Community and communications
Partnership identification, assessment and brokering
We work with organisations to identify and create partnerships that are aligned to strategy and have the potential to create value for both parties. Increasingly NGOs and corporates are seeking to collaborate around a specific issue and the key to the success of these partnerships is ensuring the strengths of both organisations are effectively leveraged.
What would it take to mitigate many of the seemingly intractable and persistent challenges facing our society? The answer often lies in better coordination and cross-sector collaboration. Collective impact initiatives are long-term commitments by a group of actors from different sectors towards a common agenda to solve a specific social problem. A systematic approach to creating social impact.
Net Balance can assist organisations to identify the common agenda; to develop shared measurement systems and mutually reinforcing efforts; and can work as a backbone organisation to manage collective impact initiatives.
Gathering evidence is one of Net Balance’s key strengths and a necessary aspect of ensuring our work remains current. We are regularly commissioned by clients to undertake research on their behalf, to understand the landscape in a particular field, or to identify strategically aligned opportunities for investment in the community.
When organisations engage with their stakeholders in an open and transparent manner the outcomes can often result in a win-win situation for both business and society. Organisations are increasingly held accountable for their actions and decisions across value chains and no longer have a choice in whether they should engage with stakeholders.
By engaging with stakeholders in a meaningful way, you can help your business make smarter decisions about the future and differentiate yourself from the competition. We work with clients to identify, map and engage with their stakeholders on the issues that matter to them. We advise on how to use the information to refine business strategies and engagement processes.
Net Balance’s work in this field is based on international best practice approaches such as AccountAbility’s Stakeholder Engagement Standard AA1000 SES and the International Association for Public Participation’s guidance.
It is important to communicate the aspirations and impact of a community investment program with both internal and external stakeholders. Keeping employees informed and engaged with an organisation’s community agenda can assist with the spread of good news stories from employees, potentially an organisation’s biggest group of advocates. Where employee engagement programs are in operation, effective use of communication channels can also increase participation.
Communicating with external stakeholders including clients, partners or simply parties with a vested interest, can improve an organisation’s reputation and open the door for partnership opportunities.
Regional livability indicators and community resilience
Net Balance Regional is dedicated to engaging with regional and rural Australia.
Since late 2011 Net Balance has been working to develop community resilience in the Wimmera region of western Victoria. In 2012 we published Connections, Compliance and Community: The Changing Face of Volunteering in Regional Victoria. This involved on-the-ground consultation with more than 400 stakeholders, and explored the state of volunteering and its impacts on the prosperity and resilience of communities.
We built on this research throughout 2013 and developed the Governance Mentors Program. This program is designed to link experienced members of the community and professionals – the mentors – to the Boards and/or Committees of Management of community organisations in need of assistance. By improving governance, these organisations are more effectively able to meet their objectives, thus strengthening the community they serve. The Governance Mentors Program was tested in 2014 and will be piloted across Victoria and South Australia in 2015.