aid from the not-for-profit sector and Tesco, Sky and Marks & Spencer from the corporate sector.

The collaboration between the pharmaceutical company GSK and Save the Children was voted the most admired partnership by survey participants for the third year running.

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