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In place of always 'asking', we should think about selling an investment opportunity and selling the benefits of what we do, offering funders the opportunity to share our success. This how-to looks at what makes you an attractive proposition to a business, and tips on how you can exploit this.
Investing in the voluntary sector can deliver certain business benefits, which you need to be able to demonstrate and deliver to the businesses you approach.
Funding from corporates usually comes from their community affairs (or a similarly titled) budget, and will be used to develop brand awareness and corporate image.
Corporate Community Involvement has a big role to play in motivating employees.
The Finance Director may come to work every morning preoccupied with the company's share price; most employees come to work for a variety of other reasons. Involving staff in community projects is a great way of responding to such multiple motivations, building employee skills and morale:
The voluntary sector holds a great amount of information about markets and customer groups. One company's Head of Public Affairs told us: 'We will buy that information. And if you will give it to us then more fool you.'
A great example of an organisation who developed a relationship with an insurance company to provide insurance in a neighbourhood where insurers had decided not to insure, calculating the risk to be too great.
The insurance company knew a lot about insurance and nothing about the inner city. The Bromley-by-Bow centre knows that people in the inner city want affordable, accessible insurance but often know little about insurance. 'So', as Andrew Mawson, former Chief Executive of the Centre explains, 'we began to sit down together and show them a bit of our world and they showed us a bit of theirs and we began to find that we could bring that together and create something that made good business sense and good social sense, a win-win situation. We don't want their charity frankly. We want their marketing budgets.
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