Developing a business engagement strategy that supports funding and change objectives - Tracey Pritchard, Friends of the Earth
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Developing a business engagement strategy that supports funding and change objectives - Tracey Pritchard, Friends of the Earth

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This presentation is from a workshop at the NCVO Funding Conference 2014, sponsored by Charity Bank. ...

This presentation is from a workshop at the NCVO Funding Conference 2014, sponsored by Charity Bank.

Find out how your organisation can benefit from developing a corporate fundraising strategy which engages businesses to meet your income objectives, but also helps further your mission so your beneficiaries remain at the heart of what you do.

Presenter: Tracey Pritchard, Head of Fundraising, Friends of the Earth.

Find out more about the NCVO Funding Conference 2014: http://www.ncvo.org.uk/training-and-events/funding-conference

Find out more about the funding resources provided by NCVO: http://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/funding

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  • Find out how your organisation can benefit from developing a corporate fundraising strategy which engages businesses to meet your income objectives, but also helps further your mission so your beneficiaries remain at the heart of what you do. <br />
  • What is Friends of the Earth and what do we do? <br /> This isn’t a PR exercise, or a diversion. <br /> It’s sits at the centre of what we are going to explore today. <br /> And it’s a PR exercise  <br />
  • 1971: 2,000 empty bottles outside the headquarters of Schweppes Ltd. <br /> FoE was protesting against bottles being dumped in the countryside. <br />
  • 1979: staging an anti-fur demonstration in front of Harrods. <br />
  • 2004: handing out spoof chocolate bars at the Cadbury Schweppes annual general meeting (AGM) in London. <br /> Highlighting concerns over the demand for the preservative palm oil which is leading to rainforest destruction. <br />
  • 2005: A traditional butcher, baker and green grocer are taken over by Tesco as shareholders arrive for the AGM <br />
  • 2014: a campaign drawing attention to the unscrupulous way that our mobile phones are made. <br />
  • Current work includes: <br /> protecting and restoring nature (with a focus on bees) <br /> promoting sustainable solutions to climate change (e.g. through renewable energy) <br /> advocating sustainable economic growth and consumption <br /> addressing land use, food and water security <br /> and tackling injustice (empowering the poorest people facing the worst environmental impacts). <br /> We achieve incredible things – changes of monumental scale. Making the impossible become the norm. Our bottle recycling campaign in a previous slide led to the doorstep recycling that has become part of all our lives. Our Big Ask campaign in 2008/9 led to the first ever Climate Change Act. Our recent bee campaign has led to the introduction of the first ever national plan to protect pollinators. <br /> But we don’t do this alone. We bring people together to achieve these things. Our strength is in numbers – people on the street like you and me, other like-minded organisations, institutions, landowners, decision makers, communities, trade unions, public bodies – and yes, businesses. We need all these to work with us to bring about change to protect the world we live in. <br /> What can businesses do for us? <br /> 1/ Huge reach and influence. They have customer bases and marketing budgets beyond our wildest dreams. They can spread the word and garner support from individuals for our campaigns for petitioning government. They can bend the ear of Government themselves and help swing opinion. <br /> 2/ money. <br /> Thought Starter I <br /> What are the top 2 things that businesses can do for you? <br /> What do the previous slides have in common? <br /> They all have a strong link to a company or companies. <br /> It is essential that FOE remains totally independent. Even where we link up with companies we need to retain the freedom to comment on practices that are damaging to the planet. <br />
  • So how did we develop a corporate fundraising strategy that engages businesses to meet income objectives AND further our mission? <br /> When I arrived at FOE, no one held back in telling me my predecessor left off the back of a proposal to work with a big company. <br /> Amongst some campaigners, local groups and the Board there were extremely strong views – we can’t be seen to be working with companies. <br /> I was left in no doubt not to even mention it. <br /> At the time, I didn’t. I just wrote it into the strategy…. <br /> Externally, companies are afraid of being judged, that they won’t stand up to our green credentials, that they will expose themselves to criticism… and all kinds of other really positive reasons for wanting to talk to us. <br /> We introduced 6 steps to identifying how we could benefit and getting ourselves on a pathway to achieving that. <br />
  • STEP 1 <br /> Internally <br /> We got a few of the most nervous internal people together and had a group hug. <br /> In fact we hugged for hours and hours until we understood our differences, or more importantly our similarities in how we felt companies could help us achieve great things and our concerns about the risk – and we built up some trust from our campaign colleagues that we weren’t about to sell out. <br /> We agreed that we want Friends of the Earth to be seen as an organisation that recognises the positive contribution of businesses to the environmental agenda. <br /> That through them we can increase the reach, frequency and / or value of Friends of the Earth communications. <br /> And increase the number of people taking positive action for the environment through Friends of the Earth. <br /> We were clear that the companies that we work with need to share our values. <br /> We worked together on these and our strategic approach….or which more later <br /> And then as a team we sold it into the rest of the organisation. <br /> Externally <br /> We wanted to start to build up the trust and to put ourselves back on the stage of working with businesses. <br /> So we introduced our Clean British Energy campaigns team to the 2 greenest energy companies. <br /> And we sold the dream to the 2 energy companies that we could extend their reach and ours through being partners of the campaign. <br /> We were also keen for there to be some financial gain to the relationship – but no money exchanged hands. Instead the energy companies invested in further marketing the Clean British Energy campaign – which encouraged people to switch from the Big 6 Energy companies. <br /> Our campaigns team were happy that they could suddenly push the campaign out at volumes they couldn’t previously afford. <br /> The energy companies were happy to receive new customers - and to forging a new positive relationship with their competitors. <br /> And we literally put ourselves back on the stage. <br /> We linked up with People and the Environment Business Awards (PEA Awards), placing one of our Directors on their judging panel, presenting awards on the night. <br /> And the Guardian Sustainability Awards, providing guests with cocktails made from ingredients pollinated by bees <br /> And Business Green Awards, with our Director providing regular features. <br /> All comfortable territory for us. <br />
  • STEP 2 <br /> Internally… <br /> Let’s go back to what we did internally. <br /> Crucially we involved our campaigning friends. As I said a moment ago, we are clear that the companies that we work with need to share our values. So together we set to work on defining what we meant by a company that shares our values. <br /> Agreed values (not behaviours) that we associate with a ‘good’ company: <br /> strive to ensure that all operations have a positive impact on society and the environment, including the wise stewardship of resources, and avoid harmful or damaging activity such as [fossil fuels etc] <br /> be open and transparent about the impact they, their services, their products and their supply chains are having on the environment and society – actively working to address any negative impacts <br /> ensure that their staff, contractors and people with whom they do business are treated with respect and in accordance with internationally recognised human and workers’ rights <br /> prioritise long-term financial, social and environmental sustainability over short-term gains and profits <br /> actively work towards building a strong, ethically sound and sustainable economy which is accountable to the environment and society as well as to investors and shareholders <br /> Thought Starter II <br /> What’s values will your organisation look for in the companies it links with? <br /> These values are a background statement of principles only. It is emphatically not a checkbox exercise; we would not tick off a company against this list and if we think they pass all five, plunge into a relationship with them. <br /> Our independence and reputation are of paramount importance to us. In practice, we will always take a precautionary approach to working with business. We only form principled alliances, and will never sell ourselves out for the sake of a business relationship. <br /> There can be a world of difference between the values a company holds or professes to hold and the actual behaviours it exhibits. While a consideration of a business relationship may start with attempting to evaluate their values, in practice due process would need to be followed internally to assess the actual implications of working with that company. <br /> ‘Working with’ business covers a very broad gamut of activity – from signing a letter to a close financial relationship. In practice (e.g.) signing a letter is a very different kind of relationship to something much more in-depth, and comes with a different risk: benefit profile and implication. The process of assessing that risk to benefit relationship needs to start somewhere - base principles of what the business stands for and what it does – which is where a written statement of our ‘ideal’ company values is important. So we took a closer look at this….. <br />
  • STEP 3 <br /> Friends of the Earth will work with business in different ways: different proximities and depths, and with different types of businesses. <br /> A series of concentric circles is a helpful way to illustrate this, with (all things being equal) the types of relationship getting ‘riskier’ as you proceed inwards. <br /> In theory, a ‘riskier’ company could be worth engaging with if it would crack open campaign success. <br /> But let’s look at the benefits of working with companies at each of these levels: <br /> Outermost The business community at large – thought leaders and influencers.Benefits: <br /> Repositioning Friends of the Earth as ‘seeing things differently’ in the eyes of business. <br /> Building networks and contacts to open doors to potential future collaboration (as below). <br /> Dialogue – setting out our challenge to business and working towards a solution (deeper engagement) and, for example, obtaining technical expertise. <br /> Inner Campaign partnerships – no direct financial relationship. <br /> Big range, from joint signatories on a letter to joint lobbying or co-created campaigns. <br /> Benefits: <br /> Broadly, aligning publicly with a company where doing so makes achieving our campaign objective(s) more likely to be realised (and not to the detriment of others, or our long-term goals). <br /> Innermost Financial partnerships <br /> Benefits: <br /> Income <br /> Reach <br /> Positioning <br /> Thought Starter III <br /> What are the benefits to your organisation of working with companies in these 3 different categories? <br /> Business community at large <br /> Non-financial partners <br /> Financial parters <br />
  • STEP 4 <br /> So we aim to engage with businesses in two ways that take us to different depths of engagement with that company i.e. <br /> Strategic – a longer term, deeper partnership. <br /> Tactical – more like dating - an invite to a night out, small offerings that promote engagement in our campaigns – a bee valentines cake? <br /> Strategically <br /> Liaise with FOE colleagues to optimise relationships where primary objectives are about policy/change outcomes (e.g. from signing a FOE campaigning letter to jointly campaigning in a formal partnership) but where we are comfortable seeking something with a financial return or increases the numbers of supporters. <br /> Tactically – work with ethical businesses to help improve our net position in year. These relationships will not be directly linked to policy/change outcome (e.g. sponsorship of an event) <br /> Aim for tactical approaches (with ethical/’safer’ companies) in the short term to improve net position and build confidence, and in parallel work with service delivery colleagues to develop a more strategic approach to developing and managing relationships. <br /> But you need a way to decide which companies you might approach, that takes into account both your values and the potential return. So together with our campaigning colleagues we built a matrix….. <br />
  • Starting with ‘tactical’ companies (because it was easier): <br /> Explored market in ethical end of spectrum <br /> Use these tactical approaches to build confidence amongst other colleagues that you are not selling out. <br /> They may also be the start of stronger, deeper relationships with ethical companies. <br /> Thought Starter IV <br /> What would sit on the x axis for your organisation? What is the key measure? <br />
  • So how did we decide when to get down on one knee? <br /> A strategic partnership is a relationship with another organisation, usually over a number of years, with the purpose of achieving organisational objectives across different functions (e.g. fundraising, campaigning, sales and brand) for both parties.” <br /> To generate sufficient brand, engagement and income benefits, we need to engage companies of a reasonable scale – those that have a good reach themselves. <br /> Once companies that are suitably ethical and of a reasonable scale have been identified, we need to understand the opportunity for, and acceptability to FOE for engaging with these businesses. <br /> So we have developed a Corporate Lite Process….and this is how it goes…. <br />
  • STEP 5 <br /> A company scoping document means that we have measures in place to analyse risk and benefit. We’d deal with approaches on a case-by-case basis. <br /> The Relationships Officer (RO) leads the process of assessing the risk/benefit of any given business relationship, taking input from across the organization as appropriate. <br />   <br /> High Risk <br /> Where a relationship is deemed to be high risk, SMT must directly discuss, then reject, approve or seek amendments to, the relationship. <br />   <br /> Lower Risk <br /> For all lower-risk categories, SMT delegates the approval process as follows: <br /> Fundraising-only relationships of low- to medium-risk will be approved by the Head of Fundraising (but may be delegated to the RO). <br />   <br /> Relationships of low- to medium-risk that extend beyond fundraising will be jointly approved by either / both of the Head of Campaigns/Head of Programmes (as appropriate) and the Head of Fundraising (who may delegate to RO). <br /> SMT bears the ultimate responsibility for any reputational or other risk that arises from any relationship. <br />
  • STEP 6 <br /> And finally, we pulled all this into a 5 year vision for both fundraising and non-fundraising engagement, using this to set expectations amongst SMT and our campaigning colleagues and also to double check the appetite for this level of company engagement. <br /> We set out the scale of each type of fundraising relationship over the next 5 years, building in growth where we felt that was appropriate and use this to guide our budgeting. <br /> And we identified the range of benefits – both financial and non-financial. <br /> Financial, from donations, through to affiliations and sponsorship. <br /> Non-financial, from campaign allies to critical friends. <br />
  • The key steps we took to identifying and then realising the benefits of a corporate fundraising strategy which engages businesses to meet your income objectives, but also helps further our mission were these: <br /> Build trust – by working collaboratively <br /> Being clear across the organisation about our values and the values we wanted to see in the businesses we work with <br /> Assessing risk vs. benefit – and developing a tiered structure <br /> Understanding what type of company we would work with strategically and when it would be a lighter touch tactical relationship – and identifying a hit list for both <br /> Introducing a corporate lite process that ensures an assessment is made of companies on a case by case basis, quickly and at the right level in the organisation <br /> Developing a 5 year vision that helped us to understand the scale of our ambition at each level. <br /> And the key to this success, has been working in collaboration with our campaigns colleagues (our biggest internal sceptics) right from the start. <br />
  • In 2013 we have saw our first strategic relationship blossom. <br /> B&Q have supported the Bee Cause through: <br /> being one of the first major UK retailers to pledge to help protect the bee by voluntarily withdrawing pesticides containing imidacloprid(1). <br />   <br /> officially signed up to support the call for all stakeholders to participate in creating the National Bee Action Plan, based upon scientific evidence. <br />   <br /> launched its Bee Friendly campaign to help customers understand the bee crisis in the UK and what they can do within their gardens to help protect and welcome bees - promoting greener gardens. <br />   <br /> in-store and online activity encouraging gardeners to choose bee friendly products and create bee-friendly gardens <br /> bee friendly plant labels to help customers identify plants that will create a safe environment for bees in their gardens. <br /> Facebook page encouraging followers to join B&Q’s Bee Friendly campaign, to help amplify public opinion on the plight of the bee. <br />   <br />
  • Find out how your organisation can benefit from developing a corporate fundraising strategy which engages businesses to meet your income objectives, but also helps further your mission so your beneficiaries remain at the heart of what you do. <br /> Working in 4 groups of 7 people. <br /> 10 hard copies required: <br /> Concentric circles (slide 12) <br /> Tangible matrix (slide 14) <br /> Thought starters (slide 21) <br />

Developing a business engagement strategy that supports funding and change objectives - Tracey Pritchard, Friends of the Earth Developing a business engagement strategy that supports funding and change objectives - Tracey Pritchard, Friends of the Earth Presentation Transcript

  • Sponsored by: Developing a business engagement strategy that supports funding and change objectives Tracey Pritchard Friends of the Earth
  • ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done’ Nelson Mandela
  • We campaign on…. • Nature • Climate change • Sustainable growth • Land, food and water • Tackling injustice View slide
  • Who’s the biggest sceptic? • Internal • External View slide
  • So we made a few friends… • Internally • Externally
  • Looked at what sits at the core POSITIVE IMPACT OPENESS AND TRANSPARENC YRESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
  • And thought about risk vs. benefit
  • And different types of love affair • Strategic • Tactical
  • Tactical
  • Strategic
  • Corporate Lite Process
  • Business Engagement Corporate Fundraising Non F/R Business Engagement 1.Membership 2.Affiliates 3.Charity of the Year 4.Corporate Donations 5.Corporate Foundations & Grants 6.Brand Licensing & Commercial Partnerships 7.Sponsorship Campaign Partnerships Generic Campaign Allies Business Audience Strategy Unusual Partnerships i.e. Abundance Gen Business bodies Critical Friend Sustainable Bus. Expertise Strategic Relationships (Campaigns) Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 TOTAL 5 Year Vision
  • A reminder of the key steps
  • QUESTIONS AND REFLECTIONS
  • Thought Starters 1. What are the top 2 things that businesses can do for you, outside of funding? 2. What’s values will your organisation look for in the companies it links with? 3. What are the benefits to your organisation of working with companies in the 3 different categories: • business community at large • non-financial partners • financial partners 1. What is the key measure against which you will identify and prioritise companies (x axis)?
  • “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”  Walt Disney