NDCS challenges businesses to bid to become partner

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is attempting to turn the tables on the corporate sector as part of plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary next year.

NDCS will ask corporations to bid to become one of its "diamond partners", reversing the usual practice of voluntary organisations competing to be selected as charity of the year by companies.

Companies will be asked to fill in an application form stating how they will raise more than £60,000 during 2004. The best entries in sectors such as banking, insurance and retail will be short-listed and a panel of charity staff and celebrities will interview them. The charity has approached Anne Robinson and Jeremy Paxman.

Mark Astarita, deputy chief executive of NDCS, said: "Companies often send out briefs asking them to pitch to become their Charity of the Year, so we thought we'd have a go at turning the tables to help put the sector on an equal footing."

The closing date for applications is 1 May.

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