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 local 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 considering contacting a nationwide company, please contact the Corporate Partnerships team for guidance in the first instance. This is to ensure that we get the best deal for Girlguiding as a charity. We are happy to help you price your package so that you make the best approach possible, and provide any other support that you might need.

You should also ensure that any organisation you are considering maintains good business practices and has a good reputation. Read about this responsibility to develop ethical partnerships in our fundraising promise.

Try researching the company online and use Google News to find out if it suits our policy criteria.

Planning your approach

Most successful fundraising is built on networks, contacts and relationships. Well-connected friends, family members or guiding associates who are willing to approach a company on your behalf are often the most fruitful route to pursue.

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?
  • how will it benefit from supporting you?
  • is there a specific application form or preferred method of approach? If so, use it.

Do your research. Think about the proposal like 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 (GIK)

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

Larger companies will usually be more receptive to more ambitious approaches, but don’t rule out small and medium-sized companies that may be keen to help in a way that is 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 is invaluable to the project that you’re working on. You could also explain that a GIK 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 state 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 stating 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 Ethical Partnerships policy and the promise that we make to our fantastic supporters and partners.