LONDON: Increasing numbers of brand owners and charities in the UK are seeking to form alliances covering areas like corporate social responsibility and marketing, a study has found.

C&E, the specialist consultancy, surveyed 150 senior executives representing major companies and leading non-governmental organisations to understand evolving attitudes in this field.

Overall, 93% of not-for-profits agreed officially working with corporate partners was becoming more important, a figure standing at 88% for firms in the private sector.

Elsewhere, 78% of the enterprises and charities featured in the study outlined plans to heighten investment levels in this activity during the next three years.

Meanwhile, 57% of respondents reported their current alliances are essentially strategic in nature, and the number looking to develop such tie-ups climbed by 14% on an annual basis.

Among the existing efforts regarded by the panel as being particularly successful at present was one from Marks & Spencer, the high-street retailer, and Oxfam, the poverty relief charity.

This programme rewards shoppers bringing their old M&S clothes and furnishings into Oxfam's second-hand stores with a £5 gift voucher to spend at the retail chain.

Participants also praised an initiative by Pampers, Procter & Gamble's nappy range, for providing vaccinations to people in some of the world's poorest countries.

Sainsbury's, the supermarket chain, was equally lauded for several schemes undertaken in support of Comic Relief, such as boosting the amount of Fairtrade products sold.

Manny Amadi, CEO of C&E Advisory, said: "The prominence of major consumer-facing retail companies and brands reflects not only their focused approach, but also their preparedness and ability to invest in strategic partnerships, including in their promotion and marketing."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff