Save the Children has increased its income from corporate partnerships from £3.9m in 2009 to a projected £22.5m this year, the charity has said.
The international children’s charity said the growth was the result of a new strategy and of "not being afraid to be commercially-focused".
The charity changed its approach to working with businesses after Douglas Rouse, corporate partnerships director, joined the charity four years ago.
Natasha Parker, deputy corporate partnerships director at the charity, who joined the charity three months after Rouse, said: "We had a really fresh look at the partnerships Save the Children had.
"It is about partnerships being mutually beneficial and having a focus on what the company is looking for – not being afraid to be commercially focused."
In addition to significant cash investment in its programme work, Parker said the charity sets objectives that make partnerships "multi-dimensional" so that staff at all levels of the business feel involved. This includes fundraising and skills and expertise sharing, she said.
The charity’s partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, for example, will involve Save the Children working with GSK to research and develop medicines for children in the developing world.
The consumer goods multinational Reckitt Benckiser, which has worked with the charity since 2003, recently pledged £23.5m to the charity by 2015 to stop children dying from diarrhoea. The company will be developing new products as part of the initiative.
Parker said companies wanted to know where their money was going and what effect it was having. "It is important for both sides to set objectives early on and review them," she said. "We have been able to renew and expand partnerships and that is where a lot of the £22.5m has come from."
She said the charity was hoping to increase further its income from corporate partnerships.