The Corporate Partnership Climate
23 July 2013 at 9:24 pm
Corporate entities are on the search for a 'sweet spot' where the interests of the corporate and the community partner can align, a Sydney conference has been told.
The Director at the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, Wayne Burns, whose organisation works with 140 corporate members in Australia and Asia, says companies are increasingly talking about their relationship with stakeholders.
"One of the rules of business is to be accepted by the community and having a social licence to operate," Burns told the Not for Profit and Corporate Partnerships conference in Sydney.
"It is not just because it is fashionable…stakeholders are extremely important to business.
"Companies are looking at ways of being accepted by the community and having that licence to operate. Companies with a bad reputation don't do well.
"CSR isn’t a program, CSR is a way of managing,” Burns said."It is taking into account the interests of the stakeholder.
"Corporates are looking for NFPs to understand their corporate strategy and help them find their sweet spot."
Burns said the public's perception of corporations was not held in high regard, which was the contrary of the public perception of Not for Profit organisations.
"60% of Australian's have little to no trust of corporates," he said.
"And that is one of the reasons why corporates are interested in doing business with you [Not for Profit organisations]- because they can leverage off your good reputation."
Burns said there was a number of reasons why Not for Profit and corporate partnerships existed, particularly because the partnership could achieve outcomes that NFPs couldn't do alone.
He said Governments were also becoming increasingly reliant on the third sector and businesses to contribute to public policy outcomes.
Another benefit for NFPs was that corporate funding often came with fewer 'strings' than Government funding or grants, Burns said.
Burns said the status of CSR in Australia on a whole was 'pretty good'.
"We actually do a lot of good things here in Australia around corporate community partnerships," he said.