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Oct 24, 2018

Doing the charitable thing

by Becky Reid - Account Director

Doing the charitable thing

Charities have always managed to attract FMCG partners because of the commercial benefits of getting involved with the third sector and whilst some do it for altruistic reasons, it can’t be denied that it can also be good for business.

There are a number of partnerships between brands and charities that are out there at the moment, which I have looked into more detail below.

A recent example of a short term partnership is between Homepride who this year supported Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on 28th September 2018.  By buying special edition packs, shoppers will be helping to raise £75,000 for Macmillan. An obvious fit for a flour brand to affiliate themselves with a charity renowned for its coffee mornings where cakes and biscuits are required.

For now, this seems to be a one year partnership though let’s hope it is something that becomes an enduring relationship with even larger targets as the years go on.

Another charity supporting Macmillan this Autumn is Baxters soups... a maybe less obvious option than a flour brand. Though I suppose with the weather turning colder you may prefer a cup of soup to a cup of coffee to get you through the day. To mark the food brand's 150thanniversary they will be donating a proportion of sales from its Favourites soups to the charity. The brand, which has also sponsored the Loch Ness Marathon since 2002, with the official 2018 charity being Macmillan, has pledged to raise over £100k throughout its anniversary year.

With the rather alarming stat that by 2020, almost one in two people will get cancer at some point in their lives, it is admirable that brands are willing to get involved to help raise vital funds for people living with cancer.

Another Scottish brand doing their bit is Mackie’s of Scotland. For their first ever official Charity partner, Mackie’s have chosen to fundraise for Muscular Dystrophy UK over the course of 2018. So far they have raised funds in a number of ways including team members running the Scottish Half Marathon in Edinburgh at the end of September. They have also created a limited edition packet of crisps; Sausage and Caramelized Onion, in order to raise £10,000 for the charity from sales alone.

In 2017, Morrison’s colleagues voted for CLIC Sargent as their charity partner until 2020. As part of their support for this charity, they have got some top brands on board to donate a portion of the price of their packs to the charity. These brands include Goodfella’s, Bird’s Eye, Metcalfe’s Popcorn and Utterly Butterly; with 5p being donated from each pack. Utterly Butterly has gone a step further and created promotional packs highlighting the charity and donation amount, which is great as I am not sure that in the busy retail environment shoppers would necessarily know about this charity link up by Morrison’s.

An interesting charity linked promotion that ran this Summer was that created by Belvoir, which gave consumers the chance to share good times.

Each promotional bottle allowed entry into the online promotion where it was revealed if they have won from a range of prizes; from glamping weekends to family memberships to the National Trust; weekend tasting stays in the Vale of Belvoir to Belvoir drinks or pitcher and tumbler sets.  However anyone who won a prize had the option of either keeping it or making an equivalent donation to Belvoir’s two selected charities; CHICKS children’s charity and British Beekeepers Association.

This is not the first time Belvoir has supported the BBA – in 2016 it donated £5,000 to launch an on-pack that Summer which was Bee themed.

I would be very interested to find out how many prizes were in fact ‘donated’ to charity by winners. If helping their chosen charity was a priority I would have looked at a guaranteed donation which matched the prize fund ultimately won instead of relying on the generosity of consumers.

A lot of these examples are one off or short standing partnerships.

My final example is truly impressive and is now turning into a long standing partnership between Pampers and Unicef, who since 2006 have tried to eliminate Maternal and Newborn Tetanus in 20 countries and have protected over 500k newborn babies in the process. Every time a specially branded pack of Pampers is purchased, Pampers donate the cost of one vaccine to help Unicef tackle this fatal yet preventable disease.

Maybe if more brands could take a leaf out of Pampers book, a real change could occur both nationally and internationally to help those who need it most.

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