Do Sponsors Still Need Charities?

Do Sponsors Still Need Charities?

The most recent Edelman Report shows that consumers’ faith and trust in charities is declining. Ironically, the report also shows that faith and trust in corporate brands is rising! At the WSC Alberta Forum  today and tomorrow, that topic will be addressed by Christi Cruz and me. It’s an interesting topic and one we need to discuss.

Christi, the attendees at the WSC Alberta Forum, and I won’t come to definitive answers today and tomorrow, but we will start the discussion. Here are some initial thoughts.

  • Faith and trust in charities is beginning to erode. We no longer have the faith and trust we used to have in charities and non-profits!
  • Alternatively, today we have more faith and trust in brands and sponsors than ever before!
  • According to Imagine Canada, corporate sponsors are spending more dollars with fewer organizations.
  • Also according to Imagine Canada, sponsors (brands and companies) are shifting their dollars to proprietary or signature properties.
  • TD and RBC have both funneled monies into signature programs that they operate, such as the TD Ready Challenge, the historic RBC Blue Water program, and now RBC Future Launch.
  • What about Red Bull owning its own soccer and Formula One teams versus sponsoring them?
  • Tom’s Shoes is a manufacturer and retailer, and also operates its own charity through which It donates shoes in third world countries.
  • The TELUS “Connected for Good” program or Bell Let’s Talk Campaign contribute mega millions to causes but it owns the brand and campaign!
  • Then we have the charity issues such as Lance Armstrong – Live Strong corroding our trust levels.
  • Do these brands really need charities anymore?
  • Do brands really need to steal part of the charity’s halo or ride on the charities’ coattails?
  • Perhaps brands and sponsors can do good on their own. But then, what happens to the funding, and these charities and non-profits when corporate sponsors and donors don’t need them any longer?

Let me know your thoughts by email (under email please put in the link for or by posting on our blog site. The link is below. Do you agree? Are you vehemently opposed? Perhaps this is something that needs to be discussed further. Your input is wanted!

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  1. Obviously, the boom in brand-owned initiatives stems, in part, from the flexibility and control the brand has on their own mission and values.

    One comment I WILL make on charities is my skepticism on the validity of some charitable work. Going back to the Tom’s shoes example, unless you strap a GoPro to the “donated” shoe box, how does the customer TRULY know their donated pair is going to Africa?
    I sincerely hope they DO end up in needing hands, but how can we truly know?

    • Terrific point Josh… comes back y=to your earlier comment on transparency! All the best for you in 2020. Brent


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