Corporate partnerships should be 'creative alliance', says Deloitte

Consultancy urges voluntary organisations to understand the motivations, aims and strengths of business partners


Charities must think more broadly about their corporate partnerships rather than focusing only on fundraising, according to a new report from the business consultancy Deloitte.

Emerging Partnership Models Between Business and the Third Sector suggests a three-stage approach to getting the most out of corporate partnerships.

"To truly reap the benefits of corporate social responsibility programmes, charities need to invest in understanding the businesses’ strategic motivations, aims and strengths and then forge a partnership based on a far more creative alliance," it says.

The three key areas in a successful partnership, it says, are: understanding each other, including each organisation's cultures and strategic priorities; developing a plan that ensures a joint approach, rather than the charity driving the partnership with the business in a supporting role; and keeping an open dialogue and monitoring progress.

"A partnership that doesn’t make a real and obvious connection to the core products and services of the business will only generate a general ‘feel-good’ association and is at risk from any other cause that can just as effectively tug on the heart strings," the report says.

It says that, for its own charity partnerships, Deloitte likes to be able to deploy employees on challenging assignments with charities, which can increase staff motivation and retention figures.

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