Every corporate partnerships specialist dreams of the day when they have an impressive portfolio of major partners that matches the ambition of their charity. But they also wonder how to create this success.
An innovative way to achieve this is to build a powerful movement of corporate partners focused on changing the game for your cause. It’s about inspiring target companies to become corporate activists. We see this as an ideal approach for the 2020s. This is because it seizes the rise of purpose-driven business and matches the aspirations of Generations Y and Z.
So we’ve put together 5 steps to do this below:
1. Frame your problem
Find the big, compelling problem that companies could help you solve. This could be described in terms of how many people you still need to help and the challenge they are facing. You can increase the urgency by including a deadline.
For example, SolarAid is aiming to End the Darkness, by giving 600 million people in Africa access to solar lights by 2030
2. Name the commitment
Articulate a simple and achievable activity that will make a tangible impact on your problem. You could plan for the activity to take place during a relevant week or awareness day. This is what you are asking companies to sign-up for. You should also give your movement a compelling name.
For example, Changing Faces’ Pledge To Be Seen initiative is asking companies to represent more people with a visible difference in their campaigns in the next 12 months
3. Identify your target audience
Identify a list of industry sectors and specific companies that would benefit by joining your movement. Ask your colleagues, partners and wider network who they know in these sectors. Identify the target contact in each company, this could be the marketing or human resources director, depending on your activity. Use this information to create your target prospect list.
4. Inspiring engagement event
Organise an inspiring corporate engagement event to fire up your prospects. The formula for a successful engagement event is a high-profile speaker and an exciting venue. In light of the current coronavirus crisis, you could make your event virtual. You could also give each attendee a pledge card on which they can register their interest to join your movement.
For example, Changing Faces’ First Impressions event was held at the London Stock Exchange and was hosted by Rory Bremner.
5. Tenacious follow-up
Select your follow-up team ahead of time. Your goal is to meet for coffee with all the people who registered their interest and ask them to sign up. Once they’re onboard send them a toolkit and ensure they have a brilliant experience. Some of these companies are likely to become your major partners for the future.
If you have any questions about our process or would like to book a free review of your corporate partnerships performance, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and either Jonathan or Andy will be in touch!