Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When it comes to community organisations, small can be beautiful

By Peter Shergold, The Centre for Social Impact: “Last week at the Mount Druitt Community Hub I had the chance to participate in the launch by Western Sydney Community Forum of a valuable new Resource Handbook: ’Developing a Common Language’. Evidence-based, it is informed by a collaborative research project undertaken in partnership with the Westpac Foundation and the University of Western Sydney.

The Handbook is intended to assist small community-based organisations forge closer relationships with companies and corporate foundations. It sets out a clear framework within which both sides can establish their joint expectations by speaking a ‘common language’. In particular it is a useful guide to local associations on how to win support from business – not an easy task for the small and micro-enterprises that comprise so much of Australia’s not-for-profit sector. This is unfortunate. Whilst they may fail to meet the Treasury test of ‘economically significant’, small organisations are often vital at the local level. They deliver low-cost support and services to disadvantaged clients and in the process help to build the networks of social capital that create communities.”

Click here to read full article.

Developing a Common Language between Corporations & Small Community Organisations: A Resource Handbook

This handbook is designed for workers within the community sector who are interested in building mutually beneficial relationships with businesses and corporate but are unsure of where to start. Likewise, those within the corporate sector will find this resource useful as it offers a glimpse into the unique motivations and processes of organisations operating at the “grass roots” level.

In drawing from findings of a recent exploratory action research project conducted by Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF) in collaboration with the University of Western Sydney and Westpac Foundation, this publication describes the possible contribution corporations can make to community-based activities, while offering jargon free advice for managers of local community organisations in their efforts to effectively seek and maintain corporate support. More specifically, barriers in language are discussed with tips on how taken-for-granted motivations, processes and worldviews can be better translated to prospective funders. Links to further resources and publications are also provided.

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