Inspired Partnership With Bristol-Myers Squibb
Tuesday, 14th May 2002 at 1:05 pm
It has taken more than a year of planning and negotiation for a project that sees young Australians as the beneficiaries of a partnership between the Inspire Foundation and the pharmaceutical company, Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia.
Through the partnership, Bristol-Myers Squibb will support Inspire’s Reach Out! Youth Ambassador program for the next three years.
For many considering corporate partnerships, questions of who makes the approach and how does an organisation decide which company is right for them, can take up a lot of energy and create some anxiety.
The partnership consultant group, Positive Outcomes says that for both sides the resulting partnership has been a great learning experience.
Consultant, Alice Cahill says Inspire and BMS were looking for a partner that would fit with their core mission and values. For BMS this meant a partner that would fit with their mission to extend and enhance human life and the values encapsulated in the company pledge.
She says BMS approached the Inspire Foundation after a survey of its staff found they wanted to become involved in helping with young peoples issues particularly the area of youth suicide.
The Inspire Foundation’s Executive Director, Jack Heath says this partnership has been almost a year in the making.
Heath says he has been enormously encouraged by the people at BMS and their genuine wish to develop a partnership that has inspiring young people as its primary objective.
Inspire says it is committed to a long-term partnership with BMS that will promote the Reach Out service and give our Youth Ambassadors critical skills and training that will enable them to make a difference in both their own lives and the lives of their peers.
Heath says that while the organisation is taking things one step at a time, it remains very excited about what lies ahead.
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Managing Director, Australia/New Zealand, John Kilborn, says the partnership with the Inspire Foundation reflects the desire of BMSA employees to support programs that helped young people.
Kilborn says BMS is very pleased to have established a partnership with an organisation that is fast gaining an international reputation through its innovative delivery of information and assistance to young people who may be going through difficult times.
Alice Cahill says developing corporate community partnerships is not a simple process and anyone who thinks it happens with a couple of meetings and a handshake is being misled.
While the Inspire-BMS contracts were signed in December 2001, developing the partnership has been an ongoing process. Staff from both organisations took part in a joint workshop recently to establish the key deliverables and priorities of the partnership.
Both organisations agreed that they had complementary ideals and goals. The focus on leadership by both organistions is a good illustration of this.
Reach Out, the flagship initiative of the Inspire Foundation, is an Internet-based service that helps young people get through tough times and was developed in response to Australia’s unacceptably high levels of suicide and attempted suicide. Reach Out provides a place online where young people can get help in an anonymous and stigma-free way, explore issues and discover how other young people have made it through tough times.
An important element in the success of Reach Out is the direct involvement of young people themselves. Through the Youth Ambassador program, young people guide the ongoing development of Reach Out by contributing to content, generating new ideas and building awareness of the service in their own communities.
The partnership with the Inspire Foundation represents the ‘headline’ project in Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia’s Work & Community program that contains four key elements:
– Commitment to a major ‘headline’ project that will spearhead company-wide activities through a significant partnership with a not-for-profit organisation working in an area that is compatible with the company’s mission, values and business.
– Support for staff community service with financial and administrative resources as well as recognition of the developmental learnings gained through this work.
– A charitable giving program controlled and directed by our employees.
– A wide range of corporate sponsorships, educational programs and community investments that make a difference in four key areas of our business: Heart Disease, Cancer, Infectious Disease and Mental Health.
Are you considering or negotiating a corporate community partnership or are you about to seal the deal? Why not share your thoughts on our on-line Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.