There is an opportunity in Canada and around the world to break fertile new ground, increase the potential of raising millions of dollars in revenue and engage many thousands of people in mission-based work with an audience that has yet to be deftly explored.

But first we must fully develop our understanding and approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the current corporate sponsorship environment.

There has never been a better time to bring a comprehensive, mission-based CSR/sponsorship package to the corporate market.  As articulated in the 2015 Cone Communications/Equity Global CSR Study:

  • Consumers are nearly unanimous in the demands for companies to act responsibly to address social and environmental concerns,
  • Ninety per cent of global consumers would switch brands to one associated with a good cause given similar price or quality,
  • Marketers the world over are saying now is the time companies must advance CSR beyond a peripheral brand attribute to create an entirely new CSR experience.

“If nonprofits are unaware of the value of their brand, they run the risk of not extracting the full financial value from … partnerships and co-branding opportunities they deserve.”


Edelman PR tracks consumer trust in global brands and has found that many international NGOs such as WWF and Amnesty International score higher than Microsoft or Coca Cola on reputation.

Determining the global and domestic brand value of Canada’s best known charities will help charities price their foundational and derivative assets and develop a good case for prospective sponsorship partners.

Intangible Business, a U.K. leader in this area values charitable brands on:

  1. The ability to generate future income
  2. The size of the membership/donor base
  3. Commercial licensing deals
  4. Public awareness
  5. Public opinion

In 2015, they rated the top five as:

  1. Cancer Research U.K., £209m ($349.1m CAD)
  2. The National Trust, £192m (320.6m CAD)
  3. Oxfam, £172m ($287.2m CAD)
  4. Salvation Army, £113m ($118.7 CAD)
  5. The British Red Cross Society £108m ($180m CAD)

By putting a number on the brand value of your charity and understanding the global value of your brand, companies will better appreciate how much collateral benefit there is in associating with your widely recognized and trusted charity.

Realistically, leveraging brand value is most applicable to large national organizations.  They will be the ones that can most robustly fulfill the criteria outlined above, the criteria applied by Intangible Business.

A mid-size or small charity, however, could apply four of the five criteria used by Intangible Business to valuate brand to evaluate its own brand (And here I’m using the word brand as a shortcut for everything under the organization’s umbrella.)  In a world where charities are searching for ways to assess their work, the ability to generate future income, the size of the supporter base, public awareness and public opinion are all relevant measurements.

Public opinion in this context means the charity’s public, not the general public. What words might your universe use to describe you?  Full of committed people, but they never call you back? I hear a lot about the in the press?  A stalwart provider of the community for 30 years?

For large charities, an externalized market-oriented assessment is a potential source of significant mission-based partnership.  For mid-size and small charities, criteria used to value charities is an exercise in becoming externalized and trying to understand how others see you.  A more risky assignment, but ultimately more productive.

brand value


Gail Picco
Fund Raising, Communications & Advocacy

The Osborne Group provides interim and project management and consulting services for clients in the not-for-profit, public and private sectors.  All Osborne Group Principals have senior-level knowledge and significant experience leading major projects. Since 1993, their executive leadership skills have helped more than 1,000 clients achieve key priorities and sustainable results. Learn more about us and our other talented Principals at