Capturing lessons learnt in best practice community and philanthropy partnerships
$456,645 shared across 64 community groups
Bendigo, 6 September 2018: The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Philanthropy Australia today released the Leading practice in Community and Philanthropy Partnerships report. The report is based on outcomes conveyed by Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week grant recipients.
The role philanthropy plays in supporting local community groups is critical to the ongoing improvement of the economic and social strength of our Australian communities – but it often goes unheralded. Community & Philanthropy Partnerships Week (CPPW), which ran annually from 2015–2017, was designed to put the spotlight on these partnerships.
Funded by the Department of Social Services and supported by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, community groups were encouraged to publicly celebrate their partnerships to showcase what they had achieved by effectively harnessing their philanthropic partnerships.
Natalie Egleton, CEO FRRR explains how the program struck a chord.
“It made sense that Philanthropy Australia, the peak body for the philanthropic community, and FRRR, a key conduit between philanthropy, business, governments and communities, should partner to bring CPPW to fruition,” said Ms Egleton.
“Over the course of the three-year program with $456,645 in grants funded by DSS, we enabled 62 community groups to promote their work Australia-wide and strengthen and build on their partnerships.
“Year-on-year, the diversity of projects funded by the program increased as an understanding of the CPPW program objectives grew and profile of the partnership initiatives being celebrated amplified.”
Sarah Davies, CEO of Philanthropy Australia said that philanthropy is thriving in every community across Australia.
“This work plays a significant role in building and sustaining the socio-economic strength and vibrancy of our communities for the benefit of future generations,” explained Ms Davies.
“Virtually every community group said that CPPW helped them raise the profile of their work, strengthen existing partnerships and, in many cases, secure new partnerships. It also reinforced, and importantly, made public, the fact that philanthropy is critical to the ongoing existence of many community NFPs and to filling gaps and solving local challenges.”
These are some of the insights encapsulated in the report:
- Trust and mutual respect are critical to success and a common vision is the start and end-point.
- Aspirations need to be shared and partners need to be in it for the right reasons.
- Partners need to be open to providing support for whatever the community groups need.
- Be open with your definition of partnership – big, small, cash, in-kind, time and connections are all valuable contributions.
- Making a two to three-year plan, considering how different partners could be involved at different points in the project life-cycle or organisation.
- Providing support over the longer-term removes pressure and enables groups to plan with certainty – working with communities takes time and often evolves.
- While not all partnerships are equal, all partners are important. Acknowledge all partnerships, no matter their size or scale, and say thank you often.
- Give people the opportunity to see first-hand the impact of what you do together.
“All in all, the program was valuable in putting a spotlight on community and philanthropy partnerships,” said Ms Egleton.
“This report attempts to capture the essence of successful partnerships, from the perspectives of 12 community groups and their partners. It aims to share those lessons as indicators of leading practice, so others can continue to partner successfully to action positive change within their communities.”