artnerships between companies and third sector organisations, such as charities and pressure groups, have been boosted by the social upheaval of 2020. While the Covid-19 crisis has tested many organisations to their limit, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked a passionate and widespread response.
The C&E Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer 2020 has found that the pandemic and wider push for social justice have highlighted the importance of partnerships, and strengthened them, as consumers have sought advice, trust and solace during a difficult year. Amid pressure from consumers and employees alike, brands have been encouraged to increase their engagement with environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
According to C&E CEO Manny Amadi, the companies which have evolved a purpose-led stance over recent years have found their partnerships with NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to be of great value at a time when purpose was put to the test. He describes this as a validation of the importance companies have placed on their purpose-led agenda.
Prior to the onset of Covid-19 and the fresh wave of Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd there had been a steady number of companies investing in the idea of purpose-led growth, says Amadi.
“There was a sense in which Covid was a moment of truth for that agenda. Was it all PR or were brands really serious about it?” he asks. He describes the impact of Covid-19 in particular as “an existential threat”.