Philanthropic v Strategic Relationships

When your organization connects, or asks for support from the business community are you doing this as a philanthropic level or a strategic one?

Often connections are at the philanthropic, a request do financial support, there’s no harm in this, however a more strategic partnership could reap bigger opportunities for your organization.
Philanthropic giving is often because the donor believes in your cause and, expect no return on their giving. Whereas strategic giving, is planned and can involve the gifting of resources, time and/or money. When giving is done at the strategic level there is typically an expectation of a return on the ‘investment’ these donors give. 

Some studies show that businesses view their support and relationship with organizations as being ‘the right thing to do’,

A study conducted by and reported Inspiring Communities, shows that 88% of businesses currently suoort community organizations for the following reasons:

Right thing to do                                                     66%
Fulfilled wishes of directors or shareholders       39%
Fulfilled organisational goals or strategies           30%
Improved staff moral and/or productivity             27%

Less than a third of respondents state business drivers as a reason for supporting a chariy, rather they do it for more philanthropic reasons.

I’ve previously written about businesses connecting with community organizations and how this can impact on staff morale, something which I’ll further write on as I cover my thoughts in each of the above ‘reasons’ why businesses support organizations.

There’s no harm with philanthropic giving but, organizations could likely do themselves and their donors more faviurs by looking at a strategic path for support.
When was the last time your organization (or your business) had a discussion about a strategic partnership?
Some organizations I’ve talked with have said they never have and give a fear of losing control for not having this discussion. This has amazed me, not only is it short sighted it also shows (to me) a fear of the management of the organization of not knowing how to do business. When I’ve suggested this I’ve been told “we’re a charity not a business”, true, but organizations must be run as a business.
If an organization wants t gain support from the business community it must be able to demonstrate sound business practices, that funds raised are used appropriately and that where possible savings in overheads are made – through gifts received and strategic partnerships formed. Again, I’ll address this in a future post(s).
After reading this, if you haven’t already, spend some time and mind map how your organization can build strategic partnerships. You’ll be surprised how these can be developed. As the old saying goes “it won’t happen overnight but it will happen”. You just need the right direction, plan and confidence in your organization to start discussions with businesses in your community.

Job Vacancies and Applicants

Having recently spoken with an organisation looking to recruit some staff and the standard of applications received, I thought lets see what others think about how people apply for jobs.

The organisation I spoke with were looking for general staff, the advertisement was specific in what they were looking for; experience in the sector, a high of communication (written and oral), ability to be flexible in hours.

The applications the received were, without being too blunt – poor. Not the people, but the way in which the applications were written, many used what you’d expect in a text message on your phone “Hi, I c u r looking 4 staff  …. ” and that was only the covering email/letter. Do people not read ads before applying for roles?

Then you get to the CV – they’re generally filled with “fluff” such as “I’m dependable, articulate and have a high standard of righting etc … ” (no that wasn’t a spelling mistake.)

Come on, if you can’t if you can’t even write proper like – how can you say you have a hight standard? 

And, why do people want to show what they look like, photos are a waste of time – people want to know what you can do, what your experience is, not what you look like. And hey, ladies if you must include a photo, please – no cleavage shots, unless of course you going for a role that requires you to be busty. And, on that note, why does it only seem to be women who include a photo?

Employers want to know your experience, skills and what drives you, they don’t want to know that you’re a size 8 … that you know how to apply eyeliner – they want to know that what you have to offer fits the role.

What’s your experience when it comes to employing new staff? 

Are you finding it a challenge to read applications? Getting distracted by photos and the endless waffle some seem to think might help them gain an interview?

I’m sure there are some organisations and recruiters out there who can shed some light on what applicants should and shouldn’t include when applying … would be great to hear your thoughts.