Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Business and Community, a marriage made in heaven?

Business and Community, a marriage made in heaven?

Does business engagement in the community make for perfect corporate social responsibility?

Many community organisations flirt with the idea of partnering with business, the perfect match between the gorgeous young thing with high ideals and worthy causes (an Eva Longario) with a strong, debonair business donor aligned with success and wealth (a George Clooney) should surely be a marriage made in heaven?

Why would a community organisation want to go knocking on the door of a business partner in the first place?

The Stanley East Company surveyed 30 New Zealand community organisations, representing health, community empowerment, the arts and education.

During their early courtship days community groups wanted to find the right partner, so we asked them how many companies had they approached? This appeared unknown for many, as numerous doors had been knocked on, too many funding applications had gone unrequited and too much water had swept under the bridge ravaging the memories of those that spent their days trying to get a response.

So what made them do it, what did they want from their partner-to-be? And what sort of response did they get?

All but one told us willingly whom they had initially wooed; surprisingly it was local businesses rather than many of the corporates that held the most appeal (the boy-next-door scenario?) Law firms and accountants seemed to be a popular choice, they had a tangible and much desired skill that was easy to ask for and easily provided, however names were often vaguely remembered.

A lot of business engagement came in the form of ‘special deals’, 10% off art products, stationery or a supply of petrol vouchers. A good idea to promote one community group was to have leaflets sent out in company brochures to customers. And one smart community leader made good tie-ins with sports clubs who helped promote their cause.

We asked how did you front up, did you wear your ‘best frock?’ Turning up and looking your best in terms of being well informed and knowing what the potential partner corporate goals were paid off. Those that knew how to boogie were there to develop long- term partnerships and prepared accordingly, sadly others wanted to “just tell them what we do.”

And whilst on that first nervous date, what did you ask for? In unison the community organisations called out, “what we want is money!” However as the relationship blossomed it didn’t take long to negotiate with business partners to assist on ‘community days’, get them painting rooms, attending dinners and auctions, provide reduced advertising and hotel accommodation, and best of all share their business skills.

With engagement there’s likely to be a wedding. Those that signed up to long-term relationships said it was because of good timing, genuine interest and often money “because when they are involved they give more time and… dollars.”

Yet some community groups were left jilted at the altar, promises were broken, events didn’t happen as said and the lack of interest in responding to queries made any viable relationship impossible.

And in some cases divorce was inevitable “we could never speak to the right people,” was mentioned several times and links broke once a business partner moved jobs and the community project fell in between the cracks. “Every 18 months a new manager comes in and we have to try to get to know them and explain what we do all over again.” Power struggles ensued, who did what and when?

If the divorce rate is high why bother with trying to get business partners then?
“It’s worth being in partnership, it’s good when they attend events.” Others said “we need them as volunteers to shake tins, that’s very useful, we would never have enough people.” Business partners provided professional assistance and training. Another said having an electrician as a business partner was the most useful they could have and others appreciated those that assisted with their accounts.

Those that have weathered the normal long term relationship ups and downs were happy yet still recognised a need to be closer “we need more skills training, our business manager has been made redundant as we could not afford to keep her and now we only have a clinical manager.” Others wanted presentation skills training and some business mentoring. It appeared the community groups were maturing in seeing business partners as allies and not just as funders.

Is the love still in the room? Were Valentines cards delivered each year?
To acknowledge and thank partners some community groups sent their regular newsletters, depending on the situation others would phone their thanks and write letters. Whereas some tailored their reports specifically to their business partners and ensured their names would be included in news stories and on their website.

One community leader said “we always let them know what their money did with a human interest story, it keeps our partner engaged and happy.”

So who were the most attractive business partners?

THE SEVEN GOOD EGGS
Nivea,Café l’afarre, Bell Gully, Avondale Office Products, USave, the Warehouse, Vodafone.
ENDS
The Stanley East Company Flash Survey c2012

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Fairfax Moves To Create Modern Newsroom

Fairfax Media New Zealand continues its newsroom transformation this week, with a proposal to further organise its editorial operations into focused, local teams and specialist national topic areas. More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Forecast For 2015/16 Season

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with its previously announced forecast dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast ... More>>

ALSO:

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>


BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news