Presentation on theme: "Business and Professional Support in the Voluntary Sector - Building Relationships for Mutual Benefit Dr Simon Davey, Managing Director, Omega Alpha Limited."— Presentation transcript:
Business and Professional Support in the Voluntary Sector - Building Relationships for Mutual Benefit Dr Simon Davey, Managing Director, Omega Alpha Limited (preponderate.network)
Introduction Why am I here? What do I know anyway? Why does all this matter?
Topics (1) What does business have to offer? Approaching businesses to support your organisation (what, why and how) The difference between community support and sponsorship What's in a relationship?
Topics (2) What a business wants to offer and what an organisation wants - translation skills What do voluntary/community organisations have to offer businesses The meaning of 'mutual benefit' Why businesses contribute (and what they measure it against) What can business offer community groups and the community for sustainability
Free Lunch? You ’ re hungry but I want to keep my lunch (I ’ m hungry too) Hey, maybe I have enough to share Even better, why don ’ t you help me make lunch?
Money, money, money … Support is NOT (necessarily) money It can be better to give than receive (for both parties) What is business/professional support all about?
What does business have to offer? Time Skills Money Resources (space, equipment)
Approaching businesses to support your organisation (what, why and how) What do you want? Why do you want it? How do you want it?
The difference between community support and sponsorship Is a business more than just a chequebook? What will you spend the money on? Is a solution to a problem better than cash in hand? Does my business want a reputation for helping to solve a local problem or for writing a large cheque?
What's in a relationship? Better to give than receive? You need to build a bridge before you can cross it! Relationships need to be mutually beneficial and built over time Don ’ t look like a beggar – try some bartering
What a business wants to offer and what an organisation needs Translation skills! B has time, C wants money B has a solution, C has a problem This is where mediators (brokers) come in Middle ground is there but it needs to be worked out You can ’ t have what the business doesn ’ t have (or want to give)
What do voluntary/community organisations have to offer businesses New experience (opportunity for business staff to learn new skills in new surroundings – holistic project experience) Training (issue-based e.g. diversity, disability) Better image in the community (reputation) Opportunity for business to engage locally Help promote business to potential employees
The meaning of 'mutual benefit' Mutual – felt or done by each to or towards each other Benefit – a favourable, helpful or profitable factor or circumstance Think of an example …
Why businesses contribute (and what they measure it against) Businesses measure the ‘ bottom line ’ or ‘ triple bottom line ’ – economic, social, environmental Businesses need to engage local communities (customers, authorities, safe environments, licence to operate) Measured against revenues, profits, social impact, impact of community support
What businesses want from their support Impact – what did the support achieve? Visibility – PR, local impact Meaning – did it actually mean anything? (be wary of taking ‘ meaningless support ’ )
What can business offer community groups and the community for sustainability Time – project based volunteers (lawyers, IT consultants, managers, painters, reading help etc.) Skills – specific support (help with a lease, sorting out IT/management issues, training courses) Money - a little cash goes a long way (but how is it spent?) Resources – meeting rooms (event hosting), spare equipment (not OLD equipment): especially large businesses
Case Study: preponderate and Omega Alpha Preponderate is a network of consultants (mostly IT and management) providing trusted cross-sector solutions to clients whilst supporting the local communities in which they work. Omega Alpha is a member of preponderate.
How does preponderate support the local community Money – NO (why not?) Resources – NO, mostly virtual network, limited physical resources to share Time – YES, minimum of 1% of time applied to ‘ pro bono ’ support across the network Skills – YES, consultants use skills to identify and solve specific problems/issues within community groups
Example project: Potters ’ Field Small charity needs to market themselves to wide range of (potential) contacts (with no money) Potential solutions: Give them money (What will they spend it on and how well?) Identify the real problem, identify a potential solution and implement it We built them a website (don ’ t try this at home)
Example project: Professionals in the Community Volunteer brokerage about to be closed down (no funds, no ongoing management) Potential solutions: Give them money (What will they spend it on and how well?) Identify the real problem, identify a potential solution and implement it We worked with members and led the organisation (part-time) for six months … Not everything works out well in the end …
Show me the money – what ’ s in a business case? Every time a business wants to spend money, it needs to justify it. This is called the business case. What will you do better with my cash that I can ’ t do better with my resources?
So how does this help me? Know what you need (not what you want) Research your potential providers Use the most appropriate contact manner (broker?) Have something to offer in return Build the relationship before you ask for a shirt off their back
Conclusion Businesses want to support local communities (honest!) Businesses prefer relationships to ‘ requests ’ Businesses want to see ‘ bang for their buck ’ Build relationships with key contacts (we ’ re people too!) Offer something in return Keep everyone happy