Partners and local business

Learn more about fundraising with local businesses and how the Partnerships team can help you

Partnering with local businesses can be a great way to fundraise for your unit

We actively encourage units and members to seek out partnerships with businesses in their area. This can be a great opportunity for fundraising, provides new and exciting experiences for our young members, and helps to strengthen local community ties.

If you are thinking about getting in touch with a nationwide company,  contact the Corporate Partnerships team, [email protected], for advice. This is to ensure that we get the best deal for Girlguiding as a charity. We're happy to help you price your package so that you make the best approach possible, and give any other support that you need.

You should also check that any organisation you're planning to contact has good business practices and a good reputation. 

Try researching the company online and looking for recent news articles to see if they would be suitable. Our Partnership screening policy can give you more guidance.

Planning your approach

Most successful fundraising is built on networks, contacts and relationships. A good way to start is to see if  any friends, family members or guiding associates have connections and would be happy to approach a company on your behalf.

If you don’t have a list of contacts to be envious of - don’t despair! There are plenty of other avenues to explore. Look at the target company’s website and ask:

  • What sort of organisations is it looking to support? Is guiding a good fit?
  • What could they support you wih?
  • How will they benefit from supporting you?
  • Is there a specific application form or preferred method of approach? If so, use it.

Do your research. Think about any forms you fill in or proposals you write like you would a job application - match what you have to offer as a unit to what the company is looking for, and tick these things off one by one.

A blanket approach will often end up in the bin, so it’s best to put your efforts into fewer, more targeted requests rather than a wider, less focused approach.

Gifts in kind

These can range from donations of valuable equipment or food for a residential to a gift of time and expertise from a skilled professional.

It's a good idea to target larger companies with your more ambitious ideas, but don’t rule out small and medium-sized companies. They might be keen to help in ways that are affordable to them. 

If you are making a ‘cold’ approach (without an existing contact) you may have to be persistent, but don’t let that put you off.

Once you are speaking to someone, explain your request and why it's important to the project you’re working on. You could also explain that a gift in kind is usually cheaper than a cash donation. Be friendly and enthusiastic – convey your passion for guiding and the good work the organisation does.

Try ringing the organisation or turning up at its reception - the written approach can follow.

Intellectual property (IP), logos and trademarks

Girlguiding’s intellectual property, logos and trademarks are very valuable and companies should pay accordingly for the privilege of using them.

Remember that companies are happy to pay for the goodwill associated with working with Girlguiding - the kudos of using our IP, logos and trademarks further contributes to this. IP includes the national Girlguiding branding, the Trefoil and logos that use a registered trademark. It also covers the look of any Girlguiding product that uses a registered design, any patented technology and any Girlguiding literature or artwork protected by copyright.

If you are forming a local partnership, you should use the appropriate local guiding logo and make sure that clearance has been obtained from the relevant commissioner.

Legal and tax issues

In England and Wales, if a fundraising organisation is a registered charity (with an income of over £10,000) it must say on letters and other documents that contain a request for money or other support its name and the fact that it is registered. In practice, this usually means including your charity registration number.

In Scotland, any literature issued on behalf of the charity must refer to the charity’s name, any other name it is known by, its charitable status, and its charity number. Further information can be found in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Charities which are also registered companies must also comply with the relevant company law requirements. This includes having the word “limited” in the organisation’s name (unless an exemption applies) together with registered company number, place of registration (eg. England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) and its registered office address. It must also name either all its trustees/directors or none.

Our partnership guidelines

Read more about our partnerships screening policy and the promise that we make to our fantastic supporters and partners.

Our fundraising promise