Seeking Nontraditional Approaches to Collaborating and Partnering with Industry

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The depth of any economic downturn in Australia from is likely to test the strength of many corporate community partnerships. NFP organisations, business and governments are aware that during past economic downturns in Australia and internationally, investment in the community by corporations has been strained by business financial considerations. These past developments occurred when corporate community investment and corporate community partnerships were generally at an early and less sophisticated stage of evolution.

This report included quantitative survey research with not-for-profit organisations and qualitative research workshops of NFPs in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne, as well as individual consultations with senior NFP sector executives. Outcomes produced by so-called integrative partnerships include better societal outcomes, and improved delivery of services at a local level.

NFP organisations report that many corporate community partnerships operate within this realm. The trend towards integrative corporate community partnerships reflects the trend in collaborations internationally especially longer term partnerships , particularly in the United Kingdom, and increasingly in the United States. This report, and the report on corporate community investment, identified internationally innovative approaches in integrative community partnerships in Australia. Development of network governance in Australia pursuit of holistic societal outcomes between all-of-government, NFPs and business to access resources needed or utilise resources differently to generate policy solutions , and the evolution of social enterprise community initiated and controlled entities using entrepreneurship to contribute to community issues , is also having an impact on how corporate community partnerships evolve and operate.

This report finds that corporate community partnerships continue to grow rapidly in Australia. About 10 per cent of the income of the NFP organisations contributing to this report is derived from corporations. Almost all NFPs indicated they partner with business to secure a funding source that is often more reliably available over time than funds available from governments which remain the prime source of NFP funding.

Three-quarters of NFP organisations partner with business also to get access to specialist corporate skills, and assist build their capacity. Consultations undertaken for this report illustrate the importance of skills-transfer for both NFPs and also business. Research for this report indicates that among smaller NFPs in particular, with little experience of collaboration with business, there remains some natural and ideological suspicion about the motives of businesses seeking to partner with them.

They also rate corporate citizenship obligations as a main driver rated number one by corporations in the Centre study , and see meeting stakeholder concerns as another key corporate community partnership driver for business rated number four by corporations in If the benefits of a more integrative approach to corporate community partnerships are to be encouraged and nurtured, then barriers to their development, operation and success need to be understood and removed. About one-quarter of NFP organisations said business does not understand their objectives.

Yet the most successful partnerships are characterised by corporations and NFPs making considerable effort to understand the mission and intent of how each entity operates. Most NFP organisations believe better overall business sector understanding of NFPs and their complex stakeholder relationships, as well as the longer-term view they must take to mitigating societal issues or achieving community goals when compared to the shorter-term profit cycles of business , would underpin more successful partnerships.

However, the most critical challenge facing not-for-profit organisations — which they see corporate community partnerships playing a lead role addressing — is building their capacity to achieve their missions. Most of the work of not-for-profit organisations requires multi-party collaboration with government agencies, other NFPs and businesses.

Many NFPs say they have low operating ratios, and most have staff numbers between one and nine full-time employees. Many rely on volunteers including from corporate partners and other businesses. There is high demand among NFPs of all sizes to have access to the skills and capability that corporations can offer, transfer and embed. This includes capability in core management enterprise functions such as human resource development and training, finance, marketing, corporate governance, administration, strategy and leadership development. Conversely, many large businesses value highly the opportunity for their employees to work with NFP organisations, and the exposure this can provide them to different operating models and community experiences this is in concert with the findings of our report into corporate community investment.

As well as building capacity via employee volunteering and skills transfer through collaboration with business, we recommend later in this report development of a Community Corps in partnership with NFPs, business and governments, to practically and innovatively build capacity in the not-for-profit sector, and build business understanding also of NFP organisations.

Fifty two per cent of NFPs report that corporate volunteers are already involved in skills transfer and capacity building activities, and 42 per cent say corporate volunteers are involved in their governance Boards, oversight and management committees. Orienting more of the 70 per cent of employee volunteering described by not-for-profit organisations as unskilled towards capacity building and skills transfer, would be highly beneficial to NFPs across the nation, and meet the demand of these organisations for assistance to build their capacity to achieve their mission.

There is also a desire in the sector for good and best practice to be accessible and disseminated, primarily as a means to assist non-for-profit organisations to strengthen their performance. A common theme of this report is that while many NFPs benefit from working with business through community partnerships, many believe there remains a deficit in how well business and the wider community understand their goals and operations, and that in some quarters, perceived poor transparency affects negatively the reputation of the wider sector.

Some NFPs have adopted voluntary annual reporting of progress against mission, values, strategy, financial and operational performance, corporate partnerships and government assistance. We conclude such voluntary reporting, which may be resource intensive, is likely to be beneficial to the reputation of the NFP sector. Such reporting would also go a considerable way to ensuring the operations of NFP organisations are more transparent to potential and existing corporate partners.

This report focuses mainly on the experiences of large businesses, however we note that some NFPs suggest also that small and private businesses could improve transparency and reporting. There is also considerable demand among NFP organisations and we conclude merit in continued examination of how NFPs are regulated in Australia across nine State, Territory and Australian Government jurisdictions. Different regulatory regimes pose significant operating cost and administrative burdens for NFPs operating across State and Territory borders, including in joined-up and collaborative arrangements with other NFPs, or with corporations or governments.

We conclude in this report that State and Federal governments accelerate work towards regulatory harmonisation of the not-for-profit sector, with a desirable outcome of such harmonisation freeing up financial and human resources — including management attention — to focus on delivery of NFP missions nationally. Governments — the main funding source for NFPs contributing to this report — should also examine developing within their jurisdictions, common tender and grant application criteria for NFPs.

It notes that not-for-profit organisations expose directors to the same liabilities as corporations, therefore limiting the number of business executives available to sit on the Boards of NFP organisations. These two reports have already been highly influential in the way government, business, and the not-for-profit sector have come to think about the issues around community investment. It would be most constructive for this current report to be considered in conjunction with the study.

The report investigated trends in corporate community investment and concluded that business activity continues to increase and deepen. The Centre expects this report into not-for-profit and business community partnerships will further inform development of policy in this area. The report will also assist NFP organisations and businesses develop and maintain more effective community partnerships. Three meetings were held with the Reference Group to obtain feedback and guidance on the scope of inquiry, research methodology, trends and recommendations.

While the Reference Group provided helpful advice, the findings, conclusions and recommendations are the responsibility of the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs. The study seeks to understand how to better facilitate business engagement with not-for-profit organisations, and optimise the contribution of business to the work of the NFP sector. While the report focuses primarily on large business engagement with NFP organisations, the importance of small and medium businesses is also canvassed.

The study incorporates research from four sources — literature review, online survey of NFPs, national qualitative research workshops of NFP organisations, and individual consultations with senior NFP executives. The Centre conducted a review of Australian and international research into the not-for-profit sector and business community partnerships. The literature review provides the theoretical foundation for this report, from which definitional issues are clarified. It identifies international trends in business community partnerships and best practice.

Sections of the literature reviewed in this report have been made available separately to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The Centre developed and managed an online survey of Australian not-for-profit organisations to capture the views of a broad range of organisations, particularly those unable to attend the workshops due to timing, workload, or geographic constraints. The online survey was open between 26 February and 9 May To ensure confidentiality and optimise frankness of responses, Values Bank Research , an independent market research firm, was commissioned by the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs to host the online survey.

Hard copy surveys were also despatched on request. The survey was distributed to more than not-for-profit organisations. The online survey web-link was also disseminated through the newsletters of Our Community and Pro Bono Australia, and information about the survey circulated by Fundraising Australia. One hundred and fifty three NFP organisations completed the online survey.

A further 31 per cent employ between 10 to 99 full-time staff. About 24 per cent of respondents employ more than full-time staff. Not-for-profit organisations that participated in this research range from those with a local community focus, to national and international NFP organisations operating in Australia. The workshops were structured to prompt discussion between not-for-profit organisations of differing size, operating across various sectors, and were facilitated to interrogate issues identified in the literature review.

The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs consulted also individually with a number of not-for-profit organisations, including relevant peak bodies. These consultations provided further insights into the NFP sector, and allowed us to interrogate findings from the online survey and group workshops in depth. Further individual consultations were conducted with smaller not-for-profit organisations that were unable to attend a research workshop. Existing literature internationally and in Australia uses a plethora of different terms to refer to the not-for-profit sector.

The use of these terms is not consistent, and terms are often used interchangeably, referring to different groupings of organisations. Box 1. Anheier and Salamon have developed an internationally accepted definition of a not-for-profit organisation. Chapter 2 of this report covers the trend in recent years for business and NFP organisations from historical relationships that were often of a financial nature to move towards more dynamic and sophisticated relationships.

We focus on the interactions between business and NFPs that are defined as partnerships. However, we recognise that this describes a wide range of relationships on a continuum from funding relationships to full integration. This report focuses on the experiences of not-for-profit relationships in working with business. We note that in some cases business and NFPs are also partners with government. This section examines activities undertaken, sources of income, and employment generated by, the not-for-profit organisations that participated in this study.

It is not within the scope of this report to undertake a comprehensive study of the scale and characteristics of the not-for-profit sector in Australia. Numerous government, academic, and consultancy studies have documented these recently. It incorporates recently released ABS data. The Australian Bureau of Statistics released new data on the not-for-profit sector in August This represents a significant, but not exhaustive, contribution to the collected data on the Australian NFP sector. There were 40 not-for-profit organisations operating in Australia in the financial year.

Culture and recreation organisations accounted for 20 per cent of this total. The sector employed individuals, mainly in social services which accounted for Full-time employees accounted for Significantly, there were 2 volunteers during the financial year. The main source of income for these organisations was funding from federal, state and local government, which accounted for This funding was primarily received by education and research and social services. It should be noted that Community and welfare services attracted the largest share of business giving, receiving The health sector including medical research and sporting and recreational groups receive Figure 1.

Most respondent NFP organisations work in areas relating to children, education and training, and youth. Interestingly, only 6 per cent focus primarily on environment and conservation — though this is an area that many NFPs in workshop research for this report believe community interest has shifted to markedly. Survey respondents were asked to nominate areas of principle activity. More than one category may apply. The survey indicates also that many not-for-profit organisations receive most of their cash income from government sources see Figure 1.

Individual giving is also a large component of the NFP funding mix, while the business sector accounts for a much smaller proportion of their funding. Government provides, on average, almost half of total cash income for respondent not-for-profit organisations. Interestingly, a third of survey respondents receive between 80 and per cent of their cash income from government.

Based on feedback at workshops, it appears that a substantial proportion of this government support is to assist not-for-profit organisations in delivery of government programs and services.


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Other sections in this report highlight, however, that significant volunteer hours and contributions in kind flow to the NFP sector from corporations and the wider community. Survey question: Please provide your best estimate of cash income derived from the following sources. Some categories overlap so responses do not sum to per cent.

Of the 38 per cent of NFP organisations creating a community involvement activity or structure as a vehicle for corporate involvement, only 11 per cent received government funding for such an initiative. Not-for-profit organisations use significant resources to seek further support in cash or in kind. Survey question: Of your annual budget, what proportion of resources is used to secure support for the following:. This study into the not-for profit sector response to business engagement and partnerships is undertaken in the context of a range of developments that have bearing on the issues and provide a context for it.

These include a range of government initiatives in place or projected around not-for-profit reform, evolving concepts and practices in government broadly described as network governance, new approaches within the sector itself such as social enterprise, and importantly a significant shift in the way business, especially the large company sector, is seeking to engage with community organisations. Corporate respondents to the study agreed strongly with the propositions that corporate community involvement was what you have to do to meet external expectations, an obligation of business as a citizen, worth doing for external reputation and other benefits, and an integral component of strategy and the business model.

In expending resources on community involvement, only 12 per cent of respondents in the report said they sought no benefit or philanthropic motive only, whereas 44 per cent said they sought generalised benefit for their companies, and 44 per cent said that a focused business case was required or assumed. The nature of the business case will vary between industry sectors, locations and individual company circumstances.

However there are a number of overarching factors relevant to their relationship with NFP organisations. At a general level there is the need to establish and maintain positive reputations in an environment of community scepticism or distrust of companies, particularly in relation to industry sectors which have significant impacts on communities, and to benefit individual companies seeking positive differentiation by alignment with social or environmental causes and with relevant stakeholder communities.

Enhanced brand awareness through sponsorship, and cause-related marketing provide more direct commercial benefits. Companies are also increasingly finding other points of mutual interest with not-for-profit organisations such as assistance with sustaining biodiversity, financial literacy, technology-enabling for the underprivileged, and training Indigenous labour in remote communities.

The former are acting as trustees of shareholders funds, while owner managers can more appropriately indulge their personal interests or personal philanthropic agendas with their own surpluses from economic activity. Notwithstanding this, the business value of active community investment is still relevant, regardless of their ownership structure.

The now strongly entrenched and more strategic approach of the corporate sector in Australia has great significance for the way it seeks to relate to NFP organisations. Much of it flowed from donations committees of the Board of Directors, without an overarching policy or strategic framework. It was frequently distributed by one-off, and ad hoc responses to requests from worthy causes, although, on the journey to a more strategic approach, the range of eligible NFP sectors was narrowed, and for some, focused on community areas according to their relevance to corporate interests.

The study indicated that two thirds of the major companies surveyed contributed less than 20 per cent of their community investment cash and kind in response to requests for support, and only 7 per cent contributed 60 per cent or more of their corporate support in this way. An increasing number of companies are contributing funds under matched giving programs where staff determine the direction of the giving, or via one-off grants or matching programs to support staff who are actively engaged in community activities.

The corporate motives include corporate philanthropy, but also to be an employer of choice and encourage a more community engaged and socially aware workforce. While companies are at different stages of the journey to a more sophisticated business-case oriented approach, many have pretty much arrived and are exhibiting the following major characteristics. It should be stressed that these findings reflect the approach of larger companies. Zappala and Lyons , p. The Smith Family, for example, has around 70 business partnerships at the national level and around smaller business partnerships in local communities.

Many of the themes discussed in this section are explored further in subsequent chapters of this report. In recognition of the growing importance of the not-for-profit sector, governments have paid close attention in recent years and taken initiatives to facilitate their positive development. This has occurred internationally. In the US, the trend in government approach to NFPs has been to encourage social enterprise and innovation but with little direct intervention by the state, and with most policy development coming out of social innovation and academic centres and think-tanks.

In the U. In Australia there are different approaches to understanding and coordinating policy and research to understand and encourage social innovation via the NFP sector. There is a mix of policy development by some leading NFPs, from a small number of academic centres and units, and from collaborations between business and some NFPs.

Over the past decade in Australia, there have been important taxation initiatives to support cultural gifts, enable the spread of years available for tax deductibility to eligible organisations and make minor benefits provisions in taxation legislation friendlier to fundraising. The Australian Government has also taken initiatives to support work-place giving, has sponsored research such as the Giving Australia Report and the study, Corporate Community Investment in Australia.

Partnerships between business and NFP organisations were encouraged through best practice awards, toolkits for small and medium enterprises, and support for capacity building organisation Nonprofit Australia.

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A major initiative has been the matched funding endowment of the Centre For Social Impact, initially a partnership between the business schools of the Universities of New South Wales, Melbourne and Swinburne, but with the intention of including others. Its purpose is to provide national leadership in research and professional development in NFP management and corporate social engagement. I am confident that the centre will be a great source of answers and of practical initiatives. In Australia, the role of government in fostering business community partnerships is greatest at the federal level, with government generally seeing itself playing a large role fostering development of the NFP sector, and seeing business having a part in this.

There are also various State Government initiatives, though these are uncoordinated nationally. The Government also appointed an Australian Social Inclusion Board to advise it on new ways to deal with social disadvantage. Parallel initiatives have been pursued by the Australian Government to explore aspects of the NFP sector and issues affecting it. These include a reference to the Productivity Commission to consider what tools might be available to measure the contribution of the NFP sector, and the inclusion of the sector for consideration in its broad review of the taxation system.

The Senate Economics Committee is also inquiring into disclosure regimes and regulation of the sector. In response to these reports the Premier of Victoria announced a twenty-five point action plan, which includes reducing regulatory burdens and supporting inter-governmental collaboration and reform, assisting fundraising, simplifying service agreements and grant processes, and supporting innovation, capacity building and dialogue with the various levels of government.

Amongst other state government initiatives is the creation by the South Australian Government of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation to explore and facilitate innovative and collaborative approaches to community issues. The National Reform Agenda being driven through the Council of Australian Governments COAG will address co-ordination and interaction between levels of Government and the complexity and fragmentation of service delivery.

The focus in academic and public policy debate around network governance has been at the local level associated, for example, with economic development, public security and social concerns. However, the concepts are being applied also to broader issues where government, NFPs and businesses have a common interest and contribution to make by working together.

Some government agencies are supporting these integrated approaches here and in other parts of the world, using the language of social inclusion and network governance to describe aspects of these new forms of community engagement. It forges a new path between bureaucratic centralism and privatisation and as such may be regarded as the merging model of public organisation for the twenty first century Considine , p. There are numerous examples of this shift from command and control management of issues to delegation and working with business and communities.

Classic examples are local community development, addressing social concerns in areas of chronic under-privilege, and local safety committees organised by the Victorian police. But this works also for broader spheres, such as providing education and training opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth, and collaboration in public health and the environment.

This study explores the challenges of collaboration from the NFP perspective. As The Smith Family comments:. Collaboration is not something that organisations can or should enter into lightly — it demands the cultivation of new resources and skill-sets, including the creation of an organisational culture that is open to the challenges posed by new approaches to budgeting and control, trust and accountability The Smith Family , p.

Both sides of the business-community relationship as well as governments as they shape policies and administer programs , should learn from the experience of the NFP sector articulated in this report. Achieving an agreed and clear definition of social enterprise is a work in progress, but encompasses community initiated and controlled organisations that provide entrepreneurial and innovative contributions to community issues and interests. Activities vary greatly but are focused on community needs that arise in the face of state and market failure Barraket They will normally embody the multiple resources and direct engagement of the three sectors, and frequently include investing in their own business activities that generate income, provide social participation, and meet other community objectives such as employment and education for the underprivileged.

Social enterprise and social innovation that can be an outcome of it, is distinctive also because most frequently, it occurs outside the realm of the government. By its very nature, the risk that social enterprise carries is co-opted by its underwriters — and in Australia and nations such as the US. This rarely is government. Corporations — privately held and listed publicly — and most NFPs manage financial if not commercial risk daily.

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This common thread, married in a partnership that supports or furthers a social enterprise, can therefore produce societal and organisational outcomes in very different manners than relationships driven by governments. As this report will show, while there is a high and increasing level of support and many NFP organisations are keen to pursue partnerships, some in the NFP sector are suspicious and critical. As Zappala and Lyons , p. There are still many in the not-for-profit sector, especially in the community services and environment movement, wary of forming closer alliances with business.

They argue that many of the social and environmental problems they confront are the result of government policies enthusiastically advocated by business and the product of the thoughtless pursuit of profit at any cost. Despite some deeply ingrained hostility by some NFPs to business, and its motivations to pursue partnerships with NFPs, the trend to closer and more sustained relationships appears to have traction.

Barraket , p.

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The deepening of these trends and their convergence in pursuit of a more vibrant and inclusive society will lead to increasing collaboration along the continuum from philanthropic to integrative, with the various characteristics depicted in Figure 2. Our research for this report suggests most NFP and business relationships are in the philanthropic to transactional stage, with some significant collaborations being integrative. New approaches, thinking and cultural change in business and NFPs — and new policy frameworks for governments — will be required to move even more relationships to the integrative stage, where we believe social innovation can be maximised.

As discussed in Chapter 2, previous research by the Centre Centre for Corporate Public Affairs illustrates a desire by business to form closer and deeper relationships with NFP organisations. Many business leaders and NFPs believe that their partnerships are able to deliver some outcomes that cannot be produced by their organisations alone, and that cannot be generated by governments. Community trust in business is significantly lower than NFP organisations, and there is an expectation in the community that business will work more closely with NFP organisations than in the past as one element of corporate social responsibility.

The business sector increasingly views not-for-profit organisations as key stakeholders, either directly, or as proxies for community interests. Best practice stakeholder engagement for business includes effective stakeholder engagement plans to ensure the views of relevant not-for-profit organisations are considered by the business, particularly its community investment activities and issues relevant to activist or advocacy NFP organisations. Historically, many advocacy-oriented not-for-profit organisations have identified and targeted businesses associated with particular social or environmental problems for criticism and action.

In addition, there has tended to be a perception that the profit motive of business is antithetical to the values and interests of social activists and vice versa. This explains much of the past antagonism between the NFP and business sectors. As noted previously, in recent years this dynamic has begun to shift towards less scepticism, and more willingness to viewing business and NFP organisations as partners rather than rivals. The Centre has noted this shift in past research it has conducted for government and peak business groups summarised in Section 2.

Many businesses have realised that the issues and concerns NFP organisations bring to their attention often need to be addressed for their own interests, and for those of the community. Partnerships with NFPs are seen increasingly as vehicles through which businesses can address their community aspirations and relationship goals, and win community support.

Anheier and Salamon highlight some of the benefits that NFP organisations bring to partnerships including:. Rio Tinto engages in a variety of local partnerships around its operations. It seeks to build these partnerships on the basis of mutual respect, active partnership and long-term commitment.

Community consultations and active participation are the foundation for the partnerships.

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The community consultations strive for openness and transparency, and aim to: reflect local convention and protocols, as well as taking into account the views of marginal, inadequately represented or vulnerable groups keep communities fully informed about the activities of the company be two-way discussions that cover community issues and priorities, as well as the needs of the company keep a full record of all formal and informal meetings. Rio Tinto also commissions baseline and social impact assessments by academic institutions and NGOs in order to understand the impact of Rio Tinto on local communities, and identify ways in which the company can build local skills and knowledge.

Research suggests also the business sector often does not clearly understand a number of common characteristics of the not-for-profit sector. This creates challenges when establishing and maintaining a relationship with a NFP organisation. While it is by no means universal, not-for-profit organisations increasingly view business as an important partner in the community and supporting NFP programs and services.

Importantly, unlike many funding sources from governments, funding for some NFPs through partnerships with business can be for longer periods and allow the NFP to plan better to sustain its operations and achieve its outcomes. This can be very different to the sometimes short-term funding from government. Survey question: What do you believe are the main reasons why businesses form closer relationships and work with NFP community organisations?

The results from business indicated that more than 90 per cent of companies consider community activities and partnerships with community organisations are inter alia directed at building reputation, community trust and support. About 90 per cent also see it related to employee engagement, and as integral to strategy and the business model Centre for Corporate Public Affairs During our qualitative research for this report, NFP organisations participating in workshop discussions added business employee attraction, retention and engagement, as prime motivators for business seeking partnerships with NFP organisations.

One workshop participant commented on the change of focus they have seen with their corporate partners:. We have seen a change from our corporate partners from public engagement to internal engagement. Rather than talking publicly about their partnerships, it is more important to demonstrate these internally to employees, suppliers and even customers.

Our survey results highlight some gaps in how not-for-profit organisations view their performance in terms of fairness, respect, flexibility, timeliness and treatment of staff when working in partnerships, compared to their perceptions of business views on their performance and attitudes see Figure 3. The biggest gaps in perceptions relate to fairness and flexibility.

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Fig 3. Workshop participants, including former business executives and employees who now work in senior roles in not-for-profit organisations, reinforced the view that for business community partnerships to become more integrative See Figure 2. The need to strengthen understanding between NFP organisations and business was a common theme in all consultations for this report.

It is common for not-for-profit organisations to identify businesses that have the resources and motivation to address relevant social or environmental problems, and approach them as potential partners. Sometimes finding such an intersection can be counter intuitive to the historical suspicion that some NFP organisations have of companies, and vice-versa, challenging traditional ideology or entrenched views.

Box 3. The Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, a national peak association, relies on support from companies such as Telstra and Microsoft to deliver activities that promote information technology for seniors. The grants allow ASCCA to run training courses for their members, introducing them to new technology in ways that solve everyday problems.

As with electronic banking, technology enabling supports citizen well being as well as access to commercial services, and can limit pressure for regulatory intervention. Within a partnership, NFP organisations can often assist design and implement altruistic yet practical programs that address the heart of an agreed problem more effectively than the business could do alone, and because government is not involved, or has not been successful in addressing or solving an issue. There also appears to be a trend for partnerships to form between some previously antagonistic NFP organisations and business.

If successful, such partnerships allow the NFP to use its expertise, once devoted to simply critiquing a business, to developing supportive programs within, and monitor compliance by, a business operating in an area of NFP concern. An increasing number of NFP organisations see how collaboration with business can be helpful — and in some cases essential — to achieving their objectives.

In turn business, through increased proximity and seeking common ground with NFP organisations, can break down negative stereotypes of corporations and garner reputational benefits. In industries that attract negative community sentiment, this can be a useful way of differentiating a business from its competitors.

Partnerships between entities that are traditionally seen as opposed to each other may be mutually beneficial. For example, Integrated Tree Cropping Ltd is one of Australia's largest hardwood plantation forestry managers and timber processors — on initial inspection an unlikely partner for the environmental NFP, World Wildlife Fund.

Nevertheless, World Wildlife Fund Australia and Integrated Tree Cropping Ltd partner to encourage organisations to support forest and plantation management through responsible choice of timber and paper products for example, through the Forest Stewardship Council. Partnerships like this enable both parties to overcome common misunderstandings and work together on common areas of interest. NFP organisations with public credibility potentially have the ability to cause damage to corporate brands and reputation. Companies — like Integrated Tree Cropping Ltd — understand that it is beneficial to its business to engage with NFP organisations to resolve issues and work together to achieve mutual interests.

As noted in the previous section, there is often an intersection between the interests of not-for-profit organisations and of corporations, and corporations too often seek this crossover. For instance, corporations such as resource companies operating in rural locations engage in partnerships with the local community with the explicit intention of making the locations more liveable to attract employees to the operation, or to reduce tensions caused by disruption and any unwelcome impact.

NFP organisations in our research agreed that such motivations do not undermine a partnership, as long as the outcomes desired by the business are understood by the NFP organisation. Also, business motivations for engaging in relationships with the NFP sector are becoming more complex. As noted in reference to large companies, sponsorship and community investment is now more intimately intertwined with the core strategies of the business, and thus are held to more rigorous cost-benefit and reputation evaluations.

Corporates are less interested in project sponsorship and more inclined to support the achievement of social outcomes. NFP organisations also see that corporations are more focused on reputation and community licence to operate when assessin g partnerships with them. While corporations are seeking mutual NFP-business benefits via their corporate community investment, our research suggests some remain unsure about where they can effectively, ethically and practically focus their corporate community investment.

Indeed, with the guidance of proactive NFP organisations, an increasing number of corporations are looking to NFP partners to help clarify particular needs to be addressed, as well as providing effective delivery mechanisms for this investment. But while there is demand in the corporate sector for appropriate community investment opportunities with NFP organisations, there remains uncertainty in some NFP organisations about which individual corporations are most appropriate for community investment partnerships, and how to access them.

Some NFP organisations noted the amount of initial work and time that needs to be allocated by both parties at commencement of partnerships to understand the operational drivers and realities within each entity. This is seen as critical to maximise cooperation and limit misunderstandings. Workshop participants in general felt that a better understanding between not-for-profit organisations and larger corporate partners in particular would be of immense value to each partner in a corporate community investment relationship.

This is not about being warm and fuzzy, but I think if we non-profits and the relationship manager from the company can get together with the CEO in particular and agree what we have in common, our differences melt away easier. This is just good management practice, which no one can argue with I would suspect. It is well documented that a bias exists in awarding funding toward not-for-profit organisations that budget for and report low overhead and administrative costs.

During our qualitative research, participant NFP organisations reported pressure in some partnerships when corporations want the NFP to deliver complex services and outcomes at less cost, using the previous year as a benchmark. While there is little data on the issue of under-reporting in Australia, it is said to exist and with negative consequences. Accordingly we suggest that this issue needs to be investigated further in the Australian context. Reputation is highly important to not-for-profit organisations, as well as a driver for community investment by corporations.

Some NFP brands and reputations are among the strongest in Australia. It is not surprising that NFPs with strong brands and established reputations in the community are themselves guarded about retaining their operational and fundraising value and appeal when choosing their corporate partners. Figure 3. Survey question: We find when working with business that we rarely have issues around agreement on:.

An issue closely related to the question of shared values is discussed in Section 3. Organisational reputation is also a consideration for many NFPs when they contemplate a corporate partnership. We do have a list of companies that our governance group has determined we cannot and should not partner with because of their ethical and reputational standing. We have a reputation and a brand that is important to us, and we will not compromise that if we believe a partnership with a corporation will not enhance our reputation, our brand and what we do.

Also, various constituents within individual NFP organisations will often have different values and attitudes to relationships and reputational impacts with businesses. This is a complex issue that many NFP leaders say they manage. However, NFP organisations overwhelmingly welcome corporate support, and rejection of support on reputational grounds appears rare.

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This is reinforced by the previously discussed survey findings see Figure 3. Despite a significant and growing trend towards NFP-business engagement, some not-for-profit organisations working to alleviate certain societal issues say they face difficulties attracting corporate partners. In particular, NFP organisations in the mental health, alcohol and drugs rehabilitation, domestic violence, sexual abuse, correctional services rehabilitation and intellectual disabilities areas reported they find it difficult to attract corporate support.

One NFP executive commented:. It is much easier to get corporate support for depression and stress — the softer end of mental health — rather than schizophrenia. While this is not universal, and NFP organisations such as Mission Australia, Anglicare, The Smith Family and St Vincent de Paul Society have numerous, robust corporate community partnerships, some smaller NFP organisations in the human services area say they struggle in their relationships with business partners.

Not-for-profit organisations in the arts sector appear to have mixed success, although significant engagement exists where there are hospitality and entertainment opportunities with high profile entities. Community recreation organisations also provide marketing opportunities, particularly those involving children in communities. Pressure on business to limit their environmental impact, and employee concerns about climate change have made it easier for environmental NFP organisations to attract corporate interest.

Not surprisingly, some NFP organisations reported the current focus of corporations on the environment has made it harder for them particularly for some working in the human services sector to attract funding. Comments from workshop participants on corporate interest in environmental issues and human service partnerships included:. It is not easy to get funding for programs working with a demographic where people do use drugs and there is higher rates of domestic violence.

It is very hard to sell prevention, for there are no numbers to measure the work that we do. This is very intangible, and does not translate into a return on money. According to the survey underpinning significant analysis for this report, 10 per cent of NFP respondents indicated they were arts or cultural organisations. As noted in Section 1. The arts sector has traditionally enjoyed a unique dynamic in partnerships with business.

Up until the s, large, national arts organisations such as Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet and some city-based gallery and theatre arts entities were major beneficiaries of corporate support. Corporate focus on engaging more widely with the community, the competitive and cost pressures of a more open and competitive economy in Australia from the early to mids, and government policy, increased competition within the arts sector for corporate community involvement. These developments also broadened the total market for corporate community investment.

Arts organisations were only one item on the menu for corporate involvement and support. Also, by the late s, not only were there more national arts and cultural organisations, but there were also thousands of State-based and local entities seeking business corporate support. Whereas in the s and s it may have sometimes been the case that major corporate arts sponsorships were the decision and deign of senior executives and sometimes said also, of their spouses , in the 21st century, arts NFPs compete with NFPs that are seeking outcomes related directly to corporate strategy.

In the past I think that the arts were perceived as a must have for the CEO and the Board of many large companies — a way of making an impression on the Prime Minister, Ministers and community leaders. Now, for most companies, the arts are only a nice to have when times are good. If you are an energy company today, your focus is not the Opera, but the environment.

The language is partnership. But what our corporate partners want is brand affiliation with us. Their stakeholders of importance are customers — especially corporate customers and media. We would both like to engage their employees, but this is harder. Our workplace is a stage or gallery.

This can work, but in small groups only. And this seems too much work for our corporate partner. We are up against it with other not-for-profits. What we offer is teamwork, engagement, passion. I think we need to position this better. Our own general manager sees this. Our Board? Our partners? Sponsors engage to sell.

We engage to build, strengthen and enhance. I am not sure how we bridge the disconnect yet. Research for this report focused primarily on engagement of larger arts NFPs with larger businesses. Black Swan Theatre Company in WA relies on government, business and individual support to present theatre productions, tour regional Western Australia and run workshops including for school groups.

For example, Rio Tinto, as a principal partner, has used the recent production of feminist farce The Female of the Species to create a social event for female Rio Tinto employees and women from the industry. Over women attended the event, and a wait list of over was established. As noted in previous chapters of this report, many NFPs and corporations entering partnerships believe they can deliver outcomes that other institutions or collaborations in the community cannot deliver. Network governance see 2. But these are certain issues and societal outcomes that NFPs — and companies — say they are best placed to address and produce positive outcomes via corporate community partnership or are positioned to make unique contributions to societal issues.

During workshop group discussions, NFP organisations identified the following benefits of community business partnerships:. Not-for-profit executives identified the following obstacles to achieving successful community business partnerships:. Our analysis confirms the view that a successful corporate community partnership exists where there is a clear alignment between organisational cultures and imperatives of the corporation and the NFP organisation to achieve the best possible outcome for a public issue discussed in the previous chapter.

This view was confirmed by NFP organisations providing input for this research report. Sharing a common goal or cause is one of the most fundamental elements of partnership success, according to most NFPs participating in this report. Other characteristics of success identified by NFPs and our analysis are canvassed in the following pages. Choosing the right partner depends on the extent to which the characteristics and nature of a not-for-profit organisation and business align to create mutual benefits. Our observation and those of Knights are that businesses tend to choose their not-for-profit partners based on their credibility, activity orientation, regional presence, leadership opportunities and alignment with corporate strategy.

As also noted, reputation considerations influence partner selection for not-for-profit organisations and corporations. In the NFP realm, Oxfam, for instance, reports that it maintains a manifest of high, medium and low risk industry sectors it considers when investigating and examining partnerships with companies.

International literature confirms our findings on the challenging aspects of partnerships. Seitanidi and Ryan suggest these include the need to address challenges such as. Sustainability length of relationships appears to be a characteristic of what is required between the sectors for best practice partnerships.

Not-for-profit organisations and businesses increasingly talk the language of partnerships and of the characteristics of integrative collaboration, describing relationships that are deeper and longer than in the past. We are looking for longevity with our corporate partners. We want opportunities to create stronger relationships year after year. Companies are increasingly looking long-term. A sustainable partnership needs to be able to survive changes in managers.

Our multi-faceted partnerships including cash and in kind support, pro-bono and volunteering support works well…. We found that partnership requires a substantial level of interaction and engagement between two or more organisations, and involves shared objectives and a collaborative mentality. We draw on our corporate partnerships all the time. Career awareness, exploration, orientation, and preparation activities are coordinated with school-based learning activities. Awareness In grades K-6, students are introduced to careers through career days such as tool days, construction days, and vehicle days , workplace visits, job shadowing, and guest speakers.

In grade 8, students also explore career options through career fairs, field studies, job shadowing, and guest speakers. Orientation In grades , students become oriented with a specific career s through career fairs, job shadowing, and guest speakers. Preparation In grades , students may prepare for a career through internships and apprenticeships. The Work-Based Learning course is available to students to further these experiences.

Success by design

Federal Perkins IV funding requires states to address the needs of special populations, non-discrimination, and nontraditional preparation as a part of the State Plan. Our vision is to help students become aware of all career opportunities, including nontraditional career opportunities, while encouraging them to recognize their personal skills and abilities. Applying the skills and recognizing abilities and interests gained in the secondary school programs, students may achieve a high level of job satisfaction as they pursue postsecondary education and job opportunities.

All students need to be encouraged and supported.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Whether the student is male or female, there will be many opportunities to promote student success in nontraditional careers. Attitudes about which jobs are appropriate for women, and which jobs are appropriate for men are the result of tradition and socialization. The vast majority of job requirements are unrelated to gender. Nontraditional Careers: Awareness Strategies. Nontraditional Careers: Teacher Self Assessment.

A critical step in the recruitment of women and men into nontraditional careers is awareness about gender equity issues. Gender equity means ensuring fair treatment to both genders and the elimination of career stereotypes and bias. This requires a thorough examination of recruitment and instructional materials and an environment this is bias free.

It is important to remember that all learners have the ability to perform well in all academic and technical areas required in nontraditional work. Root Causes for Nontraditional Participation 4S1 and 4P1 Theories and evidence regarding participation in nontraditional training programs. Nontraditional Careers: Retention Strategies. Through partnerships among post-secondary institutions, school districts, business, and industry, Pathways identify and group courses within CTE areas of study that offer students depth of knowledge and skill, linked with specific postsecondary programs culminating in degrees, certificates, and licenses.

Nontraditional fields refers to those occupations or fields of work, including careers in computer science, technology and other current and emerging high skill occupation for which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in that occupation. The intent of Perkins is to help more women achieve economic security by creating opportunities and encouraging them to pursue more high skill, high wage and high demand occupations.

Lesson Plan 3: Introduction to Nontraditional Careers.

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