Executives 'On-Loan' to Charities
Thursday, 22nd June 2006 at 1:06 pm
For many charities, living from grant to grant and having no time for long term planning can lead to corporate envy – wondering how top company managers re-invigorate their operations. So what about having an ‘executive-on-loan’?
That’s an idea that Melbourne Cares hopes to address in the future – where companies lend their executives to Not for Profit organisations for a year or longer and often at no charge to offer much-needed business experience.
In the US there is a growing list of companies taking part in executive loan programs. Companies like Accenture, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and Toyota. Even the coffee giant Starbucks has added this focus on corporate responsibility.
A recent US news report revealed how Starbucks lent one of its international retail managers to the multi-national Not for Profit CARE.
According to the report, Starbucks paid the executive’s salary to work for one year helping CARE develop a marketing campaign, serve as an executive mentor and import Starbucks project management system.
The report also points to international pharmaceutical company Pfizer which has sent more than 90 employees to work on global health programs. It says the employees retain their full salary and benefits and can work on projects for up to six months.
Melbourne Cares CEO, Simon Robinson says during his time at Business in the Community (BITC) in the UK the organisation would broker similar secondments for anything from 3 months to 2 years and provide a ‘matching and support’ service.
Robinson says the executive-on-loan scheme was generally used as a part of down sizing or for personal development.
He says there were some quite senior executives involved.
Robinsons says he’s not aware of anyone doing it here in Australia just yet and would like to think Melbourne Cares might be involved in brokering a scheme in the future.
But, he says he’s not sure Australian business would be ready for that idea just yet.
In the US, reports suggest that some criticism has come from Not for Profit leaders who fear that bottom line concerns will trump altruism if corporates get too involved.
Let us know your thoughts on an executive-on-loan scheme in Australia. Would your company consider it? Send us an email to corpnews @probonoaustralia.com.au.