How Crisis is partnering with Zoopla to help achieve its mission of ending homelessness

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A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Crisis on how this partnership came about and what they hoped it would achieve towards the charity’s mission.

“Crisis are working together with property platform Zoopla in a multi-year partnership. We will raise awareness of the causes of, and solutions to, homelessness among Zoopla’s staff, enabling them to challenge stereotypes around homelessness in their wider networks and take practical steps towards ending it for good.

For our partnership launch, we worked side by side to co-publish analysis of the housing and benefits landscape in England. Together, we plan to use this research to highlight the need for urgent government support for people at risk of being pushed into homelessness due to the cost of living crisis.”

How did the partnership come about?

“Zoopla staff have fundraised informally for Crisis since 2018, but in November 2021 we were lucky to be invited to pitch to Zoopla’s social responsibility committee for a multi-year strategic partnership, which we were thrilled to win!”

Why was Zoopla seen as a good partnership opportunity?

“We believe that Zoopla can further our mission to end homelessness by using their unique market position and data insights to support greater public understanding of homelessness. Their national reach and brand power can be leveraged to surface and support the national conversation around homelessness, side by side with our own Policy and Campaigns team. Moreover, Zoopla’s role in the industry means they are well placed to influence how landlords, agents, lenders and housebuilders play their part in making homelessness a thing of the past.”

In what ways will this partnership contribute to Crisis’ mission of ending homelessness?

“In the first year of our partnership, we’ll be calling for there to be enough housing available that people on low incomes can afford to sustain their tenancy without pushing themselves to the financial brink, including advocating for local housing allowance rates to be set at the right level and for increased supply of social homes.

Through our partnership launch, we’ve activated a public awareness and understanding campaign on homelessness – aiming to drive Zoopla users to Crisis’s website to educate them on how they can support those experiencing homelessness. We’ve also set out specific guidance for lettings agents and landlords on how they can play their part in preventing homelessness for their tenants and increasing access to housing.

Zoopla employees will raise funds directly for Crisis and participate in volunteering opportunities to support Crisis’ Skylight centres, annual Christmas project and Shops From Crisis operations across Great Britain. Zoopla will provide support for Crisis’s Venture Studio, helping to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and skill-sharing in support of Crisis-led ventures designed to help end homelessness.”

What were the challenges in implementing the partnership and producing the co-published research?

“Coordinating calendars is always a challenge where multiple stakeholders are involved in a partnership, and making adequate space for partnership launches in between brand campaigns and mass appeals such as Crisis at Christmas also requires a great deal of flexibility and understanding from all parties. Partnerships of this scale rely heavily on the strength of the working relationships in place, and we couldn’t be enjoying our work with Zoopla more.

Crisis and Zoopla have both been committed to open and honest communication from the very outset of our work together, including fair and frank discussions of challenges. Stakeholders meet regularly to plan and review projects, whilst sharing all partnership information on a joint drive. We are both determined to give this partnership the time, energy and resources it needs to have the greatest possible impact on people experiencing homelessness and are excited to continue our relationship over the coming months and years.”

How many people will manage this partnership?

“Crisis’ Strategic Brand Partnerships lead is responsible for the delivery of the partnership, along with Zoopla’s Employee engagement lead and head of ESG. The core working team receives immeasurable support from the Marketing, Media and Communications teams at both Crisis and Zoopla, in addition to Crisis’ Policy and Campaigns team, Best Practice team and creative agency Lucky Generals.”

How much will the Zoopla volunteering programme add to your volunteering workforce?

“Through the Zoopla Community Engagement programme, dozens of Zoopla volunteers will be helping to deliver Crisis operations over the next months and years, including at our Shops from Crisis, Christmas warehouses and hotels across London. Those outside of London have been supporting our virtual Changing Lives grants programme by assessing funding applications from our members remotely”.

How will Zoopla track the success of the partnership on their part?

“Zoopla will bring their employees along on the journey by improving their awareness and understanding of the topic of homelessness. They will track their community programme’s performance against key performance indicators throughout the year, and externally report these metrics within their annual ESG report.”

Steven Hopkins
Editor of Charities Network

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