CDE project 7 sec­tion 2: appendix

Written by
The Commission on the Donor Experience
April 25, 2017

Appendix 1: Case studies

Case study: Aberdeen Asset Management

Lynda Affleck, Head of Charitable Giving at Aberdeen Asset Management says, “The best charity partners have been those who are efficient and friendly in their dealings with us. They are proactive and have understood the importance of providing volunteering opportunities without being asked. They are energetic and respond in a timely manner.”

Lynda also described what makes a great partnership:

  • The charity is efficient and friendly in their dealings with the company.
  • When applying for funding annually, their application is clear and explains the project concisely and in a straightforward manner.
  • They proactively provide ad hoc volunteering opportunities without being asked.
  • The company’s volunteers find the volunteering opportunities enjoyable and worthwhile.
  • The charity always responds quickly to any requests.
  • They attend the London office charity showcases when asked.
  • They always find a volunteering opportunity for the company for Global Volunteering Day, part of Business in the Community’s ‘Give & Gain’ Day which takes place in May each year.

Case study: Haven House Children’s Hospice and Citi

As a small, local charity without a nationally-recognised brand, Haven House had to find a way to assure Citi’s London office that they were committed to and capable of delivering a charity of the year partnership.

When nominations opened, the corporate team promoted the partnership opportunity across the hospice, seeking local connections. The proposal to Citi was to kick-start new hospice services; having a service goal emphasised to our staff what could be achieved if we worked together to win the partnership.

‘Pitch day’ happened to be Valentine’s Day, so our play therapists created a card with our children to give to the charity committee. One of our nurses also joined us on campaign day.

Key to our proposal was that, being local, Citi would get to know our staff and families. During launch week, with help from our care colleagues, we set up a pop-up sensory tent and our CEO helped on our information stand. We’ve since had over 140 Citi staff at the hospice helping us with a family festival, jointly organised by the fundraising and care teams.

Working on the Citi partnership has shown that service delivery staff are keen to contribute to organisational partnerships. They have also helped us to develop creative ways of taking the hospice into the city. 

Case study: Blind Veterans UK and Monarch

Monarch decided to form the Monarch Foundation because it would be positive for customers. They wanted to support different groups of charities and they chose ten charity partners, one of which was Blind Veterans UK (BVUK). Monarch contributed support through donated pennies from their customers.

We were talking with them about how we could get some PR and add value. One of BVUK’s unique selling points is that we have beneficiaries who can talk with the public and supporters. So we decided to send one of our veterans and a ROVI (Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired), to go and meet Monarch trainee air crews to show them how to interact with people who are blind and disabled. The first time we did it as a trial to see if it would work and it was incredibly successful. The air crew could ask the veteran basic questions like, “What do we do if you fall over?” It provided the air crews with great learning. Veterans know what it’s like to have sight, so they can relate to the cabin crew.

We started in early 2015 and it was so successful. Air crews loved it; it gave them confidence to deal with anybody with a disability, not just the visually impaired. Monarch said this was so successful they wanted us to do it with all of their new air crews. It takes about 90 minutes and it works, whoever does it. In 2015, we trained 250 new air crew and we have bookings throughout 2016.

This is a big commitment for BVUK and it costs £600 a go.

Then Monarch decided to review its charity partners via a staff vote. They reduced the number of charities to four and BVUK is now one of those four. We know this is only possible because of the incredible support we build through the training of the air crews.

We are getting great feedback about our Sighted Guidance Training from air crews and it is increasing the confidence of the veterans delivering the training. Also we have quadrupled revenue from the partnership. We’ve also been featured in their in-flight magaizine, helping us reach even more veterans who can benefit from our support.

This is about supporting our partners in a really amazing way. And it does so much more. Everybody enjoys it and everbody is getting something from it.

Now BVUK is seeing how we can work with other companies. We are providing an educative experience to our partners. It’s all about normalisation and equality.

Case study: IAPB and Standard Chartered Bank – Seeing Is Believing

“NGOs and companies are very different in how they operate and have quite different expectations of how things should be done – in terms of timeframe, budgeting, decision making and measurement. This leads to levels of uncertainty and confusion – it can undermine the trust that is so critical to a long-term working relationship. When the partnership was going through a low patch we worked on building a clearly defined governance structure with representation from all stakeholders. We now meet regularly to look together at budgets and forecasts. This means a much more shared and ‘joined up’ approach as well as far more openness with a highly reduced risk of surprises at the end of a financial year or a phase.”

  • Martin Hayman, Management Committee Member, Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing has evolved a comprehensive management and governance structure. It is the result of a level of trial and error as the project has grown. It has taken time for the systems to be established and modified in the light of changing needs and experience of what has not worked as well as it could.

“I think a lot of the success of Seeing is Believing depends on the level of support and commitment that you get from the partner charities. It works both ways. We have demonstrated to them that we will be fair and open. In return they are fully behind us, happy to support and get involved in events and to encourage us to come and visit local projects whenever we want to.”

Alex Bainbridge, Head of Financial Markets, Wholesale Bank Standard Chartered Bank, Tanzania

You can read the full partnership review using the following link:

Case study: Macmillan and M&S

We (Macmillan) were looking for a headline partner for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. M&S had been involved for some time, but the partnership was only in M&S cafés and didn’t really live up to the ‘Worlds Biggest’ billing.

We decided to take a proposal to M&S to move the partnership into Food Hall and expand into a CRM on food products. It was quite a bold move, and we knew that not only would we have to come up with a compelling proposal, but we would have to be tough negotiators because we would be dealing with people who negotiated deals for a living!

We prepared ahead of time, ensuring we were agreed on what was important for the charity, and what was simply a ‘nice to have’. We also agreed at what point we would walk away – and we were prepared to do that. We worked as a team to negotiate with the team from M&S. It was quite stressful at times, but being prepared really helped. We managed to agree a deal that has seen the partnership grow hugely over the past three years, to one that now raises millions each year. 

Case study: Anonymous

We had a three-year partnership with a company. But in year one a member of our staff was committed of a child sex offence. We needed to get in touch with our corporate partner to inform them that tomorrow, or the next day, there might be a negative press story. The company was totally understanding and said that they deal with some difficult situations themselves. They were really pleased to see that we had taken action immediately and ensured that nobody was at risk. They were really impressed by our bravery and honesty. Also our CEO called their CEO. We know that mattered too. Since then the company has relaunched its partnership with us and has committed to raising £75k in three years (our second biggest partnership).

Case study: Football Beyond Borders and Football Radar

Football Beyond Borders was finding it hard to get volunteers for our school projects, because volunteers need to give time in school hours, and turn up consistently. It’s no good for schools if you can’t come because an important meeting came up.

As part of our partnership with Football Radar, we learned that they wanted to drive employee engagement. So we developed a volunteering programme that would meet both our challenges. We set up six-week programme, which is short but flexible. Volunteers can either attend all six sessions, three working days in total, or just the kick-off and wrap-up sessions. It’s been working really well. We get guaranteed volunteers for our schools programme, the volunteers learn about training and coaching others, and it really takes them out of their comfort zone!

We also put in place a charging structure, to fund the infrastructure that supports their volunteers, and this has become its own income stream. The pilot has been successful, and it’s now a core part of the proposition that we take to other companies.” 

Case study: Action for Children and Dairy Crest

Action for Children was Dairy Crest’s first ever official charity and we were coming towards the end of the one year partnership. This was a really important partnership for us, but we became aware that there was potential that they might chose a different charity for the following year. However, we were surprised when we were advised they would be inviting three other charities to pitch and not including us. Thankfully we managed to persuade them to give us a chance and to include us as the fourth charity pitching for the partnership.

We discovered that the decision was going to be taken at a meeting of the sales director and ten area managers. We decided to inspire them about our cause in a very big way, so they would stay with us for a second year.

We arranged a day when all the area managers visited one of our family centres, a project for young carers and met with our project manager who worked with children who had been abused. It was an incredibly powerful day; the area managers were so fired up about our cause that they voted to continue working with us for another year. They also brought renewed commitment to the partnership making the second year even more successful than the first.

We knew that the 30+ depots, where the majority of staff were based, loved Action for Children and enjoyed working with us. When they were aware that Dairy Crest may choose a new charity they were very disappointed so we got each of them to write us a glowing reference. Indeed, we used a quote from one of them as the headline for our pitch, “Its been an amazing year, but the best is yet to come.”

By winning their hearts and minds, Action for Children was selected for a second year and quadrupled the income raised. In fact, a year later we also secured the partnership for a third year!

Claire House Children’s Hospice and Biffa 

At Claire House we’ve had wonderful support from the waste management company, Biffa. They came to visit Claire House and attended one of our hospice tours last year. On the tour they got chatting to our Play Team who told them all about 14 year old Chris. Chris comes to Claire House and as it turns out, absolutely loves bin wagons! In fact, his parents pop his wheelchair at the end of their drive every Wednesday morning to watch the wagons collecting down the street. Biffa were overwhelmed that their company could ever have such a positive impact on Chris and his family so decided to make him a video (a video we can play in our interactive hub – Chris’s favourite room in the hospice). They attached a camera to one of the wagons and in the video invite Chris to join them on a day’s collection. They came back to the hospice (bringing a couple of bin wagons with them) to present the video to Chris and his family, along with his own honorary Biffa uniform. 

You can watch the video here:

It was a great example of collaboration across the fundraising/care teams to develop a really strong and long lasting partnership. There wasn’t an obvious connection on paper between Claire House Children’s Hospice and Biffa but once we introduced the Biffa team to wider teams at the hospice, we discovered something really inspiring.

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About the author: The Commission on the Donor Experience

The CDE has one simple ideal – to place donors at the heart of fundraising. The aim of the CDE is to support the transformation of fundraising, to change the culture to a truly consistent donor-based approach to raising money. It is based on evidence drawn from first hand insight of best practice. By identifying best practice and capturing examples, we will enable these to be shared and brought into common use.

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