What’s in it for us? How business can work with charities

We look at how charities and business can develop profitable 2-way relationships…

Charities have had a hard time in the media recently for pressurising individuals to donate cash.  With falling incomes, and increasing demand on their services, it’s perhaps understandable that many charities respond with aggressive hard-sell sob-story techniques.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  We have worked with 2 charities here in Norfolk to re-position their offering to make them more attractive to local businesses seeking to develop their corporate social responsibility stance.  Whilst many businesses are still prepared to donate to good causes, there is an increasing number responding to requests with ‘what’s in it for us?’

Hunstanton July '16

Hunstanton July ’16

So we defined it – the softer, less easy to define aspects as well as the hard, concrete benefits, including those aspects which are unique to the charity in question.  These became 3 packages, to which the charity could attach a value, and could then define for the business exactly what they got for their money.

Another important factor is that it also enables benefits in kind to be acknowledged and the donating business achieve recognition for their contribution.  Take, as an example, a printing company doing £250 worth of printing for free.  This is as valuable to the charity as a cash injection and, with this approach, can be recognised as such.

This helps move charities away from using emotional blackmail into meaningful two-way partnerships with local commercial concerns, where the relationships are defined and measurable.

Essentially what we did was listen to the customer, then meet their needs to benefit both parties, creating a win/win deal.  Many businesses undertake this level of continuous change as a matter of course.  Many charities are beginning to do so as a matter of urgency.

This model can work for many charities – could we make it work for yours?  We have worked with charities to help them change and become more commercially minded.  Get in touch if your organisation needs some help.

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