Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Growth in corporate-NGO alliances driven by cash and credibility

September 2011

UK corporations intend to increase their investment in NGO partnerships during the next three years, despite the weak economic outlook.

And the credibility of such collaborations, from campaigning to charitable donations, is stated as the main driver of the trend.

These are the findings of the Corporate-NGO Partnership Barometer, a new annual research tool from CSR consultancy C&E.

Four-fifths of respondents  to its survey of 156 leading UK-based businesses and non-profit organisations expect investment in partnerships to grow, while none felt it would decline.

The principal motivations are reputational for companies and financial for NGOs. However, the survey claims there has been a ‘clear shift’ toward more strategic partnerships in both cases.

One of these, a collaboration between Marks & Spencer and Oxfam on a ‘clothing exchange’, where customers receive vouchers for donating clothing to the charity, was named as the ‘most admired’ partnership around.

Other notable partnerships named in the report include a vaccine donation system for purchasers of Pampers nappies, and Sainsbury’s Comic Relief campaign.

Nevertheless, there are still conflicts between the two sectors. Charities want to see much more cash than ‘expertise’, and businesses are far more enthusiastic about the benefits of employee volunteering than NGOs.

C&E chief executive Manny Amadi said: “The prominence of major consumer-facing retail companies and brands reflects not only their focused approach, but also their preparedness and ability to invest in strategic partnerships, including in their promotion and marketing.”

C&E | UK & NI Ireland | Partnerships

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