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Corporate Partnerships ‘Time Critical’

14 March 2013 at 11:56 am
Staff Reporter
Timing is critical for Not for Profits to enter into a corporate partnership, a Not for Profit conference has been told.

Staff Reporter | 14 March 2013 at 11:56 am


Corporate Partnerships ‘Time Critical’
14 March 2013 at 11:56 am

Timing is critical for Not for Profits to enter into a corporate partnership, a Not for Profit conference has been told.

Partnerships expert, Hailey Cavill from Cavill & Co. was speaking at a breakout session at the CPA Not for Profit Conference in Melbourne attended by around 160 people. The CPA Conference is themed around the Not for Profit topics of Readiness, Resilience and Reform.

“Not for Profits must approach corporates during the early part of the year when marketing budgets are being determined if they hope to walk away with funding through a corporate partnership,” Cavill said.

“There are only eight weeks that matter in corporate partnerships – February and March.

“Timing is critical otherwise you’re just going to get crumbs.”

Cavill said that some charities are walking away with nothing from corporates when they are talking to the wrong person at the wrong time as marketing has the biggest ‘purse’ of corporate departments.

“Charities and Not for Profits can bring trust to a corporation that will increase consumers choice to buy their products.

“The reason why they partner with you is to unlock your trust dollars,” Cavill said. “Your good will and trust will rub off on them.”

Cavill said that NFPs should be prepared to charge companies for corporate volunteering which will come from the HR budget.

“It’s worth charging companies for the privilege of volunteering as there is a budget for it,” she told the conference.

According to Cavill, corporate volunteering helps engage a company’s staff and helps avoid the cost of retraining disengaged staff who leave the company.

“Charities also provide positive social media content for companies to engage audiences online.”

Cavill said that NFPs often change their language when communicating with corporates and that they should keep the emotion of their cause.

“It’s important to communicate what you do, it’s what the corporations are looking for,” she said.

Cavill said that the value in NFPs and charities partnering with corporations is the mass-marketing reach these companies have to spread your messages.

She said they will also let you share their resources that would otherwise be unimaginable for most charities.

Cavill told the conference that as a NFP brand becomes more well-known your fundraising and bequests will lift among other areas.

Not for Profits should enter into corporate partnerships as part of a long-term strategy," Cavill said.

“It’s not a short-term value,” she said. “You’ve got to have skills, staff to manage these partnerships over the long term.”

“Make sure you value your brand and don’t give it away for any less.”  

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  • Anonymous says:

    I’m glad that I was not at that conference session or I may have been the first heckler at a presentation !!

    While the advice given by Hailey Cavill might apply to Cavill & Co she should not be preaching it as the gospel according to all corporate partners.

    The better wording is the old financial investment addage: “Time in is far more important than timing getting in”. Savvy investing applies to cash as well as time and not all organisations operate on the same financial year, nor do they all allocate funds in the same manner. For some, February and March may be the very worst times but only hard work will reveal that from any one prospect. Therefore it is far more important (as Hailey did state further on) to get into a relationship for the long run and not to expect an instant pay-off. Relationships matter more than anything.

    As for volunteering, while some companies may disguise their team-building as charitable activity this does not apply to all and again, only by developing an open and honest line of communication with the right people will this be revealed. Then perhaps a charge may be appropriate but I have also seen it kill an otherwise good opportunity for a longer engagement.

    Yes, communicate honestly and openly and work hard on getting to know your partner but never ever assume that what works for one organisation will apply across the board and certainly don’t present it as such to a conference attended by so many.

  • Hailey Cavill says:

    I very much doubt that anonymous would have heckled – not even balsy enough to provide their name when criticising another! I made it very clear in my talk (which is on corporate partnerships NOT staff volunteering that for 75% of companies who operate on a July-June financial year, Feb/March is the right time to approach.

    I do not breach as gospel – but having brokered 39 partnerships worth $25m in 17 years, I do have considerable experience.


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