Collaborating for Good: Brands and Not-For-Profits unite to create For-Purpose Partnerships
First Published: 30
By Moumita Das Roy, Marketing & Communications Manager, Dulux New Zealand and member of MA’s For Purpose Special Interest Group
Speakers at the event
Heart, mind, and purpose came together at the first in-person event hosted by the Marketing Association For-Purpose Special Interest Group on March 21. Part of the MA’s monthly Marketing Meetups, these relaxed get-togethers offer lots of opportunities to share experiences with fellow marketers over drinks & nibbles. Sign up if you want to come along for the next one.
The MC for the evening Alan Hard, CEO of Marketing Impact & Co-Chair of the For Purpose SIG started with a few simple questions to the 5 panellists from brands and not-for-profits, on how to create an authentic link between brand and purpose. How can a partnership deliver value internally and externally for both parties and what are a few challenges that each may have faced? Here are the excerpts from the evening’s discussion.
Annabel Lush – Business Manager, Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand
Annabel highlighted three campaigns that Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC) partners with different brands, all raising funds for patients and families battling blood cancer and related blood disorders. While the campaigns have a common theme, the approaches and reasons for engagement demonstrate the diversity of partnerships and are aligned with the respective brand’s values and expected outcomes.
The first campaign, called Drive for Cure with Bridgestone NZ, provides incentives for their service centres to sell tyres, with a portion of the proceeds donated. The second campaign, LBC’s own hero event “Shave for Cure” is one that resonates with Farmers - encouraging employees and customers to donate to the cause while hosting fun events featuring crazy hair and public shave days. The third campaign, Spirit to Cure, is a partnership with Suncorp. This is a fundraiser bringing together subsidiary brands to sponsor, fundraise and take part in physical challenges.
In each of these, the spirit of a relationship comes through, rather than a sponsorship. Partners bring more than just money to an organisation. Common purposes of the campaigns include ways to raise awareness and engage employees, customers, and the wider community.
Jo Clark - Head of Commercial & Marketing, Surf Life Saving New Zealand
Jo spoke about Surf Life Saving NZ’s role in supporting and training lifeguards and life-saving clubs to keep Kiwis safe at the beach. Running beach education programmes for the public, in schools and clubs. Not just at the beach, but also rescuing people from floods, and helping during a cyclone and other disasters. There are incredible partnerships that have supported this not-for-profit. BP, a partner for 55 years, DHL for 20 years, and KFC for 10 years have helped with funding and promoting safety messages to the public.
These are incredible milestones of long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships while staying fresh in the value they can bring to each other. The money received from the partners is essential, but it is also critical to use the partnerships to promote safety messages and reach out to wider audiences.
Sometimes the partnerships work around other critical areas such as providing vehicle support for lifeguards, like Toyota which provides vehicles to transport rescue boats and reach areas.
Surf Life Club is not only a life-saving service but also a sport. An example is the recently held TSB nationals in Christchurch, four days of life-saving clubs in a competition.
Monique Thomas-Long - Brand Manager (Bitesize Confectionery), Mars
Monique showcased a recent campaign called "SKITTLES Pride." During Pride month in February, SKITTLES removed the colourful rainbow from their packaging and replaced it with a black and white rainbow, partnering with the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust, the oldest rainbow charity in New Zealand, to make a monetary donation to help fund smaller regional pride celebrations. Leaning into the idea that ‘During Pride, only one Rainbow matters’.
The charity aligned with the Mars purpose of ‘inspiring moments of happiness’ and SKITTLES brand identity. The Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust came up with the idea of allowing regional pride parades to apply for a portion of the monetary donation, so it wouldn't only target one area of New Zealand but be donated and distributed among different regional Pride parades, including Queenstown, Taranaki, and Nelson. The campaign involved above-the-line and below-the-line elements, including a talking unicorn featured in social media posts.
The agencies and partners who produced the campaign did so at no fee, so the full monetary donation could go to the charity.
The partnership was successful due to the collaboration between the charity, the SKITTLES brand, and their agencies who believed in the cause.
Sera Flint – Head of Marketing, Contact Energy
Sera talked about Contact’s journey in finding a charity partner to work with. The company's core purpose is improving the quality of home life, Staying Warm and Staying Connected through its energy and internet services. The charity partner had to be aligned with the purpose and be chosen following a few set criteria.
Contact created a selection framework, for an exclusive partnership, such as being a registered charity, present nationwide, and doing important work at scale. The partnership was to also provide opportunities for their employees to engage and be involved. After evaluating potential partners, they chose Women's Refuge, which works to help people feel safe and solve problems in New Zealand.
The partnership felt interesting and a bit edgy because it was not an obvious choice, but it aligned with the company's core purpose. The idea of creating a framework before making any decisions and being clear about the parameters and what they could deliver was a great way to identify a not-for-profit that the brand could be emotionally connected with – of helping make it good to be home.
Stephne Vaughan - Relationship Manager, The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ
The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ works to end avoidable blindness and vision impairment in the Pacific and advocates for the rights of all people to have access to high quality and affordable eye care. Stephne highlighted their partnership with Specsavers, which has been ongoing for 11 years.
This partnership has grown from strength to strength by having a clearly defined shared vision, effective communication channels and successful campaigns and initiatives that benefit both organisations. It is not just about money; Specsavers are involved with a range of other activities, i.e. providing remote online and in person training for nurse students in Papua New Guinea and Fiji, innovative campaigns such as producing ‘Limited-Edition’ frames by well-known artists, and sponsoring The Fred Hollows Humanity Awards each year, which recognises Year 6 students across New Zealand who show compassion, integrity and kindness in their lives, just as Fred Hollows, The Foundations’ founder, did.
This partnership not only provides necessary funds for the needlessly blind in the Pacific, but also builds positive brand awareness, introduces new audiences to The Foundation and offers opportunities for collaboration in the delivery of services by utilising Specsavers’ expertise and resources.
Key take-outs from the panel discussion
By bringing brands and for purpose organisations together, the panel highlighted the importance of working together in a symbiotic relationship to create purposeful campaigns in the for-purpose space to achieve common goals. The partnerships are not just about donations; they are about the partners bringing more than just money to an organisation.
The panellists agreed that both partners need to be clear on they want out of the partnership, with criteria and goals set out ideally before a partner is chosen.
One of the common challenges in the for-purpose space is managing resources and reporting back to stakeholders with limited resources. The panel flagged the need to be mindful of the partner’s capacity to do so and ensuring that all activities maximize the results for both organisations.
Keen to learn more about MA’s For Purpose Special Interest Group?
The group represents the interests of the MA’s members in the social good/for purpose sector and works to lead and grow the understanding and value that all marketers gain from best practice for purpose marketing. Meet the members here.
Some of the members of the MA For Purpose SIG at the event, left to right, Serena Low, Annabel Lush, Moumita Das Roy, Alan Hard.
Share your experiences and discuss challenges with other marketers at the MA’s monthly Marketing Meetup.
The New Zealand Marketing Association has launched a monthly ‘Marketing Meetup’ at the MA office in Auckland, Parnell. If you’re ready for some inspiration from industry peers, then do join us for great conversations over wine, cheese and if you’re lucky, some salmon too!