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NEWS > Charity Sector News > Corporate Partnerships in a Changing World

Corporate Partnerships in a Changing World

Corporate partners urged to provide unrestricted funding to charities as charities are struggling to fundraise while facing increasing demands for their services.

Corporate partners are being urged to support charities through the current funding crisis by providing funding to meet essential needs, according to a new report by the Benefact Group, which owns Ecclesiastical Insurance in Ireland.

The report explores the last 12 months for the charity sector in Ireland and the UK, from the end of lockdown, to the Ukraine conflict and cost of living crisis and offers practical advice and tips on how to foster genuine two-way relationships with corporate partners.

The findings draw on insight from beneficiaries of last year’s Movement for Good awards, who took part in two virtual roundtable discussions, as well as a survey of 250 charities.

The report finds that charities are struggling to fundraise while facing increasing demands for their services – leading to a cashflow crisis.

In response, 81% of charities want corporates to provide unrestricted funding so they can use the money to meet essential needs, such as the recruitment and retention of staff, like salaries and welfare benefits. Many corporate partners require charities to submit a bid for funds linked to a specific project or outcome. By lifting restrictions on how funds can be used, corporate partners can further aid charities in achieving their goals while still meeting their own corporate social responsibilities.

Siobhán Geoghegan, Director at Common Ground Ireland, one of the winners who took part in the roundtables said: “We have to report on a lot of the same things that larger organisations have to report on, but that’s a huge burden for us. We have to spend a lot of administrative time simply showing that we’ve met the criteria. Finding funding is essential to keep our services going.”

Among the issues cited by charities includes the challenge of recruiting staff (75%) with over a third (34%) saying that they have struggled to recruit over the past six months. This is despite improving their employee packages, including 43% offering a bonus scheme and two in five (40%) offering permanent flexible working.

The staffing challenge has been laid bare by the responses from charities, with one in five (21%) saying they are significantly understaffed and nearly three quarters (72%) responding to say they were moderately understaffed.

According to the survey, the lack of staff has directly impacted on the amount of funding charities are receiving as well as the amount of service users charities can support.

The report also found that almost three out of four (72%) of charities believe that the future of their charity is more in doubt today than it was before the pandemic.

David Lane, Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Insurance, proudly part of the Benefact Group said: “We believe business should be a force for good. In these challenging times we think this is more important than ever.

“Owned by a charity, we make profits so that we can contribute to the greater good of society. While our model is different, we think all businesses can adopt this philosophy to some degree. 

“We wanted to produce this report to help charities and businesses better understand how they can get the most of their partnerships. We’re incredibly grateful to our Movement for Good beneficiaries for sharing their experiences, inspiration and insight to help shape this guide. We hope this guide will help prepare charities and their business partners to better support each other in the uncertain days ahead.”

Click Here to Download the Full Report

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