- Purpose-driven partnerships are the new paradigm for the corporate-social sector.
- Framing your problem compellingly can attract corporate partners who are committed to solving it.
- Inspiring engagement events and tenacious follow-ups are crucial for sustaining momentum.
- This five-step blueprint can guide you in creating a corporate movement aligned with your cause.
Introduction: The Rise of Corporate Activism
In today’s landscape, companies are moving beyond mere corporate social responsibility; they are becoming corporate activists. Inspired by the rise of purpose-driven businesses and the values of Generations Y and Z, building a corporate movement has become an innovative way to scale your charity’s impact. In this guide, we outline five crucial steps to build a corporate movement that not only addresses your cause but also provides significant value to your corporate partners.
Step 1: Frame Your Problem
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The Power of a Compelling Problem Statement
In a world saturated with causes and charities, your first task is to set yourself apart by framing a big, compelling problem that companies will want to solve. Use numbers to show the scale of the problem and introduce a deadline to lend urgency.
SolarAid’s mission of “Ending the Darkness” aims to provide 600 million people in Africa with access to solar lights by 2030. This large-scale, time-bound problem instantly communicates both the urgency and impact of the cause.
Step 2: Name the Commitment
The Ask and the Branding
Once your problem is well-framed, articulate a straightforward commitment that can tangibly impact your cause. Naming this commitment in a catchy way can make it more memorable and shareable, thus increasing its appeal to corporate partners.
Changing Faces’ “Pledge To Be Seen” initiative asks companies to include more people with visible differences in their marketing campaigns within the next 12 months.
Step 3: Identify Your Target Audience
A Win-Win Scenario
Compile a list of industry sectors and specific companies that align with your cause and would benefit from association with your movement. Utilize your existing network to identify key contacts within these companies.
- Use LinkedIn to connect with marketing or HR directors who can be your inside champions.
- Build a targeted prospect list for outreach.
Step 4: Inspiring Engagement Event
Organize a high-profile event to introduce prospective partners to your cause. The two key ingredients for a successful engagement event are a charismatic speaker and a venue that carries prestige. Amid the pandemic, virtual events are also effective and can even broaden your reach.
Changing Faces’ First Impressions event was hosted at the London Stock Exchange and featured comedian Rory Bremner as the keynote speaker.
Step 5: Tenacious Follow-up
Turn Interest into Commitment
Plan your follow-up strategy even before you hold your engagement event. Aim to meet each interested party for a more intimate discussion about joining your movement. Once they’re on board, ensure they have a fulfilling experience to pave the way for a long-term partnership.
- Use a CRM tool to track interactions and set reminders for follow-ups.
- Create a toolkit to onboard new corporate partners seamlessly.
Conclusion: The Journey Ahead
Creating a corporate movement is not a one-off campaign; it’s a long-term strategy that requires clarity, alignment, and tenacity. Following these five steps can substantially accelerate your charity’s mission while forging mutually beneficial partnerships with companies seeking more than just a tax write-off. As the line between corporate profitability and social impact continues to blur, now is the perfect time to leverage this trend and build a corporate movement that can change the world.