In this blog Trustee, Thomas Kinney-Nicol reflects on the importance of partnership working to broaden the impact a charity can have
Charities selling out to business. Businesses covering their backs by “doing something good”. We’ve all heard it before, it is often the first thoughts to announcements about partnerships between the third sector, and business. For many the “big cheque” picture is an image quickly conjured when someone mentions a partnership or sponsorship. I understand it, and I’m sure that even as a fundraiser it is ingrained in my mind as a default response. However, I think in today’s world, it is becoming increasingly important to recognise that partnerships are no longer just useful, but often necessary and are driven by a focus to create collaborative solutions to problems and away from the transactional nature of their past.
Kathy Calvin, the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation has said that “Giving is not just about making a Donation, it’s about making a Difference”. When we place this in the context of partnerships, I think it’s incredibly relevant in today’s fundraising environment, for both the charity and the business. Both parties want to work together, to the greatest effect.
The role of business in the third sector is changing, much like the third sector itself. For a charity like 2050 Climate Group the funding landscape grows tougher, and we are increasingly finding ourselves in a more crowded market trying to galvanise support for our cause. In Scotland alone, there are over 24,700 charities, all vying to catch your eye, broaden their reach, and ultimately increase their impact. An oversimplified solution is two-pronged, do what you can to stand-out-from the crowd, capitalising on your USP, and increase your income to a sustainable level to support and grow your activity.
Charities should be continually evolving and adapting to make sure they are reaching and bringing as many people on the journey as possible, and learning from those people along the way. Partnerships are an exciting opportunity to do that, and in many ways to innovate and try out new approaches. Today we are announcing a new partnership with Tennent’s Lager, an exciting opportunity for us to engage and learn from a new audience. It is encouraging to see Tennent’s making investments to mitigate the environmental impact of their operations, and committing to push this ambition further. Working with such a recognisable Scottish brand on the issue of climate change also gives us hope that environmental issues are at the forefront of the Scottish collective consciousness.
We have always been a group with a focus on actions and getting things done, and we’re excited to be working with Tennent’s to develop “pint and a plan” workshops that applies this working style to the comfortable environment of the pub. We hope this approach will bring new voices to the environmental movement, and some innovative actions that will affect real change. Outwith the pub, we are also looking forward to engaging Tennent’s own staff members more widely in the work of 2050 Climate Group.
In its truest form partnerships are about collaboration, and a desire to make sure that they are mutually beneficial for both parties. For a charity, they extend the reach and impact of your work, and for a business they demonstrate a commitment to a social issue that they are passionate about. At 2050 Climate Group, we realise the importance of creating strategic partnerships with key players throughout Scotland. From Scottish Water, to SEPA, and The University of Edinburgh we work to create the space for Scotland’s young people to take meaningful action on climate change. It is important to us, as a charity driven by Scotland’s youth, that any partnership aligns with our core vision, mission and values and has the largest impact within the community that it can.
We know that we can’t go it alone, that a joined-up approach can achieve greater results. So when a business can demonstrate to us their commitment to work within our charitable objectives, it is not only right to work with these businesses, but an important opportunity to broaden the reach of our message and impact of our work.
We want to engage as many of Scotland’s young people as we can, it is only by doing so that we can see the kind of action required to accelerate Scotland’s journey to net-zero by 2045. To do this, it’s important that when we can, and with the support of others take the conversation to the places they find themselves in, whether that be cafes,places of learning, or in this case, the pub!
So, whilst for the duration of this campaign we will be encouraging the young people of Scotland to grab their pint and join us to plan actions against the Climate Emergency, we’ll also be meeting them across the country in a variety of different formats, with a variety of approaches.
The power of partnerships, when created from a shared vision, can be transformation to both a business, their charity partner and wider causes. If you believe in the power of partnerships, 2050 Climate Group is always looking for new approaches and support from all aspects of Scotland’s public, private and third sector life. We want to connect with like-minded partners, looking to empower, equip and enable future leaders within their organisations and across wider society to take action on climate change. Get in touch with us today.