Seize partnership opportunities in the new different

The new landscape

“The UK’s first lockdown was potentially the single biggest
and most abrupt change in daily life since World War II.”
Jane Falkingham and colleagues, University of Southampton

The business landscape has changed forever. So, what are the main features of this new reality that you need to consider when building corporate-charity partnerships?

1) Digital acceleration

Online sales grew by 46% in 2020 (ONS). Companies are moving sales, systems and communications online at an incredible pace. The challenge for charities is to keep up with this rapid change.

2) Hybrid working

Many people have been forced to work from home during lockdown. And many have discovered that they prefer it that way. In fact, 87% of office workers said that they want to work from home at least some of the time (Atlas Cloud). But how will companies keep colleagues engaged when they’re not in the office? This represents a major opportunity for corporate-charity partnerships.

3) Climate change

Nearly one third of the UK’s largest companies have signed up to the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. And COP26, the next UN Climate Summit, is taking place in Glasgow in November. Climate change has never been so high on the business agenda.

4) Mental Health

1 in 5 adults experienced some form of depression during the pandemic (ONS). We are also talking so much more openly about our mental health problems. If companies want to attract and retain the best talent, they need to prioritise employee well-being.

5) Awareness of inequalities

Inequalities have always existed in our society. But the pandemic has shone a new spotlight on them, so they are impossible to ignore. And George Floyd’s death in the US heightened our awareness even more. This means that diversity and inclusion are also top priorities for companies.

“If the challenge we face doesn’t scare us
then it’s probably not that important.”
Simon Sinek

1) Be agile

Companies are moving faster than ever, so it is essential that you keep pace. This means that your internal partnerships are essential, so your colleagues can help you react faster.

2) Make your offer virtual

With so many people working from home, it is vital that you develop a unique and engaging, virtual fundraising and volunteering offer for employees.

3) Focus on shared purpose

Jamie Mitchell, former MD of Innocent, said, “We are now seeing this move from shareholder to stakeholder… with more and more businesses saying they care and they want to be a force for doing good in the world.” Therefore, we recommend you build partnerships on your shared purpose with the company. This will ensure you create more strategic and less transactional partnerships.

4) Be authentic

There is a new authenticity in our working lives, because we are joining meetings from our homes. This means we are getting to know more about our colleagues, partners and prospects, such as their hobbies and the name of their pets. If you build your partnerships on this new authenticity, it will make them stronger and more impactful.

5) Be ambitious

Now that companies are focused on issues relating to diversity, mental health and climate change, it’s time to make your corporate partnerships more ambitious. So many business leaders are thinking about how they can help “build back better.” It’s up to you to show them how.

If you want to find out how your charity can seize corporate partnership opportunities in the new different, then please contact us at

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