Community Business Partnership Needs More Than Talk
28 November 2013 at 10:29 am
Not for Profit peak body, the Community Council for Australia, has warned that a reformed Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership (CBP) must become much more than a talk-fest or promotional opportunity and be a vehicle for business and Not for Profit groups be nice to each other.
The warning comes in a submission to the Prime Minister and Minister of Social Services on the PM's Community Business Partnership (CBP).
The submission urges the Coalition to focus on the need for the CBP to address key policy issues that impact on the level of giving and philanthropy in Australia, and the effectiveness of investment in the NFP sector from business and government.
“To ensure the CBP realises the potential to achieve positive change, CCA believes the structures must focus on critical issues for the Not for Profit Sector and the community,” CCA CEO David Crosbie said in submission’s introduction.
“The Community Business Partnership needs to drive real reform in the ongoing engagement between Not for Profit organisations, their communities, business and government.
“Without the CBP it is difficult to see how these important relationships are going to be improved, and without some improvement in these critical areas, the true potential of civil society will not be realised.
“Given the size of the sector and its critical role in our community, a well constituted CBP will be in an ideal position to drive significant economic and social benefits should the Government choose to support measures that will result in further investment in strengthening the role of civil society.
“CCA also believes the CBP must become much more than a talk-fest or promotional opportunity seeking to increase the level of volunteerism (important though this is), or have business and Not for Profit groups be nice to each other (another desirable but not sufficient goal).”
The former Prime Minister's Community Business Partnership was a group of prominent business and community leaders appointed by the then Liberal Prime Minister John Howard to advise the Federal Government on community business collaboration, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.
With the change of Government to Labor in November 2007 came a new approach to communities and the CBP was dissolved.
In a recent speech the Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews said the Community Business Partnership will advise the Australian Government on community business collaboration, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.
“Again, its work will be undertaken without unnecessary red tape and costs,” Andrews said.
“Onerous reporting obligations, the rising cost of living and the impact of the GFC on investments, have all had an impact on the charitable and volunteer sector, with philanthropic contributions tapering off in recent years.
“I look to a new Community Business Partnership to re-invigorate our culture of philanthropy and giving.”
The Community Council for Australia’s submission says the new organisation should now focus on the following areas:
- Increasing both the level and effectiveness of investment in the Not for Profit sector with a particular focus on philanthropy and the relationship between Not for Profit organisations, business, community and government;
- Increasing knowledge and awareness of the value of investing in the Not for Profit sector with a strong focus on impact and benefits including better measurement and reporting of investment outcomes;
- Increasing the level of collaboration between Not for Profit organisations and across communities including business, particular populations groups, organisations and government.
The submission says that while the Prime Minister should be the chair of the CBP, it is hoped there will be scope to appoint two deputy chairs: one from business and the other from the NFP sector.
“It is also anticipated that key ministers, including the Minister for Social Services should be appointed as ex officio members and be able to attend any meeting of the CBP and its working groups,” the submission said.