Red Nose Day is coming up this week, and while people across the country will be taking part in charitable endeavours for Friday 18 March (sometimes involving baked beans and bathtubs), big brands are taking part, too. It’s not just about handing over the giant cardboard cheques on the night; alongside the number one priority that is helping people in need, there are many other benefits to corporate partnerships with charities.
Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat, TK Maxx, British Airways, Walkers and the Premier League are just some of the big-name brands listed as partners this year on the Red Nose Day website – you may have already bought something from one of them that will result in a contribution to the charity. Want more warm and fuzzy feelings alongside bonus business boosts? Consider the added value for brands wanting to get involved in the charity sector.
As Kurt Geiger subsidiary Shoeholics’ head of brand marketing Angela Asiedua pointed out, regarding the brand’s charity partnership with Smart Works for its ‘Shoe Good’ charity arm, there’s no better time for businesses to do some good: ‘Shoe Good a key mission for us moving forward, especially after the challenges of covid. It seems more important than ever that we look after each other and help where we can’.
As part of the team-up between Shoeholics, Smart Works were able to give donated shoes and bags to the unemployed women they coach and support back into work. ‘With the support of partners, we can be ready to help any woman who needs our support with the tools she needs to succeed,’ said the charity’s CEO Kate Stephens.
Such team-ups can be light-hearted in tone, too. Prostate Cancer UK has a remit that requires sensitivity in its messaging – the charity has partnered with brands like Below the Belt Grooming for Men, which often use playful branding. Their partnership was a perfect fit – the brand pledged to raise £10,000 for the charity during 2018, with funds going to research into diagnosis and treatment, as well as support for those impacted by prostate cancer.
‘It is partners such as these that will help us make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men need not fear,’ said director of fundraising James Beeby.
Awareness-raising and starting conversations about frightening topics is a key element of these partnerships. Just as the reputation of a charity can help highlight the credence and kindness of a business, that brand can give the charities it works with the benefits of its own ‘personality’; sometimes humorous, blunt or straightforward.
As shared by Numan’s marketing manager Abbie Moujaes in her guest post on healthcare comms, a straightforward tone can be difficult to nail when your subject matter is so potentially serious and life-altering, but if you can nail it, it will pay off in awareness and engagement. A bold and no-nonsense tone in comms may not always come naturally for an established charity; it can for consumer brands who have it built into their brand DNA already.
If you’re part of a brand’s in-house team and want to work with charity initiatives like Red Nose Day beyond bathing in baked beans to raise money, there are plenty of possible partnerships that will fit your organisation’s existing values and add to its purpose. Brands like SalesForce have teamed up with Human Appeal and Hands On London’s UK Wrap Up event, which has had six years of success so far. In 2019 alone, the initiative helped get 5,219 warm coats to local charities.
Initiatives like The Charities Aid Foundation have resources for finding corporate partnerships.
As the past few years have shown us all, people expect more from the businesses they buy from. If you have found success with your brand’s comms plan, it is the perfect time to share the benefits of your skillset.
In need of PR and comms solutions for your charity? Take a look at how Vuelio’s services can help you manage vital relationships, reach influential figures and access the political landscape here.
For more on building a charity brand, catch up with our webinar on the subject with Scouts and Shape History.
Want info on helping a local charity with their PR strategy? Check out this previous guest post from Spike’s Andre Gwilliam.
And for charities doing great things with their digital content, check out these 10 Top UK Charity Blogs.