Cross-sector partnerships are a key element of businesses’ community investment activity as they allow companies and other organisations to leverage resources, address social issues more effectively and benefit all partners.
Collaboration between companies and between sectors is not new. BITC’s Shared Goals Shared Solutions research report provides a guide to how, when and why businesses are collaborating with others. It identifies common structures and success factors to provide practical guidance to companies.
More and more organisations are looking to partnering not only with charities but also with other businesses, public sector agencies, housing associations and social enterprises.
For companies, having a ‘charity of the year’ can require a lot of time and resources. Historically the relationship has been based on fundraising for the charity involving stakeholders such as employees and clients but sometimes it’s difficult to articulate the difference made just after a year.
Increasingly, businesses are preferring to extend this commitment to three years or more. Periodically revisiting the partnership objectives and commitments, focusing efforts in long term changes, contributing to the partner’s capacity building and having a multi-layered partnership is considered best practice.
This guide provides information on how your business can develop a sustainable and successful partnership with other organisations. It includes:
an overview of the five principles of good community investment
key steps to build a good partnership
recommendations to keep in mind
examples of good partnerships