Corporate support is a great way of bringing funding, expertise and volunteers from the business sector into your community project.
Not only does it help you to achieve your goals, but it also meets the needs of the business community in investing back into their local communities.
Many corporates will do this as part of their corporate responsibility programmes but in order to get the best from this they need to see and know the impact their investment has on the local community.
Partnering with a corporate organisation can also grow the visibility of your community project with an increase in marketing and promotion through the corporate’s social media channels and creation of employee advocates who will shout about your work far and wide.
7 Principles of attracting corporate support
To secure corporate support it is important that you approach the right companies who share some or all of your vision or provide services or products that are aligned to your organisation.
For example – if you work with children and families why not approach a local family law service, if you work in conservation why not approach a local garden centre or DIY business such as B&Q.
- Be clear on your goals
Are you looking for one-off support or ongoing support such as becoming their charity of the year?
Are you wanting support
- to physically build or change an environment?
- to generate fundraising events and opportunities?
- gain strategic or organisational skills and knowledge?
- generate a louder voice for a specific campaign?
- recruit volunteers who regularly support your work?
- through direct financial giving to your project?
- What’s the impact?
Corporates want to know that whatever they do to support you it is going to make a difference and have an impact.
Be clear about,
- How many people will benefit from what they do?
- What the financial equivalent of their support i.e what does it financial save you or give you?
- What wouldn’t happen without their support?
- Remember it is a partnership/collaboration
A corporate organisation wants and needs to be valued. Remember this is a partnership it is about working together to achieve your goals. You need to keep hold of our goals and vision, but be prepared and be open to the corporate bringing new ideas not only for their support but for the long-term work of the project.
In any partnership communication is key!
- What are the benefits for the corporate?
Your projects vision and mission is at the forefront of all you do BUT you need to ensure that you clearly communicate the benefits that come with supporting you.
- Team building and morale for the organisation by being part of something unique together as a staff team
- Marketing opportunities for the corporate with being seen to give back to their community
- Increasing the understanding of the community around them.
- The positive feelings of knowing you are part of something good and you are part of changing lives!
- Keep everyone busy!
There is nothing more infuriating than people finding there is not enough for them to do and that their time is wasted. Remember that a corporate is investing their time and money into you and they always need to feel that it is valued and worth it for them.
This is especially important to remember when hosting a volunteer day.
- Ensure that there are more than enough varied jobs for different abilities and health needs
- Always plan for more to be done than less, people will always work faster than you think and achieve more. Keep everyone busy, busy, busy
- Cover the basic needs, toilets, water, safe place for belongings
- Be clear ahead of time what people need to bring i.e lunch, wellies, waterproof coat
- Have all YOUR logistics organised.
- Always be aware of health and safety and discuss this with the volunteers.
- Remember they want to work with you not just for you so ensure you have staff available to work alongside them and tell them more about your project.
- It’s all about the story
The story is what brings the ‘feel good’ feeling for the corporate. They want to be able to share about what they do and use it to market their organisation and your project.
- Post on social media
- Secure social media traction from the corporate
- Make the most of photo opportunities
- Tell your story to the press
The story doesn’t stop when the corporate finishes, follow up with the corporate and the public in the next 3/6/12 months and tell of the long-term impact they have made.