3 Questions with United Way

04 Mar 2019 11:59 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

I’m Ian Leader with United Way New Zealand - see video below

Q1 Isn’t doing good just for charities?

It used to be. But the impact of social negativity requires it impacts on business and so business has a very active role to play in their own sustainability and sustainable communities mean sustainable business.

Q2 How are business relationships cemented in that framework?

There are lots of ways from pure charity and philanthropy. Through to very strategic ways of engaging with community through employee volunteering and through strategic investment and now with the growth of social enterprise by actually doing business with social good business.

Q3 The World Economic Forum in Davos gives the perception that big business is out to get the little guy. I work for a big business, what can I do?

There’s lots of ways. We find now that a lot of employees vote with their feet and business that is seen to be anti-community and if there is not an alignment with their values, people are not interested in working for companies that do bad things for the community. We are now getting employees voting with their feet.

A lot of employees now expect employers to be setting up community engagement programmes which is everything from employee volunteering through to payroll giving. And also a huge expectation that companies should be contributing to the community from their own coffers.

A wonderful book Corporate Social Opportunity by Professor David Grayson and Adrian Hodges.

It talks about the need to shift away from social responsibility which is more of a tax and legislation approach to corporate social opportunity to actually take advantage of all of the opportunities that strategic and thoughtful engagement with community provides to business as an employer for its shareholders and also from a trade point of view. So it is doing business and doing business well not just in the community but with the community.