With a fresh crop of participants beginning the first LBG for Community Program for 2018, here are two perspectives on the value of the program from community organisation The Smith Family and corporate organisation Payce.
Jo Booth, The Smith Family
Why is it important to better understand corporate organisations?
If the collaboration between charity and corporate is a true partnership then understanding the corporates drivers, motivations and expectations is critical to the partnership being a success. The other side of the same coin is the corporate really needs to understand the charity. We need to be transparent and honest but also hopeful and positive as we on-board to our work and the possibilities.
What was your “lightbulb” moment during the program?
That this measurement really has to be done in tandem. You can’t do LBG or LBG for Community in isolation. It only gives one part of the picture. But also LBG for Community is a great point of difference for charities as they go out in this ever competitive marketplace and really try to establish their credibility and professionalism.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for corporate and community partnerships?
Both parties being very clear on expectations AND the resources needed to really deliver on a collaborative, shared value partnership. Agreeing upfront, in clear simple language, to what is needed, the cost and hoped for impacts is the detail that can be a devil later on if you are not careful.
Andrea Comastri, Payce Foundation
Why did you sponsor your community partners to attend LBG for Community?
Payce started using LBG a couple of years ago and I can see the benefits from a corporate point of view of measuring the impact of our investments. Over the years we have improved the way we measure our impact, and when LBG for Community was introduced I thought it was a good move from LBG to close the loop and engage community partners to further improve the measurement process. We would like to help our partners speak the same language, ensure we’re measuring the same thing and better align expectations. We are hoping LBG for community will help us find a better way for our community partners to report to us. It has also given us an opportunity to test a tool together.
What do you hope your community partners will learn about working with corporates?
They are already on their own journey about trying to communicate their outcomes with other corporate partners, so I hope LBG for Community helps them improve across the board. We’re hoping they learn how to capture information that can communicate a story and how to transform inputs into outcomes and impacts. The aim is to provide them with a framework not just for communicating with us but to communicate the impact they are having with other corporate partners too.
What’s the biggest misconception community organisations have about corporate partners?
Most of the community organisation we partner with understand why we’re involved. However, sometimes there is a misconception around ‘why’ the corporate is making the investment, and it’s not always a simple answer. Sometimes there is a business and marketing focus but the majority of times we have a philanthropic view of the world to share the resources we have. For us generally it’s not about what the corporate gets back from the investment but rather what we can do to affect changes in society for those who are disadvantaged or have been affected by misfortune.