Developing corporate partnerships - recording and resources

11 Nov 2020 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 1 Dec 2020

On 11 November we hosted a webinar as part of the CFNI Accelerator Programme funded by Department for Communities on Developing Corporate Partnerships. This was delivered by Hilary Hanberry from Business in the Community with guest speakers.

This webinar was attended by 50 people and  included how to effectively engage with the corporate sector,  BITC’s 5 Principle Community Investment model and tips from business representatives. The main presenter was Hilary Hanberry from BITC. She was joined by 5 guest speakers from the corporate sector - Jenny Barkley, Belfast Harbour Commissioners; Jane Carr, Southern Health and Care Trust; Roisin Sarsfield, Veolia Water; Gwyneth Compston, Power NI; Owen Keogh, Lidl. Below are some tips and advice that they shared from their experience. The recording of the session is also available below.

Hilary Hanberry, Business in the Community

Hilary started by outlining why we should develop partnerships with corporates and that it is a two-way process.

  • People are people – it’s about relationships.
  • Volunteering is a great opportunity to engage
  • Skills match – linking skills of business sector to charities
  • National Business Response Network – think about what support you need – not necessarily skills
  • It’s about partnership
  • There is an appetite to help
  • Think about sustainable development goals SDGs) and how your organisation can help companies them meet them in a strategic way. Familiarise yourself with the goals and articulate how your organisation tackles them.

She also described the Community Investment Model – BITC encourage companies to use this to look at a key social issue. Eg Danske Bank working with voluntary and community organisations on social issues and SDG. The 5 stages of this are: 

  1. Identify social needs
  2. Work in partnership with communities and voluntary and community organisations
  3. Plan and manage community investment
  4. Inspire and engage employees, customers and suppliers
  5. Measure and evaluate

She highlighted a quote from the Simon Sinek Ted Talk

“People don’t buy what you do…people buy why you do it”

Jenny Barkley, Belfast Harbour Commissioners

  • We need you as charities and community organisations to tell is what the needs out there are
  • Longer term mutually beneficial to both organisations
  • Align to sustainability goals
  • Think about volunteers or board members of your charity who are staff members in a private company. They could approach their company.

 Jane Carr, Southern Health and Care Trust

  • Partnerships should not be primarily about raising funds, it’s about raising awareness
  • Get staff involved to fundraise and volunteer
  • Relationships are key

Roisin Sarsfield, Veolia Water

  • Develop a meaningful relationship with charity
  • Companies want to learn about the charity what it does and its impact
  • Should not be transactional – it should be transformational 

Gwyneth Compston, Power NI

  • Be present
  • Communicate people to people – it’s about relationships
  • Work towards a shared purpose
  • Be ambitious, don’t be afraid to ask
  • Make it impactful
  • Share information with each other
  • Don’t just come asking for money – think about opportunities to volunteer, share goals, communicate messages, share skills
  • 2 way relationship win win

Owen Keogh, Lidl

  • Think about the impact
  • Lidl have voucher donation fund, food donations, charity partnerships, funding for schools equipment
  • Keep engaged – food retail is a dynamic industry that is always changing
  • Use the right channels and business networks
  • Have volunteer opportunities for staff to be involved in
  • We get a lot of requests but we need to focus on what’s important to local store network

Watch the recording here:


Business in the Community

Skills Match

 Ambitious partnerships article

UN Sustainable development goals

Remarkable partnerships - 5 tips to creating corporate partnerships

Third Sector Article on corporate partnerships

NPC Building more impactful corporate-charity partnerships's picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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