By Kate Dixon, Corporate and Grants Fundraising Coordinator at the Rock Trust


I’ve worked for charities for over 6 years now, having come to the sector following a career in Business Development. I’ve had the privilege of working across all sectors and in my opinion, many private and public sector organisations are not aware of the many benefits that come from partnering with a local charity and that actually, charity-corporate partnerships can make sound commercial sense.

In an article by Forbes last year, they stated that millennials prefer to do business with corporations and brands with pro-social messages and ethical business standards AND that they are more likely to buy products or services that include a charity donation than one without. In the same article, it went on to say that millennials are close to snatching the baton from the boomers (people born between 1940’s and 1960’s to you and me) and that it will be the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world!

So, what does that have to do with partnering with a local charity? Well, as an organisation, how socially aware do you think you are? Take a look at your CSR strategy – what does it say about your organisation, what values does it demonstrate? Is it a “tick box” exercise or are you adding social value (and getting it in return)?

Could you benefit from partnering with a local charity?

The benefits of working with a local charity depend on what you put in to it, but in our experience here at the Rock Trust, our Corporate Partners tell us:

  • They can see the direct impact of the money they raise, donate or the volunteering they do.
  • They feel they are making a tangible difference to the communities in which their business operates.
  • They are providing employees with meaningful volunteering opportunities, helping with staff engagement, retention and recruitment.
  • It helps to define their corporate identity, aid their brand image and attract top talent to the business.
  • They see an improvement in public relations because their clients, customers and business partners can clearly see that their organisation and leadership team are dedicated to charitable causes and supporting their local community.

We recently ended our “Charity of the Year” partnership with Edinburgh giants Tesco Bank. This has been a highly successful relationship, resulting in £64k raised in 12 months. Even for these pioneers of CSR, this is an unprecedented achievement.

Chris Newton, Community Manager said;

“Our colleagues are more passionate about supporting charities that are close to their hearts in the communities in which they work and live. It makes it easier for them to go and volunteer with the charity during work time and helps to highlight a social issue in their community that they might not have known much about. We chose to work with the Rock Trust because they are local and their main aim “to end youth homelessness” is so easy to get on board with. That, coupled with the volunteering opportunities they were able to offer us, it struck a chord with a large number of colleagues who have witnessed homelessness and wondered how they could make a difference.

By partnering with a smaller, local charity, colleagues could see where the fundraising is going and the tangible benefits that it has to the charity’s service users and the wider community.

Rock Trust have been a joy to work with, not only have they supported us to deliver our events but they’ve regularly inspired our staff to go that bit further to support their local community”.

So what are you waiting for? Find out what your business’s CSR strategy is and whether there is scope for involving your local community and making a difference you can see.

If you would like to find out more about the Rock Trust’s work and partnership opportunities, please contact Kate Dixon on 0131 524 9868 or email Kate at