C&E Advisory announces first ever joint winners of Most Admired Partnership title

Melanie May | 15 September 2021 | News

hands meeting over a desk symbolising teamwork

For the first time, C&E Advisory’s Most Admired Partnership title has been awarded jointly to two corporate-NGO partnerships.

Announced alongside the release of C&E Advisory’s Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer 2021, the joint winners are the Boots UK – Macmillan Cancer Support partnership and the Tesco – Health Charity Partnership consortium (which includes Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, and Diabetes UK). These are closely followed by the Tesco – WWF alliance.

Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support work together to make sure that people living with cancer have access to the best information and support from within their local community. The Tesco – Health Charity Partnership aims help Tesco staff and customers to make sustainable lifestyle changes and adopt healthy habits. The Tesco – WWF partnership aims to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket.


C&E Advisory CEO, Manny Amadi said:

“These Most Admired partnerships and organisations are to be congratulated for achieving such accolades from their company and nonprofit sector peers. Each of their collaborations demonstrate the clear trend towards longer-term, strategic, problem-solving partnerships designed to create value for society and the organisations concerned, beyond the – important but often limiting – focus on reputational and fundraising gains.


“Their partnerships, adapted in many instances to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic, are also enhancing business understanding of social and environmental issues and helping to change business practices for the better.”

Commenting on the award win, Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns, Tesco, said:

“We are incredibly proud of the work we do with Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK to support our customers and colleagues make healthier life choices and make a real difference. Joining forces with these charities has been a huge success in enabling us to prioritise the health of our customers and colleagues.”

Jo Harby, Director of Information and Involvement at Cancer Research UK, on behalf of the charity partnership added:

“We’re thrilled that the partnership between Tesco, Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK has been recognised as a joint most admired partnership. Nearly all of us are affected by heart and circulatory diseases, cancer or diabetes in some way. Working together our partnership is helping support Tesco colleagues and customers make healthier choices that could lower their risk and improve their health. Now in its fourth year, we look forward to continuing our partnership to keep up the pace of progress.”

Barometer findings

The Barometer found that 94% of corporates and 98% of NGOs believe that their partnerships have helped corporate partners to develop their understanding of the societal / environmental issues their partnerships have been designed to address.

A strong majority of corporates (77%) and NGOs (61%) also report that partnerships are helping to change business practices for the better.

According to the Barometer, for corporates, reputation/credibility remains the most important reason for forming partnerships – with 100% of business respondents citing this as the main reason. Innovation, and driving long-term stability and impact are considered the next most important motivations for companies seeking to partner with nonprofits.

For nonprofits, the main motivation is funding, identified as such by 95%. Innovation and long-term stability & impact are also in the top three, with human resource development (enhancing workforce skills and competencies) seeing a strong rise – up 10% year on year – as a factor for nonprofits.

The Barometer also sought to gauge whether nonprofits are evolving towards a holistic approach to addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and the extent to which their corporate partners perceive this to be the case. Overall, it found that while many nonprofits have clear, core ESG missions, it is rarely evident how effectively such organisations perform on other ESG issues. Only 42% of corporates and 52% of NGOs believe charities do have effective ESG plans in place, while a further 46% of corporates and 34% of NGOs are neutral on this issue.

Amadi commented:

“That large numbers of NGO respondents are unclear about whether or not their organisation has a holistic ESG plan or framework would indicate that, even if they exist, such plans are either not prominent nor prioritised within their organisations, or that they are insufficiently communicated. Yet the benefits of taking a holistic approach to the planning and delivery of ESG practices have been very well demonstrated – as have the dangers of not doing so.”


“Today, more than ever, it is vital for all organisations to plan and operate holistically, to ensure good practice across the entirety of the ESG agenda. Being perceived, deservedly, as a paragon of virtue in one regard may not be enough to defend against criticism in an unrelated area. There is therefore an imperative for nonprofits to think holistically about the importance of the ESG agenda for their future evolution as they continue to plan for a post Covid-19 future, re-imagine their theories of change and build new business models.”