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At the start of a new year, businesses often choose their charity partner for the year. Julia Trevett-Smith, Communications Coordinator at Kangaroos, believes it is even better to build longer-term partnerships

It is heart-warming to see more and more businesses link up with charities, and really take their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seriously. At this time of year, many businesses will choose a charity of the year, which is a great idea. However, it may be even better to form a long-term partnership with a charity, so the bonds between the charity and the business become even stronger.

Businesses play a vital role in helping charities survive, but it is not just the charity that benefits. Consumers and employees expect the businesses they buy from, and work for, to be doing more. Giving back to the local community is no longer a nice-to-have in business, it’s essential for business success. It has a positive impact on customer loyalty, staff retention, attracting talent and importantly for business it is an effective lever for increased productivity and profit.

At Kangaroos, we rely on funding so we can organise inclusive social and leisure activities for children and young adults with learning disabilities and additional needs. It is great news for our community when a business chooses us as their charity of the year. But we would love to build up even stronger links with businesses.

A business really connects with a charity when staff get involved with volunteering and start to understand the incredible impact their fund-raising efforts have on people’s lives. The more you engage with a charity the more passionate you are about the charity’s work.

From a charity’s point of view, there is often a need to forward plan for long-term projects. A report by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) says that “70% of donations from corporates are small and short-term.” The report states that these short-term relationships do not help charities to develop long-term projects that can have a more sustainable impact. 

Short-term relationships make it incredibly difficult for charities to plan ahead. When there’s a funding gap to fill, longer term projects are much harder to get off the ground and sustain. Imagine if your business was constantly losing important clients. You wouldn’t be managing growth plans, you’d be fighting to keep the business afloat.

Businesses have an opportunity to play a part in creating an outward looking society we are proud to live in. Long-term partnerships with a charity are the right thing to do. 



Julia Trevett-Smith is a Communications Coordinator at Kangaroos, a Sussex-based charity providing clubs, activities and trips out to young people with learning difficulties.

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