We started Clothing Collective to help provide essential clothing to people experiencing homelessness in the UK. But the second part of our name doesn’t just refer to our organisation. As temperatures drop and the cost of living crisis continues – collective action is needed. Your organisation has the power to do something amazing by working with us. Together, we can help to provide clothing for children, young people, adults, pensioners, low-income immigrants and refugees. Most importantly, we can do this in a way that maintains the recipient's sense of agency and dignity.
How Clothing Collective Works
Our aim is not to distribute clothing, but to create a system where people who need it most can come and select their own wardrobe. Picking out outfits that fit comfortably and feel good to wear. But creating a system to do that can only work through partnership. We have a gift card system that beneficiaries can use to purchase clothes in partnering charity shops.
Clothing Collective also partners with charities and community organisations to distribute gift cards. We are also registered with Easyfundraising so that our supporters can give as they shop without spending any extra money,
What are the benefits of partnering your business with a small charity?
At Clothing Collective, we recognise the power of partnering with private sector organisations. Small charities benefit from the increased visibility and PR, social media presence of a more established company. And of course, a good partnership is all about shared values and collaboration, and strategic giving offers a more sustainable income for charities than ad-hoc donations or one-off fundraisers. But, corporate or brand partnerships can be mutually beneficial.
Benefits of charity partnerships for businesses include:
Building trust and connection with clients and customers: according to a Momentum corporate survey, 92% of respondents felt that brand partnership with their preferred charity was more important than the size of charity.
Boosting team morale: Volunteering or taking part in fundraising activities has proven benefits for team building and collaboration at work.
Networking opportunities: For SMEs in particular, networking is an essential part of growing any business, just as it is for charities. Sponsoring or hosting events has the potential to increase your own brand awareness as well as expand your network.
Customer engagement and comms: Compelling storytelling is at the heart of so many successful campaigns, whether they’re charity or commercial. And together, they can be incredibly effective, as shown by the 2022 John Lewis Christmas advert made in partnership with Action for Children and Who Cares Scotland?
Building strong relationships to deliver for long term change
Although we’re trying to provide essential clothing items where they’re most needed now,
– the societal problems that lead to poverty and homelessness need longer term solutions. According to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 22% of the UK population is currently living in poverty. Which is why long-term relationships are so important.
Many high profile charity partnerships can run for years. They can work as targeted campaigns or time-specified associations such as three year partnership between supermarket Morrisons and children’s charity Together for Short Lives which launched in February 2022.
But a lot can be achieved with a focused programme of fundraising activities over too. For example, Instaprint partners with a different local charity each year and hosts time-wide activities to raise funds. In 2020, the company raised over £11000 for Bluebell Wood children’s hospice, and donated resources such as free print and envelopes to help with promotion and communications.
Through partnerships, charities can also build up their own toolkits for promotion, networking and digital fundraising. Ultimately, charities of all sizes look to applying Theory of Change principles to address challenges being faced by society.
How your organisation can partner with Clothing Collective
There are lots of ways to help raise money through a charity partnership, here are a few different ways your organisation can partner with Clothing Collective:
Corporate donations or percentage of sales: As we have highlighted, strategic and regular giving is more effective for charities than one-off donations. But, one simple way for a business to build a strategic and longer term relationship with a charity is to donate a percentage of its pre-tax profits to a charity. A 2019 study by PR newswire showed that the majority of small businesses donate an average of 6 per cent of their profits to charities each year.
Donate time, expertise or resources: Depending on the nature of your business, you may have valuable skills or resources that could contribute towards our work. That could include offering pro-bono social media, design or communications support, encouraging staff to volunteer with us or one of our partner organisations, or donating materials to help us spread the word about Clothing Collective.
Brand partnership: Help us with a marketing campaign or fundraising event, it can be anything from a social media or video campaign to a live event.
Team fundraising: There are lots of activities that can help boost morale at work and encourage creativity and collaboration. They can be as simple as a fancy dress or dress down day to trivia quizzes or more physical challenges like fun runs.
Whatever the scale of the partnership or level of commitment, one thing is certain: your business can help provide clothes to people who need it most this winter and beyond. Partnering with Clothing Collective is an opportunity to make a difference in your local community and to people around the UK.