Pitching to a potential corporate partner – getting started

Approaching and pitching to a potential corporate partner is a daunting task for even the most experienced charity fundraisers. Which business do you approach? Who do you contact? What do you say?

We’ve put together these top tips to answer all these questions and more to get you started.

The warmest link

Find a link between your organisation and theirs: this can be your location, target audience, objectives or personnel – do your existing supporters have contacts? Make sure that your ideals align so you know a collaboration will work successfully and don’t let the size of a company put you off – large companies often try to support local charities. When you’ve chosen which company to contact, simply call up to get email addresses for the Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager, the Health and Wellbeing Manager or the General Manager to start your ask. 

Be prepared

Before you enter discussions with a company, thoroughly research their business and yours so you can propose a relevant and realistic partnership. Referencing their biggest achievements will show you know something about their business and a bit of flattery may go a long way!

Shake it up with tailor-made comms

Your first email and proposal need to be tailor-made for each corporate that you contact. Emphasising your connection will help your emails stand out and highlight the potential success of your relationship. As well as being bespoke, your email should be concise, explain your fundamental mission and outline what makes your charity special. Aim to secure a face-to-face meeting from your initial contact.

Mutual benefit

Corporate partnerships are a valuable source of income for charities, but you also need to stress what you can do for your corporate partner in return and make this the focus of your communications. Although you can be flexible with what you can offer, researching the company will help you propose something bespoke and attractive initially. Ideas could include:

  • PR (brand building advertising, social media, comms, news, publicity, joint branding)
  • provide expertise and resources for staff
  • health and wellbeing support
  • event hosting
  • skills swap
  • volunteer team building days
  • employee/client engagement

Finally, you also need to be upfront and specific about not just how you want them to help you, but how you will use those funds or effort to support your charity’s mission.

It’s all in the detail

A proposal with a detailed offer and ask, a campaign page mock-up, joint branded collateral and an outline of what data, updates etc. you will provide will bring the partnership to life for your corporate. Highlight a tangible outcome from your partnership for both sides. Once you’re up and running, provide as many updates, images, case-studies etc. as possible so they can appreciate the difference they’re helping you make.

Our Corporate Toolkit contains the top tips above, along with email templates, great campaign page examples and case studies to help your campaign.

Like to see other topics covered in our future articles?  Drop us an email – we’d love to hear your suggestions.