This year has been tough for charities, but as we approach December, charity partnerships will help end the year on a high
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. This year has been tougher than most, with charities small and large facing the double whammy of COVID-19 restrictions and a scarcity of funding.
This December, charity partnerships will be the key to having a merry festive season.
Not all charity partnerships are the same. Charities work with all sorts of organisations, including other charities and businesses.
Charity-charity partnerships are particularly successful in event fundraising and networking. In these instances, charities work together to fundraise across a particular event. By cooperating, charities can channel their collective audiences towards a single cause.
Networking arrangements between charities can allow organisations to share knowledge through networking events, peer-to-peer training, and information sessions. The Small Charities Coalition, is a good example of a charity networking arrangement.
Traditional corporate partnerships are also highly sought after. They provide regular fundraising income and can be a great source of skilled volunteers.
Advent of Change is a cool, quirky example of how charities can fundraise together in an innovative way. The annual World Changer Calendar features 12 charities, one for each month of the year. The calendar is sold online, with the proceeds going towards the 12 charities. The collaboration offers gift-givers the opportunity to donate across a range of causes, rather than having to choose causes to support. For charities, it’s an opportunity to be front and centre for an entire month. It’s a double win from a fundraising and awareness perspective.
Charities working together can also increase fundraising and visibility. The NHS Charities Together is a membership organisation. There are more than 240 members working across healthcare. Members include regional ambulance services, cancer charities, charitable trusts, and hospital charities.
The fundraising engine of the NHS Charities Together is extraordinary. Since the pandemic, fundraising has reached over £130 million over the summer. Over the festive period, the organisation could potentially reach similar fundraising targets.
The advantages of this charity-charity partnership go beyond fundraising. Before the COVID-19 epidemic, the collaboration focused on representation and information sharing. By banding together, the health charities increase their visibility. The association also hosts regular fundraising, governance, and operational sessions for members.
Corporate partnerships are very desirable. These types of relationships are very different to charity-charity partnerships. Corporate partnerships provide reliable, longer term support, and some businesses may even be able to contribute financially. However, most corporate partnerships are strategic, supporting a particular cause or event.
Lloyds Banking Group has a strategic goal in mind when choosing charity partners. The group has highlighted the plight of those who are mentally unwell. Lloyds has invested in a long-term partnership with Mental Health UK. Working in together, they support young people’s mental health. Lloyd’s directly sponsors the Bloom programme, which is delivered through schools and colleges. COVID-19 has also impacted the way the programme has been delivered. Because of school closures, Bloom set up a digital library to support young people through tough times.
Smaller charities shouldn’t feel daunted by large corporate partners. Business leaders could be looking for brand enhancement or volunteer opportunities. Knowing what their aims are in advance can help charities find partners. CAF offers valuable advice for smaller charities seeking corporate partners. CAF says to:
Still stuck looking for that key partner in your upcoming end-of-year campaign? The Big Give’s Christmas 2020 Challenge responds to charities struggling with funding. For seven days, the Big Give will match donations from selected charities.
This funding pot approach is a perfect example of how charity partnerships work. The Big Give coordinates funding from multiple charitable sources. The Childhood Trust, Reed Foundation and Candis, as partners of the Big Give, contribute funds first. Then, pledgers and key supporters donate their funds. Next, the Big Give Champions take part by donating to specific charities or causes. Together, all these funding types from charities and foundations support individual charity efforts.