When you start a new job, it can often feel like you have to learn a whole new language. Understanding the acronyms, the jargon, the tone – it can be incredibly confusing. 

Whether you have just started in corporate fundraising and are keen to learn the language, or if you’ve been in fundraising for a while and want to keep up with developments, we thought we would share our “fundraising decoder” – the 17 important phrases you need to know. 

  1. Beneficiaries – the people who directly benefit from an organisation’s activities. For example, at The Children Society, this will be the children and young people they support. 
  1. Charitable deduction – companies that make charitable contributions can often use this to reduce their corporation tax bill. It is always worth ensuring your corporate partners know this, as it may increase the amount they are able to give you! 
  1. Corporate foundation – many companies will have a set bank account/structure for their corporate giving, such as the Avanti Schools Trust We largely recommend that these are handled by trust fundraisers, as they are managed much more like a foundation than they are a company. 
  1. Corporate Partnership – a corporate-charity partnership is a relationship between a business and a charity who share passion and commitments. Many charities define any corporate relationship over a certain value (e.g. £5,000) as a partnership, whereas others see that they have to share certain values. 
  1. COTY (Charity of the year) a partnership between a charity and a business that typically lasts between one and three years, often chosen by employee vote. 
  1. Cause related marketing – an arrangement that links a product or service with a social cause to provide the cause with a percentage of the sales or profits received. For example, the LUSH x SOS orangutan bath bomb
  1. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) – many companies will have a CSR Policy which outlines their commitments to society.  
  1. Due diligence – the steps taken to assess another company or person the charity is considering a partnership or association with. These steps are taken to protect the charity or company against damage to their reputation or finances. 
  1. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) – a set of standards measuring a business’s impact on society, the environment, and how transparent and accountable it is. 
  1. Gift in kind – a donation of goods and services made to a charity, rather than a cash gift.  
  1. MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) or partnership agreement – a document describing the broad outlines of an agreement that two or more parties have reached. 
  1. Payroll giving – a way of giving money through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system from someone’s wages or pension to charity without paying tax on it. Payroll giving is sometimes called ‘give as you earn’ or ‘workplace giving’ 
  1. Pipeline - a list of companies that have been identified as potential supporters of a charity. The ‘pipeline’ refers to the stages and actions from converting the company from a lead to a partner. 
  1. SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) – The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. 
  1. Strategic Partnership – Partner organisations align their missions and combine their assets to create new resources, rather than swap resources they already have. 
  1. Transformational Partnership – Partnership lifts the lid of what the charity and company are able to achieve for their missions, often causing ‘disruptive social innovation’ 
  1. Unrestricted funding – funds that have no specific conditions imposed by donors/partners, in terms of how or on what these may be spent. 

We hope this glossary has been useful to start getting your mind used to the language. We know how scary or confusing it can be to start in corporate fundraising. If you’d like to turbo-charge your corporate partnerships career, we’d recommend checking out our  Introduction to Corporate Partnerships Training  

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