Companies and Charities Come Together to Inspire Better Corporate Giving
30 January 2018 at 8:31 am
A number of leading companies, charities and government agencies will join together to try and inspire more and better corporate giving at scale, at an innovation think-tank event to be held in Sydney this week.
The Corporate Social Impact Challenge 2018 will take place from 31 January to 1 February, and will include some of Australia’s biggest companies including Westpac, Qantas, IAG and PwC.
The event has been organised in response to recent research findings from socially-driven company Purposed, which indicated that charities were increasingly reliant on giving from their corporate allies.
The research revealed that corporate grants and funding made up 20 per cent of charity revenue in the last financial year alone.
Surveyed charities, including Wesley Mission, National Breast Cancer Foundation and Landcare Australia, were found to benefit from more than 175,000 hours of corporate volunteering over this same period.
Tom Ferrier, the managing director and founder of Purposed said: “Our research echoed the findings in the Giving Australia reports, and was part of the motivation for our event. If both corporates and charities extract huge value from corporate giving, how can we make it easier to inspire more giving, with a focus on better giving to make it more impactful?
“This prompted our idea to host a think tank style workshop dedicated to this challenge, then pitch the best ideas to a shark tank of high-profile experts in the giving space.”
The Shark Tank event, being held on 1 February, will feature high-profile names including CEO of the Minderoo Foundation Nicola Forrest, television presenter Jessica Rowe AM, Professor Kristy Muir from the Centre of Social Impact and Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies.
Ferrier told Pro Bono News the event would help to address some of the problems holding corporate giving back in Australia.
“With holistic giving across donations, volunteering, goods and services, there is no single solution that makes it really easy to facilitate that and makes it really meaningful for employees,” Ferrier said.
“We recognised there was probably an opportunity to do this in a different way. After holding conversations with many corporates, [we realised] that collaboration was key.
“I hear that all the time in the philanthropic sector. I’ve seen a lot of events days and networking days which is great, but I hadn’t necessarily seen proper problem solving collaborations.”
Ferrier said this idea had “snowballed into the largest corporate giving collaboration in the country’s history”, with prominent charities including The Australian Red Cross, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Amnesty International, The Smith Family and UNICEF all attending.
“They’re coming together for two days to focus on solving a single, yet very complex problem, which is how might we inspire more and better corporate giving at scale,” he said.
“The whole aim of the event is firstly to bring the different sectors together, not just for drinks or a conversation, but to really try and solve a problem… where we put emotion and experience at the heart of the solution to try and inspire more giving.
“Because ultimately… If we want to solve some of the world’s greatest problems, we really need to have solid representation and buy in from those constituents across corporate, government, philanthropy and not for profits.”
Ferrier said that the impact of corporate giving for not for profits was massive. He noted that 100 per cent of charities surveyed by Purposed indicated that corporate giving was either important, or very important.
“The reliance on government funding is becoming more challenging for charities and they have to diversify their funding stream. And so corporate giving is a great opportunity for them to do so,” he said.
“Out of all the charities we’ve spoken to, they’ve all acknowledged that it is something they want to focus on, and while some are leading the charge, others are falling behind.
“That’s why we wanted to bring everyone together, not just to understand how corporates can provide better corporate giving, but also to understand how charities can receive more and better giving, because its two sides to the coin.”
He added that while individual giving circles had been a great recent development in philanthropy, there was a great opportunity for companies to rally their employees around corporate giving circles.
“We can leverage corporate’s unique capabilities as organisation, and channel it towards a cause that makes sense,” Ferrier said.
“What we want to do is help people share. People want to contribute to causes they care about.”