sportanddev interviews Andy Caldwell, director of CoCreate, a social enterprise activating partnerships between corporations and non-profits in the sport and development sector.
Solving social issues while creating commercial value
As experienced professionals in corporate-NGO partnerships, corporate social responsibility (CSR) impact measurement and stakeholder engagement, CoCreate has worked with streetfootballworld, Beyond Sport and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
CoCreate aims “to support the development of partnerships that solve social issues whilst creating commercial value.” Caldwell explains his inspiration for co-founding CoCreate: “I noticed that businesses get more value out of partnerships with NGOs than the NGOs. The NGOs don’t seem to know this.”
Shedding the old school approach
Increasingly, non-profits need to think strategically about the value they can bring to corporations in order to successfully create partnerships. “The old school mindset of ‘businesses should give us money’ has changed,” Caldwell says. “We help the NGO to understand and evaluate their partnership assets, to think about what they have to offer to businesses. We also help them think through what they want to get out of a partnership and help them look into who they can partner with and how.”
While CoCreate is relatively new to the S&D scene, Caldwell is no stranger as he is chairman of Hub Athletic FC, a London-based S&D initiative that engages inner-city youth through football. In 2011, Caldwell took four of his players to South Africa to support local teams through coaching football and educating on HIV/AIDS awareness.
A question of survival
Caldwell looks forward to future CoCreate projects, including a corporate partnership strategy with Laureus USA, a “fantastic” programme with Street League and Barclays and the prospect of a major project with a global sports body.
Creating partnerships is vital to the success of any non-profit. For most, it is a simple question of survival. As the sector continues to evolve so do donor expectations. If S&D organisations are to be successful connecting with major donors, they will have to shake off old habits and adopt new ways of approaching businesses.