Social value is top of the agenda for 2022, so how can charities benefit?

Third Sector Promotion whatimpact

Public-sector contracts must now factor in social impact – which is good news for those seeking to attract more corporate support.

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As of last year, companies working for the UK government need to think more seriously about their social impact. Recent policy changes have made it mandatory for social value to be evaluated and included in government procurement processes. This means companies seeking public-sector contracts would be well-advised to partner with charitable organisations delivering real social value.

A new white paper from Whatimpact has explored the impacts to date of these policy changes for those working in the social value space – most importantly, charities and social enterprises. 

So, is increased demand for social impact partnerships between companies and charities already being felt in the third sector?

The white paper research suggests that charities are not yet noticing a considerable increase in corporate interest regarding partnerships, volunteering or other forms of support. But that is likely to change as 2022 progresses, and more companies across the UK look to expand their social value activities by supporting charities working in local communities. Here, we look at three things charities should remember in order to benefit from social value partnerships.

 

  1. Corporates want to see your impacts

Companies looking to increase their social impact have a huge variety of potential charity partners to choose from. And as we all know, some causes garner support more readily than others – especially those with easy-to-measure outcomes. Many corporate supporters gravitate towards a small subsection of charities – overlooking other incredibly important organisations whose impacts are more difficult to quantify, or who are working on less glamorous causes.  

To ensure your cause doesn’t get left behind, impact reporting is key. The best way to attract new supporters is to make the social impacts of your work known. And that doesn’t always have to mean relying on numerical evaluation; qualitative reporting, such as beneficiary testimonials, can be just as valuable to tell your story.

 

  1. Social value can’t be a box-ticking exercise

When companies approach partnerships with charities with a ‘box-ticking’ mindset, these often end up being unproductive. Unfortunately, some collaborations – especially in the form of corporate volunteering – can still end up being more work than reward for the charities involved. 

Luckily, mindsets are changing in the private sector and companies are looking for more modern charity partnerships. Now more than ever, those partnerships need to make sense for both parties involved. So before embarking on any collaborative projects with companies, set out clear expectations. And don’t be afraid to be specific about the kind of support you are looking for; that way, you’ll find the corporate supporters best suited to your projects!

 

  1. Make the most of every possible resource

Many companies have resources to give, but struggle to know what charities could really benefit from. Services, skills and products that might be immensely helpful to you are not necessarily immediately obvious to corporate supporters that could help provide them.

Efficient matching of charities with corporate partners guarantees that all available resources are identified and put to good use. Multi-resource partnerships, where those involved find multiple ways to work together and meet each other’s needs, pave the way for long-term future collaboration – and could help deliver lasting social value.

 

Whatimpact is a matchmaking platform connecting organisations that have resources to give (companies and grantmakers) with those delivering social value on the ground (charities and social enterprises), based on shared values and impact goals. It can make working with companies a lot easier and more efficient for charities – visit whatimpact.com to sign up and create a free profile.

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