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Building an Innovative Shared Value Approach

28 March 2017 at 4:06 pm
Ellie Cooper
Rather than seeking out not-for-profit partners, Frasers Property Australia has called out for expressions of interest for a community investment partner.

Ellie Cooper | 28 March 2017 at 4:06 pm


Building an Innovative Shared Value Approach
28 March 2017 at 4:06 pm

Rather than seeking out not-for-profit partners, Frasers Property Australia has called out for expressions of interest for a community investment partner.

Frasers Property opened EOIs, or “expressions of inspiration” as the company calls them, as a better way to find a signature not-for-profit partner.

Funding of $750,000 over three years will be awarded to an organisation that can deliver wellbeing programs to the company’s stakeholders.

Amira Hashemi, sustainability and innovation coordinator at Frasers Property, specialised in shared value and led the project.

She joined Frasers Property in 2015, for her research project in shared value in property development as part of her master’s in sustainability.

“The industry is ripe for greater engagement with not for profits and collaboration with community organisations to really achieve our objective and help them achieve theirs,” Hashemi told Pro Bono News.

“We’ve taken significant steps to really [look at] how can we best embed a shared value approach in our organisation.

“And we had a look at our current foundation, Frasers Property Foundation, which originally was a very philanthropic-based foundation, it was tidbits here and there to numerous organisations, and didn’t have very much of a theme or cause that we supported.”

Working with the general manager who established the foundation 15 years ago, Hashemi implemented a different way of creating a social impact, one that was more collaborative.

“I said: ‘We could be having a much greater impact from this foundation,’” she said.

“Rather than Frasers Property dictating what we want to see and what we want to achieve, we set out a criteria and [we asked] not for profits to respond to the criteria that we have, so if they can deliver programs and projects that meet the objectives that we’re looking to achieve, and also meet the objectives that they’re looking to achieve.

“So really having a partnership approach, rather than a philanthropic or a pure sponsorship or: ‘We’ll hand you a cheque and never see you again,’ approach, which is still very typical, but there is that shift moving away from philanthropy to a shared value, also known as conscious capitalism, capitalism 2.0.”

Hashemi said there was a great response from not for profits to the EOI approach.

“Everytime I talk to these not for profits… they’ve been ecstatic and they said: ‘This is a really good way to go about it,’ rather than Frasers Property approaching organisations who may not even want to work with us and saying: ‘Can you deliver on x, y and z,’” she said.

“So this way we’re really going into partnerships with organisations that want to be in partnership with us as well, and just getting the best organisations for this particular project.”

Frasers Property is targeting three audiences – staff, residents and commercial tenants – with wellbeing programs.

“We decided physical and mental wellbeing is the greatest cause or impact that we can have because we build buildings and assets and people spend 90 per cent of their time inside or indoors,” Hashemi said.

“So if we can improve their health and wellbeing, then that’s amazing, that’s better for our occupants, better for our customers, it’s a better brand image for Frasers Property as well.”

She said the shared value project would be shaped by the ideas of not for profits.

“It’s really up to the not for profits to tell us what services they can provide to meet the needs of those three customer bases,” she said.

Frasers Property will confirm its partnership in July, with funding for the program beginning 1 October.

Hashemi, having studied shared value, said, while the property industry focused on environmental sustainability, there was room for growth on the social impact side.

She said the Frasers Property approach was leading the industry.

“On the softer side of sustainability, the social side is something that hasn’t been done extremely well in all industries, particularly in the property development industry,” she said.

“So Frasers Property advertising an EOI to not for profits is something that’s very new and seeking signature partnership, rather than [offering] a grant.

“The two-way partnership is quite new, looking at it from a shared value perspective where there’s value for both.”

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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