Multi-party corporate partnerships increasingly common - study

Charities and companies are increasingly taking a consortia approach to corporate partnerships, according to new research.

But the complexity involved and the time required to put consortia together may act as a barrier, C&E Advisory’s latest annual Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer has found.

Overall, corporate partnerships were picked to become more important or much more important over the next three years by 77 per cent of respondents. No respondents thought the agreements would decline in importance.

The study, based on an online survey of 129 charities and companies involved in cross-sector partnerships, found that access to resources was the main driver for 98 per cent of charities engaging in corporate partnerships. Access to people and contacts was a key driver for 73 per cent of respondents.

Enhancing brand or reputation and credibility remained the primary motive for corporates engaging in partnerships with charities, highlighted by 96 per cent of respondents.

Almost two-thirds of all respondents are currently involved in multi-organisational agreements, and 77 per cent of respondents see consortia-based partnerships increasing in importance over the next three years.

The greater combined scale and reach partners can achieve through consortia-based arrangements was identified as a key factor behind multi-party approaches by 86 per cent of corporate respondents and 80 per cent of NGOs.

C&E Advisory CEO Manny Amadi, MVO, said the growth of multi-organisational consortia-based partnerships is a “clear sign of the maturing of the responsible business agenda”.

“Both corporations and NGOs are recognising the greater reach, impact and value provided by this model of partnering as companies and NGOs work together to tackle an array of major common issues ranging from climate change and waste, to obesity and sustainable supply chains.”

The greater prominence of consortia approaches was highlighted by a multi-lateral partnership entering the top three ‘most admired’ corporate partnerships for the first time.

Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation, and Tesco last year launched an agreement to raise funds and awareness toward promoting healthy living. This partnership was joint-third most admired in the list this year, alongside Network Rail/Samaritans, Innocent/Age UK, GSK/Save the Children, and P&G/Unicef.

Oxfam’s partnership with M&S once again took the top spot, followed by the agreement between Boots and Macmillan Cancer Support in second for the third year running.

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