Dating a corporate: building a relationship with a corporate partner

Here our top tips and experience of building corporate partnerships over the past three years.

Start at the beginning

Like any good relationship start with the basics – what do you have to offer one another? Think through what you have that any company might like to have access to… volunteering opportunities, brand association, alignment of mission or target audiences.

‘We need a pipeline of regular volunteers who work directly with the children. Many corporates are looking to help their employees use ‘volunteer days’ offered through benefits packages. By ensuring we track hours and give volunteers a top notch experience we help them achieve their corporate goals. And everyone likes to be a Pirate!

Build the relationship together

Take it slow. Get to know one another. Try working on a small project together that can be reviewed and celebrated before moving to something more ambitious. This way you are likely to build a stronger, longer term relationship.

‘Investing in someone to manage the relationships is key. Take a couple of people to meetings, so you can spit ball ideas. We often start with a taster session to judge interest and show them we are reliable and fun!

Understand your value

In a real partnership there is a win-win. Make sure you have thought through all the costs involved in creating a partnership to ensure it is value for money from your side.

‘A day of 10 people volunteering to paint your tired workshop room is an opportunity that many corporate partners would love to be involved with. We save these, because they are not that regular for our longer term partners.’

Join us on 25th May for a practical workshop where you can develop your plans together with others. The workshop is delivered by ELBA, Hackney CVS, Hackney Volunteer Centre and Literacy Pirates. Everyone is invited.

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