Partnership response to coronavirus

The world is changing around us. The coronavirus has provided us with a new reality. If you’re a corporate partnerships lead at a charity you are probably trying to work out how to respond.

We suggest the question to ask yourself is, “How can we pivot our partnerships offer in response to this uncertain time?” After all, the need for corporate involvement has never been greater. Partnerships are more vital than ever.

Here are our recommendations to respond to the coronavirus

1. Focus on shared purpose

In times of uncertainty and fear it is companies with purpose, doing meaningful work, that will stand out. When you engage your corporate partners or prospects articulate your shared purpose. This is the powerful why that will inspire them to partner with you and do brave work that gets noticed.

2. Link your cause with coronavirus

How is your cause affected by the coronavirus? Does this represent a greater challenge for the people who need your help? Deafblind UK, for example, know that people who are deafblind already feel isolated and lonely. Imagine how they must feel when they hear instructions such as, “you need to self-isolate and you cannot meet up with your friends.” They are taking this message to their partnerships and prospects.

3. Strengthen your proposition

Coronavirus means that we all have much more time on our hands. So how can you use this time to articulate your partnership offer in a more compelling way? We suggest you organise a virtual meeting with your colleagues to identify compelling problems you face that companies can help you solve. Once you’ve got this information you can hone your proposition until it sends shivers down your spine! If you don’t feel the shiver, you need to keep on sharpening your message.

4. Shift your activity

Traditionally so much of our activity happens in physical spaces, but we live in the digital age now. So how can you make your partnership activity virtual? With so many people working from home we need to engage employees and consumers digitally. Suggest digital campaigns, online cause-marketing promotions and simple employee fundraising people can do remotely.

5. Be part of their survival plan

This is our most important recommendation. Right now, the main concern for companies is survival. They are having emergency meetings creating their survival plan. You need to meet that need. How is your partnership activity/opportunity going to help them sell more, reach more and keep colleagues motivated? You want to make your partnership opportunity part of their survival plan.

6. Prospect virtually

Engage your corporate prospects via phone, email and social media. Hold meetings via Skype/Zoom/Teams. It is totally possible to engage a prospect online if your message is powerful, simple and based on shared purpose.

We hope these recommendations give you confidence and a suggested way forward. As Helen Keller said, “A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”

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