Debate: Is the 'charity of the year' partnership a useful concept that has had its day?

The young people's charity YouthNet recently hosted an event about the changing nature of corporate link-ups

Graham Lindsay is group director, responsible business at the Lloyds Banking Group

Graham Lindsay is group director, responsible business at the Lloyds Banking GroupAbsolutely not - 'charity of the year' is very much alive and kicking. However, the lens through which organisations view such partnerships is changing. The economic climate has not affected only charities; it has affected us all. Key social issues are more raw than they have ever been.

A charity partnership must not only respond to those issues; it must have the power to inspire and galvanise staff to work together towards the stated ambition of the partnership. This ambition must be two-fold and about more than just money.

Jemma Guerrier is deputy director of development at the young people's charity YouthNet

Jemma Guerrier is deputy director of development at the young people's charity YouthNetIt's evolving, and there isn't one model. The name seems old-fashioned because it could be multiple charities and multiple years. In any partnership, a charity and a corporate should tailor their approach depending on what each wants and what each has to offer. The trick is finding mutual understanding.

I'm not convinced that the traditional 'charity of the year' application process is always the best way to find matches. We find corporate relationships deliver most value when the partners understand each other's values and business strategies.

Jason Woodford is chief executive of the digital marketing agency SiteVisibility

Jason Woodford is chief executive of the digital marketing agency SiteVisibilityI don't think 'charity of the year' is a dying concept, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. It makes sense to focus on fundraising efforts because these help maximise impact. This forges a deeper mutual understanding, which can add unexpected value, bringing benefits beyond fundraising.

I get particularly excited when the intellectual property, skills or non-financial resources of the donor company can be tapped into, and even more so when there is an overlap of audiences, which can give rise to mutual marketing opportunities.

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