Reflecting on the Building Corporate Partnerships Charity Meetup in Bucks

16th October 2018

We gathered to discuss Building Corporate Partnerships at the Charity Meetup Bucks on Thu 27 September 2018. The event was kindly hosted by John Lewis & Partners in High Wycombe.

Key points:

1 – Listening is very important for both the charity and the corporate partner

2 – Creativity can help to find mutually beneficial projects that can benefit both organisations

3 – Shared values – sometimes partnerships between two very different organisations can work but it is most effective if you have some similar values

4 – Motivation – each organisation may have different reasons they wish to work in partnership, being open and honest about this can help to ensure successful projects

5 – Warm links – it can work best if you seek out current connections the organisation might have, perhaps staff, board or beneficiaries have links to companies that might want to work together, working to develop these existing relationships works well

The event:

1. Networking Game

We kicked off with a warm welcome and a game to help the group mix and meet new people and get the conversation flowing.

2. Building Real Partnerships – From the Corporate Perspective

What JLHW is able to offer to its local community and top tips on how to build corporate partnerships.

Talk  by our host Dawn Stokoe, Community Liaison Co-ordinator, John Lewis High Wycombe

Dawn comes from a varied background in Public Service, Sales Management and also the charity sector. She currently works for John Lewis in Corporate Social Responsibility and also works as a trainer for an anti-slavery charity. Outside of work she combines being a supportive mum at her sons’ numerous football matches with various social justice projects.

3. Corporate Partnerships from the charity perspective

Session by Sharon Cooper, Corporate Fundraiser at Chilterns MS Centre.

Sharon has been working in the charity sector for almost 17 years. Working at the British Red Cross in 2002 as Senior Community Fundraiser, I developed a comprehensive programme of community events working with volunteers and building fundraising groups. Moving to the Chilterns MS Centre two and half years ago, Sharon joined the community fundraising team where she was able to bring her experience to help develop community fundraising including developing new ideas and strategies to increase income. Sharon has now taken on a new role at the charity as their first ever Corporate Fundraiser, where she manages a successful a Corporate Friends scheme including networking events, to bring local businesses together.

Sharon has a passion for working in the charity sector and working with volunteers and is keen to help share all aspects of her experience with other fundraisers.

Event Resources: Dropbox folder
(Including the attendee list, programme and full deck of slides from the John Lewis & Partners talk and notes from Sharon Cooper.)

Photos on Flickr:

Photos on FB Group:

Social Media:

Read all of the tweets from the most recent Charity Meetup on the curated Wakelet

Further reading:

CSR Accreditation  – CSRA helps organisations define their CSR activity in four key areas: environment, the workplace, community and philanthropic. CSRA helps communities and charities build lasting relationships with businesses, which in turn generate positive outcomes. Contact Richard on 01494 444494,  or Visit


Linkedin groups:

·         CSR – 44,531 members

·         CSR Europe – 8,828 members

·         Employer Supported Volunteering – 1,242 members

Our next Charity Meetup: 

Date: Thurs 8 Nov 5:30 – 7.30pm @ The Pace Centre, Aylesbury
Theme: Using Data to Strengthen Relationships  – Book via Eventbrite