Over the past decade we have seen significant changes in the way businesses engage with the not-for-profit sector. The dominance of commercial sponsorship arrangements has given way to much more sophisticated partnerships with social impact.
International Corporate Philanthropy Day was established to celebrate this shift while building awareness of corporate-community partnerships and inspiring businesses around the globe to engage further in Corporate Philanthropy.
As our contribution to International Corporate Philanthropy day on the 25th of February, 2013, O’Keefe and Partners conducted our very first Giving Trends Mini Survey to gain a snapshot into corporate philanthropy in Australia.
The results confirm that while the Third Sector is beginning to embrace corporate philanthropy, there is still opportunities for further engagement.
Responses were received from a wide range of organisations with particularly strong representation from the Children & Families, Health and Education sectors.
Graph 2: Number of corporate donors/partners last year
In the past, it was common to see not-for-profits rely on one major sponsor for the bulk of their corporate support. Carrying all of your eggs in one basket is a big risk, so it is encouraging to see the large number of organisations with multiple corporate relationships. More than half of the respondents to the survey had in excess of 10 donors/partners suggesting a greater focus on developing a broad corporate supporter base.
Graph 3: Types of corporate support received
Seeing sponsorship/partnership fall to third place on the list of most common forms of corporate support confirms the shift towards more philanthropically motivated relationships. While cash donations are clearly the most common form of corporate support, a significant number of not-for-profit organisations are seeking non-financial support such as volunteer labour and the provision of goods and services in kind. In a tightening economy this is a very smart move that provides opportunities for the corporate to remain engaged with the not-for-profit organisation even when economic circumstances make cash donations more difficult.. For organisations that would otherwise have to pay for the donated labour, goods and services, the reduction in their overheads can free up funds for their beneficiaries.
Graph 4:Trends in Corporate Generosity
Just over half of survey respondents were of the opinion that Corporates are less generous than they were 5 years ago which is pretty much in line with data from our 2012 Giving Trends study which showed 54% of organisations perceived corporate giving to be declining. Interestingly only 22% of 2012 Giving Trends respondents reported an actual decrease in income. This begs the “chicken and the egg” question – is the Corporate Sector less generous or does the Third sector need to lift its game and get better at seeking out corporate support?
Graph 5: Proportion of income from Corporate Philanthropy
For the vast majority of respondents (47%), Corporate Philanthropy accounts for less than 5% of their total fundraising income. This suggests that there is still a big opportunity for income growth in this area.
For over 25 years it has been the vision of O’Keefe and Partners to cement Australia’s place as a global philanthropic leader. We are proud of the role we have played in the changing face of corporate philanthropy and are committed to working with organisation across the Third and Corporate sectors to see even further development.
For organisations looking to build their capacity to attract corporate support, working with O’Keefe and Partners can put you on the fast track to success. We have a strong track record in all aspects of Corporate/Community engagement from strategic development through to the identification and sign-up of partners.
If you think your organsiastion could benefit from our experience and intimate knowledge of the Third and Corporate sectors, please email Julie Johnson for a confidential and obligation-free discussion.
A Giving Trends 2013 initiative.