Charity Commission urges caution on commercial tie-ups

Charities must not sell their names short in the pursuit of lucrative commercial partnerships, according to a new report by the Charity Commission.

The report comes shortly after one from the Food Commission, which criticised links between health charities and food brands and urged charities to be cautious when setting up such agreements (MW May 2).

It also follows criticism by several pressure groups of Nestlé’s £1.3m donation to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, for an HIV/Aids project in Africa (MW June 20).

The Charity Commission report, which draws on case studies and interviews with charities, says that while commercial partnerships can be of tremendous benefit, they carry inherent risk and must be approached with care.

It points out that charities risk damage to their brands if they form links with businesses that undertake activity inconsistent with their ethical standards. The report calls on charities to have a clear ethical policy before seeking partnerships, adding that charities’ messages risk being “diluted or compromised” to fit partner marketing strategies.

Institute of Fundraising chief charity commissioner John Stoker says: “An unsuccessful partnership, where stakeholders perceive the charity to have ‘sold out’, can damage both its income and profile, and have a wider impact on public trust.”

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here