Look Before You Leap into Corporate Partnerships - Costello
17 October 2013 at 11:21 am
World Vision CEO and Community Council of Australia Chair Tim Costello has urged Not for Profit organisations at a breakfast seminar to have a clear understanding of their purpose and identity before building partnerships with the corporate world.
The seminar was part of Westpac's series of breakfast seminars for senior leaders including CEOs, CFOs and board members from the social sector and education industry sectors.
In his presentation on the future of Not for Profits and social justice leadership by Australians, Costello expressed the need for Not for Profit organisations to "understand ourselves, our systems and our environment" in moving forward to create shared value between the social sector and the corporate world.
“What does nature tell us about sustainable relationships?” Costello asked.
“If we are to partner, we need to understand ourselves, our systems and our environment…
"We need to walk together, our values may not align perfectly but we need to name common ground … we can create that shared value.”
Costello said some corporate relationships were “just fatal”; these were relationships where the corporates’ products didn’t align with the Not for Profits’ mission.
“Steer clear or get eaten, there are still some partnerships that you would steer clear of,” he said.
“Lots of corporate relationships are exciting but high risk, you have to develop a high degree of trust and you need an exit strategy before you go in.”
Costello, who recently chaired the Australian Civil Society 20 (C20) Steering Group and travelled to Russia to G20 Leaders' meeting, spoke about the challenges of working with Government and stated that he believed the charity regulator, the ACNC was a step forward in the right direction.
He said if the Coalition Government followed through on its pre-election promise to abolish the ACNC, it would have to be recreated again, “in very similar form”.
Also speaking at the seminar was Foundation for Young Australians CEO Jan Owen, who, in her presentation on the future of education and the leadership potential of young Australians, said that there were three key points to “future-proof” our young people.
“Our challenge for young people is to be not just job seekers, but a generation of job creators,” Owen said.
“The best work is to enable them with skills of enterprise, Not for Profits are the best place to begin.”
Owen said talent development was the first key area – to nurture, support and identify, and give opportunities for young people to innovate and be involved in centres of excellence.
She said organisations should provide opportunities for them to try “something else” – their role should be divided by 80 per cent core duties and 20 per cent social sector engagement.