Written by Jonathan Andrews, MD and Founder, Remarkable Partnerships.
“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming
Other types of fundraising such as individual giving and legacies regularly use data to inform their approach. Whereas corporate partnerships tends to rely less on evidence. This could be because it is seen as more of an art than a science, or because there is less research in this area.
However, we are seeing a shift where the most successful corporate partnerships teams are using the power of data to make decisions. Indeed, data and insight are essential when we help charities conduct feasibility reports and build corporate partnerships strategies.
So here are five sources of insight that can help you drive corporate partnerships success:
- Competitor research
Competitor research doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but our experience shows that it always delivers valuable insight. For example, recent research we conducted for a charity revealed that their competitors have a similar number, size, and type of corporate partnerships. This valuable insight provided them with a formula for success.
When it comes to research, quality beats quantity. We recommend you research a maximum of four competitors and create a PowerPoint slide for each one.
2. Partner feedback
This is the gold dust of corporate partnerships. We conducted partner feedback for a charity recently, and the insight was so powerful it not only informed their corporate partnerships strategy it also affected their organisational strategy.
Probably the most important question to ask your partners is, “on a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us to another company?” According to Net Promoter, this is what the scores mean:
- 9-10 are “Promoters”
- 7-8 are “Passives”
- 0-6 are “Detractors”
You should ask promoters for referrals, give passives more attention and support to convert them into promoters, and contact detractors to see if there is anything you can do to help.
3. Prospect research
Probably the most valuable prospect research can be gathered via a short survey. We recommend you contact approximately 5-10 of your target prospects and ask them the following questions:
- What is your decision-making process for partnering with charities?
- What is your company’s purpose and how do charity partnerships help you deliver it?
- What are the biggest challenges facing your business?
- On a scale of 1 – 10, how optimistic are you feeling about the future from a business point of view?
- Have you heard of our charity?
- What benefits do you think we could deliver as a charity partner?
4. Market research
It’s easy to get stuck in your charity bubble, which is why market research can be so valuable. It can strengthen your strategy, enhance your pitches and help get colleagues on board. Here are some of our favourite reports:
- Edelman Trust Barometer
- ESG Heartbeat Report by KPMG
- What is a purpose driven business? By Regenerate
- Hidden Opportunities by Remarkable Partnerships
5. Impact data
There are two kinds of impact data that strengthen corporate partnerships. The first one is how has your corporate partnership changed people’s lives? Think about how you can report this in a way that will resonate with business decision makers. For example, Age UK want to tell Innocent how many older people have been supported because of their Big Knit partnership.
The second type of impact data, is how did your corporate partnership help deliver the company’s core objectives? For example, how many of the company’s colleagues feel proud of the employer because of the partnership? Or what size audience did we reach with our social media coverage? You will probably need your corporate partners to help collect this data. When you gather it and share it with your partner it will provide a compelling case for growing and extending your partnership.
We hope this blog has inspired you to use the power of data and insight to inform your corporate partnerships approach. Your goal is to build ambitious partnerships that change the world. So you want to build them on solid foundations.