Taking Corporate-NFP Partnerships to the Next Level
Wednesday, 6th June 2012 at 3:26 pm
The Westpac Group's Organisational Mentoring Program will open its doors to new partner organisations at the end of the year as part of its ongoing commitment to creating positive change.
Sandy Blackburn-Wright, Westpac's Head of Organisational Mentoring, Group Sustainability and Community, told the Building Partnerships Between Government & Not for Profits conference in Canberra it currently has 28 partners and would look to taking new requests at the end of each calendar year.
Westpac's focus is on matching its employees with an organisation's leadership team over two to three years, on identified issues that will create sustainable change within the organisation. The number of partnerships may vary from year to year.
Blackburn-Wright said mutuality and a clear understanding of what the organisation needs and what Westpac can bring was key to any partnership.
She said organisations seeking support from the corporate sector should look to: leverage the capability of the corporate offering support; create meaning and create mutual benefit.
Westpac mentors organisations that fall into the category of Not for Profit organisations, Indigenous organisations, specifically those in Redfern, Waterloo and Cape York; social enterprises or those that are established to create positive social outcomes through commercially sustainable business.
Blackburn-Wright said part of any mentoring partnership was to spend the first few months getting to know each other, "just hanging out".
"Once we have done the first piece of work what we do is sit down with the leadership team and the board and say this is what we see, what do you think?
"We might find three or four areas that need work and we pull together a team within the organisation and ask the business to allow those people to spend an hour a week in the partnership for 12 months," she said.
Program partners can tap into Westpac’s enormous resource base for answers on everything from risk management to communications.
"Don't underestimate what the corporate is getting out of the partnership. Everyone have needs for meaning and to make a contribution,” said Blackburn-Wright.
“Our people see you do things well with nothing. We can do a lot with a lot,” she said.