Highlights from the Corporate Partnerships Conference

I had the privilege of chairing the Institute of Fundraising Corporate Partnerships Conference in London at the beginning of December. I was blown away by the quality of speakers and the powerful insight they shared. See below some highlights from their presentations.

The changing face of corporate partnerships

“As corporates we don’t get it right all the time.” – Sara Heald, Head of CSR, Legal & General Group.

Q: If you’re a smaller charity how do you develop partnerships:

“We introduced local speed dating.” – Damian Chapman, Director of Strategic Marketing and Income Generation, The Charity for Civil Servants.

“Partnering with a bigger charity works.”

“Collaborate with other charities. For example, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research partnered together to win the London Marathon.” – Sinead Donoghue, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Alzheimer’s Society.

Approaching new partners

“The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) has a very distinctive tone of voice. When it we engage brands we take a similar approach to a marketing agency. For example, we created a partnership with Top Man featuring Chris Hughes from Love Island. We launched a mineral water infused with Chris’ tears. It was revealed as a hoax and the partnership message was #Don’tBottleItUp” – Andrew Brown, Director of Corporate Partnerships, CALM.

“Have a clear process for which companies you approach. Create a portfolio corporate pipeline. Opportunity cost is a massive consideration in my team. We have a qualification checklist. We use the same question as the GB Olympic Rowing Team, “Will it make the boat go faster?” – Richard Amos, Head of New Corporate Partnerships, Mind

Negotiating and tailoring corporate partnerships

“The Wallich created a graduate challenge for Admiral Group. The most important thing was working with the business to find out what they really needed. And we measured it.” – Mike Walmsley, Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Wallich.

“Samaritans have almost quadrupled corporate partnerships income. This is due to a number of factors, but particularly by bringing the mission more into our partnerships. By working with Paddy Power we get access. We can reach the people who need our help. We also train their staff. Working with the gambling sector meant we had to mage the risk. It was important that we could manage the net impact of working with them. Risks were media and supporters. We also had to take our internal stakeholder with us. Previous partnership decisions were weighted heavily on risk. This meant that sometimes we were saying no to opportunities that could have been beneficial. Our new approach is partnerships that fit with our mission. We’ve learned there’s a lot more to corporate partnerships than just fundraising.” – Matthew Lock, Head of Corporate Partnerships and Jason Jaspal, Assistant Director of Business Development, Samaritans.

“The partnership between AgeUK and Cadbury’s began with an email from an agency saying that we have an exciting idea. Nine months later we had a partnership with Cadbury’s. #DonateYourWords. That was just the start of a lot of hard work and negotiation. It’s how you react to it that dictates the outcome.” – Lizzie Bekhradnia, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Age UK.

Stewardship of corporate partnerships

“The partnership between CLIC Sargent and Wetherspoons began when the CLIC Sargent CEO sat opposite the Wetherspoons chair on the train. When we relaunched the partnership we focused more on young people, which Wetherspoons really loved. We are Wetherspoons’ most important employee engagement tool.”

“98% of Morrisons staff said they are proud to work for Morrisons because of their partnership with CLIC Sargent.” – Elizabeth Lowrey & Holli Kellett, Lead Account Managers, CLIC Sargent

“We have 85% retention rate of our corporate partners. Most of them have been with us for more than 10 years. I know all my corporate partners birthdays.” – Asha Vijendran, Corporate Development Manager, Wales Millennium Centre

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