Uncategorized Sep 26, 2022

In my previous blog, I revealed the four distinct purses that non-profits & social enterprises can tap into when approaching corporates for resources & cash (yes, I put cash second, more on that later).

As a reminder, the 4 purses are: 1) HR (Human Resources), 2) Philanthropy, 3) CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and 4) Marketing.

Let’s start by diving into the HR purse.

Of the four purses, this one holds the smallest budget for your organisation, and yet it can be time-consuming, meeting the needs of a corporate that’s hungry for meaningful, purpose driven engagement opportunities.  As the Great Resignation is being felt across the world and Australia, companies are doing all that they can to retain and attract talent. So hopefully the financial aspect of this budget may indeed grow.

Whilst not financially lucrative, this purse is great if you have knotty problems that only innovative thinking and specialist expertise can solve. Or you have big events or programs that need a lot of volunteers, a lot of the time.

If you only have a handful of juicy, meaningful staff engagement opportunities, I’d recommend that you reserve them for companies genuinely wanting to make an impact or who are also funding your organisation. Then you’re not investing a great deal of energy into companies that don’t – and may never – support you financially.

The person holding this purse is usually called manager/director of: human resources; people & culture; talent or recruitment. Once you see the word ‘people’ you’ll know why they want to partner with a non-profit; to motivate their employees, increase pride, expand skills, build resilient teams and leaders, reduce turnover (churn) and attract Gen Z employees (for whom this is a critical element in job satisfaction).

Any partnership funded by this purse will want these types of outcomes, so that should be your focus and this should be the essence of your language.

Good Energy

A brilliant example of this purse in action is Origin Energy.  The Foundation’s employee engagement programs are led by Ruth Lee, Manager of Give2 & Give Time. Her LinkedIn profile reflects her broader experience, so persistence is necessary when seeking the right purse-holder! The Origin Energy Foundation facilitates opportunities for Origin’s workers to engage with communities in need. This is aligned with the Foundation’s broader philanthropic focus on education and grant-giving, providing funding to Australian non-profits that use education, training and development to help young people succeed. Staff volunteering is part of Origin Energy’s DNA; they have one of the highest levels of uptake (42%), plus they’ve also won awards for their outstanding community contribution and life-changing education programs. In addition to contributing $32M over the past decade, they’ve assisted over 62,000 disadvantaged school students and contributed over 63,000 volunteering hours.

Under Origin Energy Foundation’s philanthropic commitment to equality in education, staff have run workshops with thousands of female students, to get more women in STEM[1].  Students have assembled solar powered lights and prosthetic hands for amputee victims in developing countries. Utilising their multi-cultural workforce, they’ve translated numerous documents into over 10 languages for migrants, plus made vital connection calls to hundreds of isolated people during COVID.

Staff volunteering at Origin Energy is vibrant, flexible and open-hearted, devising creative solutions and opportunities for multiple causes. And it’s paid off. Recent staff surveys indicate the Give2 & Give Time program has increased pride (over 80%) and workforce retention.

Download this infographic that provides details for each of the 4 purses and keep an eye out for upcoming blogs unpacking the remaining 3 purses.


Hailey Cavill-Jaspers

[1] science, technology, engineering and mathematics 


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