By Vikas Vij — Companies and non-governmental organisations traditionally play divergent roles in an economy. While the primary goal of companies is to maximize shareholder wealth, NGOs are driven by the goals of social benefit. But over the last two decades, companies and NGOs have been able to find increasingly common ground as social benefit becomes integral to a sustainable business strategy.
A new report released by C&E Advisory, 2017 C&E Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer
, shows that companies and charities are investing more in partnerships with each other. A key reason behind this growing relationship is that the decision-makers in both types of organisations are far less worried about the likely impacts of Brexit than they were a year ago.
Nearly two-thirds of the respondents in the study now expect Brexit to have no effect on such partnerships. The report also reveals a marked increase in the scale of resources invested in or secured from partnerships by companies and NGOs. The proportion of organisations investing or securing resources of over £10 million a year in corporate-NGO partnering increased by nine percent compared to 2016.
The 2017 Barometer also found that, in addition to helping to enhance corporate reputation and generating income for NGOs, leading organisations in both sectors are engaging in deeper, problem-solving partnerships as purpose and mission increasingly take center-stage.
However, while international and UK-based companies and international NGOs are also influenced by the UN SDGs seeking to revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, the 2017 Barometer finds that this particular Global Goal is yet to gain traction with UK-based NGOs.
C&E Advisory CEO, Manny Amadi, said that the eighth edition of the Barometer presents a highly encouraging picture of the cross-sector partnering landscape. Leading companies and NGOs are clearly prioritizing and investing greater resources of funds, time and know-how into deeper, problem-solving partnerships with each other.
The report also identified the corporate-NGO partnerships that practitioners were most keen to acclaim. The 2017 ‘Most Admired’ corporate-NGO partnerships included GSK and Save the Children; M&S and Oxfam; and Innocent and Age UK.
Over 90 percent of all respondents anticipate that partnerships between companies and NGOs will become either more or much more important over the next three years. Meanwhile, 77 percent of companies and NGOs expect their investments in cross-sector partnering to increase or increase significantly over the next three years.