When my kids were little their Santa list grew exponentially as new toy catalogues arrived in the mailbox. Every possibility sparked joy, but unlike Marie Kondo, nothing ever seemed to come off the wish list. So every year we had a pre-Christmas clear out. Things that had languished unloved and unattended went in a big bag to the Op Shop. For a few days I could actually see the floor in their bedrooms, until the Santa onslaught arrived.
The latest research shows that corporate giving in Australia has reached a new high of $1.22billion, an increase of 4.3% or $50 million from the previous year. Not bad for bumpy economic times. But before you hit send on a bunch of prospecting emails to the Top 50 listed companies, there are three things that you can do to set yourself up for success in 2023.
The single most important thing you can do is reboot and reduce the partnerships that no longer serve you. Things change over time, key relationships leave the company and new leadership can take the corporate’s strategic priorities in a different direction. What was a nice little cash cow has evolved over time into an energy sucker. You know the ones; they demand your time, effort and focus for a small contribution that hasn’t grown over time. When they’re not taking your calls and only get in contact when they want yet another piece of content, volunteering or free PR, it’s time to channel Marie Kondo. They’re not sparking joy; they’re sucking precious time away from other opportunities. AMRRIC works in rural and remote Aboriginal communities. One of its partners donated valuable medications to help with animal management in the local communities. But the cost of logistics, transport and managing the donated goods meant that the partnership was a burden on AMRRIC. They took the hard decision to decline the goods and do business another way. Time to reboot and start the year with more time and a better fit for your organisation.
Which partnerships are ready for a refresh? Every relationship can get a bit comfy over time, like the marriage where you’re both in your PJs watching Netflix on a Saturday night, instead of clubbing like you used to. You can’t afford to take your partners for granted. Schedule a re-discovery session to check in on their current priorities and make sure you haven’t missed a significant shift. They’ll appreciate your commitment to their needs, and you have the chance to talk about your exciting plans for the year ahead. Think of it like date night for your long-term partners, where you get to talk about something other than the day- to- day routine.
You’ll have some partners that are perfectly aligned to your organisation and always ready to go the extra mile with the partnership. RFDS has just celebrated 22 years with its partner Ergon Energy, who has raised over $17million for the cause. This is a great time to reinforce the relationship with appropriate thanks and recognition. Christmas is a time to show your appreciation and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Consider some social media shout-outs, video messages or handwritten notes to let them know they are valued. Ronald MacDonald House Charities sent video thankyous from some of the families who stayed at the houses whilst the children were undergoing hospital treatment. Raw footage, simply shot on an iPhone, created some amazing emotional engagement for their partners.
As we summon up the last of our energy to get to the Christmas holidays, use these three simple things to give you a flying start to 2023.