According to C&E Advisory, a cross-sector consultancy, the number of corporate and charity partnerships worth more than £10m a year increased by 12% in 2014.
Meanwhile, the number of partnerships worth £1m or less a year was down 14% on the year before, Marketing Week reported.
Based on the responses of 130 brands and charities, the report said 73% of corporate brands have put greater emphasis on long-term stability and impact – a view shared by 71% of charities.
Together, a full 90% were confident that their strategic relationships were meeting their objectives and delivering value.
"This reflects the greater understanding both sides gradually have of the potential for partnerships as organisations engage in multi-lateral agreements over longer timescales – leveraging resources to achieve mutually agreed goals in ways beyond funding," the report said.
Of the corporate charity partnerships most admired by respondents, M&S and Oxfam topped the list with 11.1% support.
The "Shwopping" sustainable shopping campaign run by the UK retailer and the Oxford-based international NGO successfully encouraged customers to donate 4m garments worth £3.2m, Civil Society reported. (For more, including discussion of the campaign at the IEG sponsorship event earlier this year, read Warc's exclusive report.)
Respondents also praised two other partnerships – the association between MacMillan Cancer Support and Boots, the privately-owned pharmacy chain, as well as the one between GlaxoSmithkline, the pharmaceutical giant, and Save the Children.
And in a sign of how much value these organisations placed on these cross-sector partnerships, all respondents confirmed that investment will increase over the next three years.
Manny Amadi, chief executive of C&E, said these partnerships were maturing as both sectors recognised their value.
"No longer just a question of seeking funding or enhancing reputation, partnerships between corporations and NGOs are becoming increasingly important to the business models and strategic aims of both sectors," he said.
Data sourced from Marketing Week, Civil Society; additional content by Warc staff