Why partnerships are key to charity service delivery

Partnerships can be the key that helps smaller charities extend their reach, build infrastructure and improve service delivery.

Chrissy Chiu | 5th Dec 19
charity partnerships and service delivery


Partnerships come in all shapes and sizes for charities large and small. For charity leaders, collaboration can form strategic relationships with organisations who can help extend service delivery reach, raise funds for causes, and foster new ideas.


Charity partnerships help spread good deeds

Leveraging their brand, an expansive platform, and fundraising opportunities, AirBnB opened its site to charities offering ‘social impact experiences’. Charities can offer their services to explorers all over the world. Since launching earlier this year, AirBnB has helped raise around $50,000 per year for select charities.

Joining the site early on, Guide Dogs UK offers visitors an opportunity to cuddle and play with the dogs in training. Experiences last around 2 hours and the £45 session fee go directly to funding the charity – the sessions are so popular they are frequently sold out.

Travellers using the website can participate in guided walks, visit animal sanctuaries, cuddle with lost cats, and visit cultural sites. AirBnB typically charges a 20% listing fee for bookings for services, but for charities and non-profits, advertising is free – this means that 100% of the money collected goes directly to the cause.


Charities and local government partner to tackle digital exclusion

Last year, there were still 5.3 million adults in the UK described by the ONS as internet ‘non-users’, highlighting the extent of digital exclusion in the country.

“We want to change the way local service providers and funders perceive the issue of digital inclusion – from being a ‘bolt-on activity’ to a way of working that is part of business as usual,” said John Fisher, Chief Executive of Citizens Online.

In Epping Forest, around 21,000 individuals lack essential digital skills. Undaunted by the scale of the challenge, Citizens Online and Epping Forest District Council partnered to lead the digital inclusion service delivery. Using the charity’s Switch approach of Evidence, Partnership, and Digital Champions, the charity embedded digital ‘champions’ within other organisations in the area to promote digital uptake. The charity has also rolled out similar service delivery programmes with local authorities in Surrey.


Reaching further together

Reaching around 800 million people world-wide, TikTok’s digital music and video streaming platform has taken young people by storm. The mobile app allows users to share short-form video content. Announced in September, the platform recently partnered with Youth Music. Youth Music supports 350 music-making projects nation-wide. Expanding the charity’s reach, the collaboration showcases and launches music through a dedicated channel. At this year’s Youth Music Awards, Original Track winners VCR will also receive industry support from TikTok as part of the prize.

“We’re completely thrilled at Youth Music to partner with TikTok helping young musicians and their original tracks reach a wider audience. We both firmly believe in the importance of creative expression and supporting young people’s lives in music, so I look forward to our partnership going from strength to strength,” said Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music.


Discovering new ways to work together

While most see Byte Night as Action for Children’s most high-profile corporate event, the idea came from Kaizo’s Managing Director, a public relations and digital communications specialist. In 1998, Ken Deeks approached charity leaders on how to engage IT professionals to prevent youth homelessness. John Andrews, the charity fundraising manager, having taken the pitch from Mr Deeks, came up with the idea for Byte Night – where senior technology and digital professionals sleep outside. The first year of the event, 30 people slept outside raising £30,000.

Since 1998, the campaign has gone digital reaching donors, IT professionals, fundraisers and corporates through Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, JustGiving, and just about every platform available. Showing the significance of growing ideas, now in its 22nd year, the event has raised over £12 million to fight homelessness.