Advice for Youth Sector Organisations - Simon McKeon
30 May 2011 at 5:11 pm
Australian of the Year Simon McKeon has called on Not for Profits to invest in fundraising, identify high net worth individuals, build long lasting relationships and don’t line up for support from big corporates, in a keynote address to the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition’s National Youth Sector Conference.
Over 500 young people from every state across Australia attended the first national youth sector conference since 2007. The conference theme for 2011 is: Interrupting Transmission: youth | change | policy | practice. The conference aims to cover issues around youth policy, development and practice, and to assist youth workers to develop networks and contacts throughout the sector.
McKeon told the conference that 1% of net profit is generally accepted across the globe to be a maximum that any big corporate is going to give away. Companies are mandated by law to make as much money as possible, so a board of directors is unlikely to give away anymore than that tiny portion.
McKeon says that community organisations are more likely to receive support from smaller businesses that are privately owned as opposed to those registered on the public stock exchange.
McKeon advised the audience to know what they are asking for and make sure they are not asking for it tomorrow. He says tp build on that relationship because the more you get involved with a company the more the tap opens and the cash will flow.
Individuals, families and philanthropic foundations should also be targeted more to support organisations in the community sector.
McKeon says to think about personal relations with people who are wealthy and have capacity to give and connect them with the extraordinary joy of giving.
He says more often than not, it’s better to set up a specialist fundraising groups, who can build these relationships – CEOs are too busy, and boards need to worry about governance.
However he also warned that the terms of any donor relationship has to be clearly communicated from the start.
He says make sure they know the organisation is the expert, they know what they are doing, and they set the agenda.
The temptation of the dollar should never get in the way of walking away from a relationship if there isn’t that right understanding, says McKeon.
Simon McKeon is the 2011 Australian of the year. He is the Executive chairman of Macquarie Group’s Melbourne office, he serves on the board of Red Dust role models which connects well known Australians with indigenous youth, and is Chairman of Business for Millennium Development which focuses’ on encouraging business to pursue opportunities in the developing world.
McKeon also paid tribute to the 500 plus youth workers present and the contribution of the third sector to Australian society. It’s the sector that does all the stuff that business and government can’t do, he says, so never ever underestimate the value of the work that you are doing.
*This report was filed for Pro Bono Australia News by Tamara Newman