16 March 2017

Thanks to J B Were for producing The New Zealand Cause Report, authored by John McLeod. I was slightly sceptical at first, thinking that this might be just another document that tells those in the sector what they already know, but the information has been provided in a new way; and the analysis goes beyond the usual.

In fact this report adds a great deal to our knowledge around the shape of the charity sector. As a fundraiser, of course, I’m looking for the nuggets of philanthropy that relate to fundraising improvement but where I’d say this report is going to be of most value to fundraisers, is actually in persuading the corporate sector that the charity sector is worth an investment. This report contains the fact sheets that can be used in a business-non profit partnership proposal.

And it provides some detail and comparisons on profit and loss, balance sheet, staffing and volunteering, organisational positioning and income vs net assets.

I don’t believe the fundraising sector has ever had this level of analysis to use in the promotion of business/charity partnerships. We’ve certainly had case studies, surveys of public and customer attitudes, and very general reports on the size of the sector, and of course there are subscriber products which benchmark performance.

I did raise a note of caution with the author John McLeod who suggested that there is potential for growth in the area of business/charity relationships/partnerships. My concern, as someone who has been working in this sector for more than 25 years,  is that far too many charity board members believe that the corporate sector is the cash cow. If we do the maths on this one... number of charities (27,380) divided by the number of corporates (say 200) with a reasonable budget for social responsibility equals very long odds of success.

BTW- if you want to know about some examples of successful business/community partnerships go to the BACS Trust website http://bacshares.org.nz/


Heather Newell

Director, Foresee Communications Limited and Chair of the Bacs Trust

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