I work for a well-known charity and we are often approached by companies and online retailers who would like to develop partnerships with us or product licensing deals.
At the moment we evaluate each on a case by case by case basis and as there is no formal assessment procedure the decisions made, may not be based on the same criteria.
To ensure the entire team can evaluate these types of approaches i have been asked to develop a checklist and simple assessment process.
I have got some very useful information from the Fundraising institute, which could be used in part to develop a checklist that each potential corporate partner would need to pass before being brought to the attention of senior management.
However, i am curious as to what other processes are available and how other charities assess potential corporate partners.
Any and all information will be appreciated, especially on how to make the process simple, systematic and easy for everyone in the fundraising team to follow and understand.
In the end I used the Corporate Fundraising forum hosted by the IOF and got a range of responses. I now have in place an assessment form for companies looking to partner with the charity. However, due to the confusion of whether to include Vat as part of the donation or on top of the agreed percentage/sum to be donated I am currently taking some legal advice on this matter.
The Solicitors will create a short standard form of agreement and a range of other templates I can use to protect the charity if it decides to enter any such corporate agreements. The trouble is that most of the companies contacting me are fairly new and do not have the cash required for the fee to use our logo which I have been told is usually around 10% of the value of the annual partnership. As some charities do not seem to charge this it means they usually withdraw their offer of support.
Have you any experience with these types of agreements/partnerships? How have they worked for you in the past? I must admit it’s quite frustrating as I have a target to meet but all the companies I contact will not agree to pay for the use of the logo, or enter a set amount of income that the charity will receive through the partnership as it depends on how many units are sold and they do not want to be held accountable for the total sum that i have been told that I have a legal responsibility to insert into the standard form of agreement.
Any thoughts you may have would be hugely appreciated.
I see your predicament. You’re trying to help the charity raise much needed funds but are a bit hamstrung by the ‘rules’ requiring set fees by the relevant company who is trying to HELP you raise those funds.
Let’s face facts. The CRM is being offered by a COMMERCIAL company. If they weren’t trying to also make a PROFIT they wouldn’t be able to support charities at all. In this economic climate would it not be worth considering having a ‘discretion’ for requiring the 10% fee for logo use, which after all is just another avenue to raise funds for you – good in some ways, but MAYBE is limiting your ability to raise many MORE funds with a number of different corporate entities who are willing to help you. These days all companies and NFPs need to look at WIN/WIN scenarios for ALL parties – including the donors and not just continually stick their hand out for Pounds or Dollars without trying to have a strategy that gives the WIN/WIN. Unfortunately, this is still a novel concept to some in the charitable sector to grasp.
Having worked for NFPs before, and served on Charitable Boards, as well as having had our own companies I am able to see a range of options for assisting all parties here. Maybe the charities need to look outside the square to better engage with a wider section of the commercial sector and they might meet their fundraising goals with a bit more ease.
If you’d like to connect with me my email is firstname.lastname@example.org or skype id shi.symbol
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