Potential of corporate responsibility for third sector has yet to be realised
A more creative third sector will drive successful business partnerships
10 March 2011
Charities that develop sophisticated partnerships with business stand to reap far more significant benefits than through traditional models of corporate community investment, according to a new report from Deloitte. New types of partnership are emerging as corporate responsibility programmes shift away from financial donations to the provision of resources, assets and business expertise.
The Deloitte report comes at a time when many charities and third sector organisations are in a state of flux, uncertain of their future source of funding, sustainability and role in the Government’s ‘big society’ vision.
Currently, 100 of the UK’s largest businesses collectively make community investments of more than £1.4 billion[i]. Deloitte believes that this only scratches the surface of the potential that corporate responsibility and community investment programmes present charities.
The report - Emerging partnership models between business and the third sector- was launched this morning at a Deloitte event: Business and Society, making a sustainable impact.
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt who addressed the audience of business and charity leaders, said: “I very much welcome this report from Deloitte, which shows just how much can be achieved when businesses and third sector organisations work together. There are many lessons in this for the arts, and one of my priorities is to create a new culture of philanthropy in the UK. 2011 is the year of corporate philanthropy, and I am using it to encourage businesses to support arts organisations, building on the fantastic work already going on.”
Heather Hancock, the Deloitte managing partner responsible for Deloitte’s £9.8 million community investment programme, said: “Partnerships that bring expertise, resources and insight unique to the capabilities of the business and the strategic needs of the charity can have a far more dramatic impact than financial support. That is also where the real business benefit of community investment lies.
“By getting under the skin of how and why a company wants to support the community, charities stand to benefit more, and for longer, through genuine partnership with business. Business has not always been as clear or explicit about the motives for community investment as it should have been and that will need to change.
“Deloitte believes that more sophisticated partnerships could unleash significant benefits for the third sector. And by being more creative in its approach to business relationships the third sector will be able to harness it.”
Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “In the post-recession economic and social landscape there is an increasing need for strong and well-balanced partnerships between businesses and their local communities. We are delighted to see the exciting and innovative collaboration that is already emerging at organisations like Deloitte and right across our membership, demonstrating the significant tangible benefit this brings to community partners, businesses and society as a whole.”
Such partnerships must begin with a thorough investment in understanding the specific imperatives of both parties, the report claims. This must then be followed by the development of a long term strategy that makes an obvious and real connection to the business’s core products and services and the strategic needs of the charity. Such approaches are common in businesses and charities but are often lacking in partnerships between the two. These stages of partnership development, detailed in the report, will produce a bespoke partnership that is unique to both organisations.
The report cites the example of Deloitte’s partnership with Help for Heroes. The charity, which supports wounded service personnel benefited from contributions worth almost £900,000 including half a million pounds of pro bono management consultancy. Deloitte made the investment as it provided opportunities to engage and develop its staff, strengthen client relationships and showcase its expertise.
[i] London Benchmarking Group annual review 2010
A copy of Emerging partnership models between business and the third sector can be found on the Deloitte website: www.deloitte.co.uk/crpartnerships.
Note to editors
Further information about Deloitte’s community investment programme: www.deloitte.co.uk/communityinvestment
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee,, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press. For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk. Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.