In a first for WA, Community Ventures ran a two-year survey of business and not-for profit organisations that participate in business-community partnerships. The survey investigated their experiences and expectations, the key success factors in partnerships, and what organisations and individuals need in terms of capability and capacity.
Approximately 30 business and community organisations participated in the research, including some of Australia's largest and most successful businesses across mining, oil and gas, as well as property, professional services and utilities. Participating community organisations included some of WA's leading services in the fields of health, education, medical research, youth and indigenous support and community safety. The process involved in-depth interviews with CEOs and partnership managers.
"Corporate social responsibility, community expectations and social licence to operate are common drivers of corporate community investment that support business community partnerships," says Corinne Hawke, Director of Community Ventures. Those partnerships are aimed at achieving positive outcomes and impacts on communities and individuals."
"The business and community sectors are very different in a number of ways, and creating a partnership together brings those differences into sharp focus."
"With the advantage of relevant knowledge, skills and organisational capability, our research suggests that both community and business partners are more likely to experience mutually beneficial partnerships. It's a win, win, win and that's what we aim for."
The survey covered topics such as governance, structure, strategy, transparency, partnership processes, engagement and communication, power, which community partners are most attractive to businesses and why, and the benefits business and community organisations seek from their partnerships. Importantly, the survey also investigated the challenges and issues experienced in partnerships by both business and community organisations, and how these could be addressed.
Ms Hawke said, "Not for profit organisations are increasingly turning to the business sector in an effort to find support for the work they do in the community.
"The survey also highlighted that partnerships are successful or not because of the people involved. They're about the relationships between people and the way partners engage and communicate with one another is critical to the success of a partnership."
The survey results have been translated into a training program to build capability and success in business-community partnerships for not-for-profits, and business.
Community Ventures is delivering two Masterclasses in 2013, with the first targeting not-for-profits, entitled ‘What Business Wants' - The Keys to Successful Corporate Community Partnerships in WA'.
Dates: 20 September and 8 November
Time: 9am - 4.30pm
Location: Kailis Function Centre, 101 Oxford Street, Leederville
Price: Early bird registrations to 30 August are $550; $495 for staff of survey participants; or $650 from 1 September.
To register or for more information visit http://communityventures.eventbrite.com.au or www.communityventures.com.au
Community Ventures works with business and community organisations to promote successful engagement, communications and mutually beneficial business-community partnerships and relationships. Services include: community investment and partnership strategy and communications, PartnerWise for building organisational capability, partnership training and mentoring, communications and stakeholder engagement.
Corinne Hawke is the Director of Community Ventures. She has a multi-sector background and has worked with the business sector in community investment, corporate communications and stakeholder engagement for 13 years, and for seven years in community development and community funding with many not-for-profits that seek a sustainable future.
P: 0407 195 102