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Top Tips: Creating Effective Corporate Partnerships

A strong corporate-charity partnership is a powerful way to unlock opportunities, form key relationships, attract funding and gain longer-term support for your organisation.

Small charities play a distinct and vital role in building stronger communities and addressing some of our most persistent social challenges. That’s why Aviva works to unlock their potential by finding, funding and empowering small charities to face the future with confidence.

One way we’re doing this is through partnerships. We know that developing strong and fruitful corporate partnerships can be challenging – particularly for resource-stretched, time-poor grassroots organisations. Yet, they have the potential to fundamentally change the trajectory of your organisation.  So, we’ve distilled three fundamentals to getting corporate-charity partnerships right.

Focus on relationship building, over transactional fundraising

Lucrative, strategic partnerships take time. Focus on thoroughly researching each company and the right people to connect with, so you can develop a proposition tailored to their corporate responsibility focus and wider business objectives.

Work as a team and focus on warm prospects. Relationship building shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of fundraisers within your organisation, it’s everyone’s role to get out there, build strong relationships and tap into the connections you already have. Cold approaches rarely bear fruit, so it’s important to only consider how you can meet your contact in person – this really goes a long way.

This type of strategic partnership beyond transactional fundraising is certainly a longer-term game, however the time invested will pay off when the opportunity is ripe.

Think beyond funding and be open-minded 

So often, the first thing charities think about in partnerships is the funding opportunities. To make the most of a strategic partnership it’s important to consider other opportunities and resources you could tap into, such as skills development, IT/software, office space, staff volunteering, and more.

Many corporates out there offer capacity building and resource support, for instance Aviva runs a Facebook Group called Aviva Community Group, where charities of all shapes and sizes can join to share ideas, network with like-minded people, and get advice from experts in the sector. The key with partnership opportunities that go beyond funding is to ensure they’re shaped by clear expectations and mutually beneficial outcomes.

Demonstrate your passion

No partnership ‘pitch’ is static, so when you’re approaching a prospective corporate partner make sure your key messages and story will resonate – speak their language (it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of using industry-specific buzz words…) and make sure you clearly articulate how the partnership will solve challenges they may be facing.

Demonstrate your passion about why you love what you do and the difference you’re making in the community. One of the oldest maxims of fundraising is that “people don’t give to causes; they give to people with causes”. And, this is still true today. The most memorable stories that really shine are those by individuals who have a personal connection, an authentic relationship to the cause they’re promoting.

Source: FSI

How to Reinvigorate Your Fundraising Strategy with Storytelling

How to reinvigorate your fundraising strategy with storStorytelling has always been key to human interaction. Stories engage us, they connect us, and they shape how we make sense of the world. When it comes to fundraising, storytelling is the most powerful way to transform passion into action and connect with the hearts and minds of your supporters.

Now more than ever non-profits need to tap into the power of sharing stories and equip themselves with the tools and knowledge to share a compelling, authentic story that is captivating and memorable. Because no matter what your cause is, your future could depend on the quality of your spiel.

1.Identify your ‘why’

Knowing and clearly articulating the “why” of your organisation can be challenging, but it’s incredibly important. Share your passion for why you love what you do, why it is so important, and why someone should support your cause over another. Take a look at Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk on ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ starting with the golden circle.

•Share your personal connection

The most effective stories come from people who have a personal connection to the cause they’re promoting. This injects passion, life and connection as well as enabling you to demonstrate your strong belief in the impact you’re having in the community. It’s the vulnerability and the personal stories that draw people in and present a stronger, more compelling, and more memorable story.

•Know your ‘WHO’

No pitch is static. It evolves based on who you’re talking to, where you are, and what you wish to convey. That’s not to say you need to do extensive research on your audience, but it is important to do the necessary checks to make sure your language, key messages, and story will resonate. Then, you need to vary your story accordingly.

•Show don’t tell

Let your beneficiaries be heard and let them tell their own personal stories. This is the best way to provide insight into their experiences. Video and photos direct from the field is the most compelling and powerful way to achieve this. It’s also the perfect opportunity to think about how you can keep donors engaged and creatively report on how their money is being spent and the impact it is having.

Source: FSI


Carers Project….Healthwatch Sandwell want to hear from you

Healthwatch Sandwell is currently conducting a Carers Project and want to talk to people (aged 18+) who provide unpaid ‘care’ for others. This role can include personal care, shopping, befriending and much more. The Project includes people who may not see themselves as a ‘carer’ and have not accessed support.

Healthwatch Sandwell is your local voice for the public in the delivery of health and social care services.

If you would like to be share your experience, the organisation is collating people’s contact details to:

• be part of a focus group in July and August 2019 to discuss their experiences of caring for someone. These will be held in each town and participants will be contacted directly with dates. (one in each town in Sandwell) or

• have a one to one interview to talk about your life as a carer and what support you have had, and what you would like in the future.

If you, or anyone you know is interested in taking part, please contact Healthwatch Sandwell on 0121 569 7210 or e mail

CBO celebrates after receiving funding from The National Lottery Community Fund

Confederation of Bangladeshi Organisations (CBO) are delighted to announce the recent successful bid to The National Lottery Community Fund which secured a grant for a five year project.

Building Brighter Futures (BBF) will complement existing services at the Greets Green Resource Centre and create a ‘one-stop shop’ for the diverse community.

The aims of the project is to bring isolated BME communities together and build strong relationships in and across communities. Activities provided range from social, recreational, health activities to advice, training and focused interventions offering a holistic approach.

For more information please email- or visit

Funding ‘Keeps Three Quarters of Small Charity Leaders Up at Night’

Three in four small charity leaders say that worries over funding keep them up at night, according to a survey conducted for the Weston Charity Awards.

And one in three says that worrying about their own ability to do the job does likewise.

The online survey of 371 small charity leaders was conducted by Pilotlight, a charity which connects businesses with charities, and by funder the Garfield Weston Foundation, as part of its work on the Weston Charity Awards, which give core grants to small charities.

The survey mostly polled chief executives of charities under £500,000, and found that despite most of them being worried about their ability to continue delivering, optimism was on the rise.

Of those surveyed, 38 per cent expect to see an increase in funding, compared to only 16 per cent expecting to see a fall.

And 78 per cent said they expect to help more beneficiaries this year, compared to 58 per cent last year.

Small charities also expressed mixed feelings about the support they received. While 81 per cent said local people provided good or excellent support, 82 per cent said they did not get the support they needed from central government, and 45 per cent said they did not get it from local government.

Despite the difficulties, small charity leaders said they love their jobs, with 83 per cent saying they would recommend working for a small charity to a friend.

Source: Civil Society

Sandwell Libraries Praised for Service

Sandwell Council provides a “very valued” and “high performing” library service to people in the borough, according to a special survey of its work.

A report by the Local Government Association’s Library Services Peer Challenge makes a point of highlighting the fact that the council had retained a good service despite significant decreases in budgets since 2011.

It reports that the library service benefits from good management and staff who display inclusive and creative working styles and work well with a large bank of volunteers and partners.

The Peer Challenge team, which spoke to 45 people including staff, councillors and partners in a number of meetings involving key stakeholders, also praised the council for the fact that all of the council’s 19 strategic libraries made a significant contribution to the quality of life in Sandwell.

“It was encouraging to hear that the council continues to invest in all its buildings, for example, even the smallest of these at Brandhall, Hill Top and Rounds Green have recently installed accessible toilets,” the report says.

“The political vision for all libraries continues to be great places of opportunity and learning with a strong family and community focus,” it adds.

The Peer Challenge team advised library bosses to look carefully at the development of community hubs in libraries, such as that already proposed at Blackheath Library.

It also urges the council to expand joint procurement activity for libraries with the four Black Country authorities to explore the potential for enhanced joint procurement.

It also suggests that the council should replace old computers and modernise the digital offer in all 19 libraries.

Councillor Bob Lloyd, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for culture, said: “The council is very pleased to have such a useful and thought-provoking report from the Peer Challenge team.

“We were delighted to see that they supported the work we are doing and will look carefully at some of their recommendations for the future.”

Source: Sandwell Council

Charity Digital Code Secures Funding Boost

The Charity Digital Code of Practice has secured funding for a second year, with technology firm Cisco and networking group Charity IT Leaders pledging to support the initiative.

The two backers join founding funders Lloyds Banking Group and the Co-op Foundation, with support from the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) to back the code with £140,000 of support.

The Code was launched in November 2018 to increase the digital skills of those who work in charities. This has included the launch of a Charity Digital Code Quick Assessment Tool to give further help to charities looking to improve their digital capabilities.

It is voluntary and free to access for charities and includes a version tailored for small charities.

Securing Charities’ Long-Term Future

The support will be used to help the code to expand its reach among charities, connect with online audiences and help secure charities’ long-term futures.

Further work includes implementing testing and feedback mechanisms to make the code more responsive and to increase awareness and adoption of the code.

“We look forward to working with our fellow funders and the Charity Digital Code Steering Group to build a resource that will help charities of all sizes embed effective stakeholder-led digital strategies and practices into all aspects of their work and culture,” said Co-op Foundation Chair Jamie Ward-Smith.

Michelle Hill CEO of relationships charity TLC: Talk, Listen, Change, which has used the code, said: “The Charity Digital Code of Practice has been brilliant for us.

“It showed us what we were doing well, where we could stretch ourselves and what we’d not even thought of yet. From making the most of the digital systems we have to using our data to understand user insights, we have made improvements across our organisation thanks to advice and resources from the Code.

“Our digital activity is now integrated throughout our organisational strategy and business plan. We now see digital not as a bolt on or a nice added extra but as key to everything we do. It will be our blueprint for the next few years.”

Tech Trust CEO Jonathan Chevallier added: “The Digital Code can be a great help to leadership teams and trustees in achieving a balanced approach to their digital initiatives. It considers leadership and the strategic priorities whilst including other important aspects such as being user led and agile and responsive. I’m delighted to see this further funding which will help to further develop and embed the code across the sector.”

Source: Charity Digial News

The Benefits of Arts in Care Homes

People living in one care village have worked with artists to learn new skills including sculpture, painting and dance.

Residents at a care village in Cheshire have been exploring their creativity and trying out everything from expressive dance to sculpture and storytelling.

This spring, the Belong care village in Crewe organised an eight-week programme, which involved artists in residence delivering workshops for residents. The programme was part of three-year project, Where the Arts Belong, run in partnership with Liverpool’s Bluecoat centre for contemporary arts and Arts Council England. It aims to assess how to effectively bring art into care environments.

To read the full Guardian Society News article click here.

Source: The Guardian Society News


Virtual Visits: How Finland is Coping With An Ageing Population

It’s 11.30am on a midweek June morning in Helsinki, Finland. Duvi Leineberg, a remote care nurse, is doing the lunch rounds. But instead of jumping in a car and visiting each person one by one, she is sitting in an office looking at a large computer screen where she can see into seven people’s homes. Most are sitting at a table preparing to tuck into some food.

This is a virtual lunch group, set up to make sure older people receiving home care services in the city eat regularly and at the right time. Leineberg runs the session. She starts by checking everyone has their food and that it is warmed up. Some have soup, others have pre-prepared meals that have been delivered by home care services. People also sip coffee.

One screen shows an empty backdrop and she calls the home to check her client is all right. He walks past the screen but says he isn’t hungry and doesn’t want to eat right now. Leineberg then asks everyone if they have any plans for the afternoon. A few reply that they will go out for a walk.

A former hospital nurse, Leineberg sees the value of such groups. “Firstly, the client feels like they are a part of a bigger thing. It’s also guaranteed that they eat properly. If I spot anything that seems out of the ordinary, I can call the home care nurses who will pay them a visit if necessary.”

Her clients are also fans of the lunch group. Riitta Koskinen, 80, says through a translator: “I’m old and living alone and it’s nice to have the company. We eat at the same time – food tastes better when you’re with others – and I’ve really enjoyed it. It makes me eat and it’s good to see other people.”

To read the full Guardian Society News article click here.

Source: Guardian Society News

Report Reveals Lack of Digital Fundraising Strategy Among Charities

The Institute of Fundraising survey reveals how charities are unprepared for tech innovations such as social media giving and online gaming.

More than a fifth of charities do not have an online strategy, rising to just under half of smaller charitable organisations, according to a new report.

The Institute of Fundraising’s Status of UK Fundraising Benchmark Report was carried out by Blackbaud Europe and involved an online survey of more than 1,000 charity representatives.

Among respondents 21% said their charity has no digital strategy. For those who work for small charities this rises to 42% who do not have such a strategy.

While a significant proportion do not have a digital strategy almost all (94%) of respondents use social media within their communications.

Lack of preparation

But the Institute of Fundraising report also reveals that 45% of respondents say their charity is either completely or fairly unprepared to take advantage of contactless payment innovations, 30% are unprepared for innovations in online giving through social media and more than half (54%) are not geared up for accepting donations through online gaming.

Those surveyed also admitted the need to adjust to technical trends in the sector. More than two thirds (68%) said that online donations had increased for their charity over the last three years and 19% said their had been an increase in card payments by phone.

“Respondents to the survey told us that the keys to success are to innovate, plan and invest – and this is definitely something we can all learn from. 62% told us their income growth was planned based on new and different activity, 60% said they could grow their income because they had enough people with the right level of skills in place, and 52% said they could grow their income because they have the right level of investment in activity,” said David Benjamin, Blackbaud International Markets Group President.

A separate report released in June by the Institute of Voluntary Action Research and Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology showed that time is the main factor behind charities not embracing digital. The report found that more than half of small voluntary organisations said this was the top reason for slow digital uptake.

Source: Charity DIgital News

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