Feedback on the event has been very positive with requests including ‘more, more and more!’ so you’ll be pleased to hear it is not the only way we’re supporting our membership to get alongside local corporates to tap up their support.
In the same month, a report by Grant Thornton told us that UK businesses headed into the new-year with rising optimism, so if they are doing well, there may well be an uplift in their support for charities.
Our role as a sector should be to step up to the mark and positively seek to understand the different relationships we can nurture and develop with them. This will mean all charities and community groups, large and small embracing all aspects of corporate social responsibility. We must not rush in for the ‘quick win’, but instead take the longer view by developing relationships that last.
The gateway to a lasting business relationship may not be as simple as a gift of a lick of paint to a community space, if a corporate offers the charity their skills and expertise, charities can use this as an opportunity to build trusting, loyal and lasting relationships.
I also think it’s our job to demonstrate to local business both the value and impact of the support they make. We must tell the ‘big picture’ story, demonstrating that the ‘sum of our parts’ are greater than the whole and that our whole impact delivers positive change. Only through talking in this way about our work will we be able to engender a sense of pride in the relationship they hold with us.
In turn, business support will require us in the sector to ensure our organisations are built with solid foundations, that the trust they put in us when they invest is justified. They will want to be ‘more involved’ and give their support to enhance sustainability by helping charities with their business planning, financial management, in short sharing their expertise as well as gifting financial support. This type of interaction between businesses and charities will embed and support long term relationships.
So this year let us seek to understand, build trust and loyalty, tell our ‘big picture’ story, demonstrate our value, provide meaningful interactions and be open to all types of support from local business.
Stephen Morgan, Chief Executive
You can follow Stephen on Twitter @BVAStephen