On the 26th March, 2020, everything changed.
In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, the United Kingdom entered the first of three national lockdowns. Overnight, the corporate agenda changed. Business leaders were immediately struggling with questions of supply chains, working from home and responding to the crisis.
In 2022, we find ourselves facing new problems. The cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine, and the continuing effects of the coronavirus dictate the corporate agenda.
To build ambitious corporate partnerships, your charity needs to respond to this shifting agenda. As such, we have outlined five ways in which the agenda has changed this year.
The battle for talent
When surveyed by Inspiring Workplaces, the majority of CEOs listed hiring – and retaining – the right talent as their top priority.
The pandemic has given a lot of people the space to consider their options. As such, thousands of workers are moving to companies that better align with their values or offer greater flexibility.
Therefore, organizations looking to remain competitive have to prioritize their workforce. This prioritization comes in many forms. It could be increased wellbeing support, providing flexibility around working hours or even meaningful charity partnerships.
In recent research, Slack have found that up to 30% of employees intend to leave their job this year. Your charity partnership could be the thing that makes candidates choose that company.
Adapting to a hybrid world
We find ourselves in the middle of a digital revolution. The pandemic taught us that whilst face to face interaction is valuable, it isn’t always essential. As such, companies are having to rethink how they create value for their customers.
As more basic services and goods – such as education, employment and social interactions – move online, problems arise. It is easy for people to feel left out and for small details to be overlooked. Left unchecked, this can lead to disastrous results.
Companies are racing to solve these problems. Whether they are trying to replace the ‘water cooler culture’ or ensure that their platform works for all generations, they are all looking to build a digitally inclusive future. It is worth thinking if your charity can play a part in this.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
Forbes research shows that millennials will be the predominant workforce by 2026.
As customers and as colleagues, millennials demand to see themselves and their friends represented by companies. This means there is increasing pressure to demonstrate diversity in advertising, in leadership and in workforces.
To tackle and stay ahead of this trend, businesses are beginning to pay closer attention to their diversity and inclusion policies. They recognize the need to understand their workforce and identify any barriers to underrepresented groups. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion conversation is tough for companies, but has incredible results. When done correctly, it presents an exciting opportunity to tap into diverse perspectives – creating better products, partnerships and culture as a result.
Increasing focus on sustainability
We are moving from a world of reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to a world of reporting on Environmental, Governance and Sustainability data (ESG).
In the wake of COP26, the general public are more aware than ever of the threat climate change creates. As such, we are demanding more environmental action from companies.
The smartest companies are looking at how they can go beyond carbon neutral into planet positive – or at least reduce the impact of their supply chain on the planet. By giving companies a nuanced way to discuss their ESG, your charity could be providing a much needed solution.
The era of purpose driven business
Finally, the Edelman Barometer shows us that we have become much less trusting of companies than we have been before. Business leaders, therefore, are looking at key ways to rebuild this trust with their target audience.
The most advanced solution to this problem is to identify and demonstrate their business purpose. To think what problem they exist to solve, and how they can best go about solving it.
This has led to a significant move from transactional modes of corporate philanthropy, towards strategic partnerships. Consequently, corporates are typically partnering with fewer charities more intensely.
Giving from corporates is likely to increase in the coming years. There is more evidence that partnerships work, increasing understanding that business and charities have complementary assets, and mounting pressure on companies to demonstrate social purpose.
We have seen a dramatic shift in the corporate agenda. This has created exciting partnership opportunities which are only available to those who rise to the challenge. Come to our Advanced Corporate Partnerships Masterclass to seize these opportunities with both hands.