MONDAY 14 MAR 2011 9:40 AM


Corporate partnerships that fail to make a real and obvious connection to the core products and services of the business will only generate a general ‘feel-good’ association, according to a report by accounting and consulting firm Deloitte.

According to ‘Emerging Partnership Models Between Business and the Third Sector’, these partnerships are at risk of being overshadowed by any other cause that can just as effectively tug on the heart strings.

Instead, Deloitte urges voluntary organisations to understand the motivations, aims and strengths of business partners rather than focusing purely on fundraising.

Heather Hancock, a Deloitte managing partner, said: “Partnerships that bring expertise, resources and insight unique to the capabilities of the business and the strategic needs of the charity can have a far more dramatic impact than financial support. That is also where the real business benefit of community investment lies.”

To truly reap the benefits of corporate social responsibility programmes, charities need to invest in understanding the businesses’ strategic motivations, aims and strengths and then forge a partnership based on a far more “creative alliance”, it says.

According to the report, the three key areas in a successful partnership are: understanding each other, including each organisation's cultures and strategic priorities; developing a plan that ensures a joint approach, rather than the charity driving the partnership with the business in a supporting role; and keeping an open dialogue and monitoring progress.

For the full report, click here.

The Corporate Engagement Awards are the UK awards to benchmark excellence in corporate partnerships. To enter the awards or to find out more, visit