Creating sustainable funding streams for charities..
NextGen Energy, as part of the NextGen group of companies, operates as a social enterprise company – in business for social good – a new kind of hybrid entity that is relatively new to NZ but well developed overseas.
We recognise that often the pursuit of social good is seen as the domain of charities, so what is the difference between the two types of organisation?
Firstly, what’s the same?
- Charities and social enterprises both exist to fulfil a social mission.
- Charities and social enterprises both reinvest the majority of their profits (charities often describe these as surpluses) in doing social good.
So then what’s different?
- Charities traditionally aim to fund their social mission through grants and donations.
- Social enterprises aim to fund their social mission through trading activities – selling products and services to customers.
So at NextGen Energy, we have decided to donate all of our trading profits to schools and local charities for the benefit of society as a whole, thereby creating a new revenue stream that is not subject to contestable funding applications.
NextGen also intends to advocate for governmental review of public service purchasing, to create a new culture of business for social value.
In January 2013 the UK’s Public Services (Social Value) Act came into effect. It means that all public bodies in England, including local authorities, are required to consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area.
At NextGen, we seek to promote the same values in principle in New Zealand – our strong sustainability ethic is to seek to create and add value in all aspects of our business activities; for our clients, our people, the communities in which we operate and for the long-term good of NZ Inc.
Engagement between Business and Community Organisations
Businesses who took part in a major NZ research project (in 2012) reported that they support charitable organisations because it improves staff morale, customer relationships and their communities.
In turn, charities who enjoy strong relationships with business partners can often benefit from access to advice and support and other advantages that help them to carry out their charitable work.
The Report on Engagement between Business and Community Organisations was commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs – Charities Services, and Creative New Zealand, and provides recommendations and resources helpful for both community and business organisations.
(reprinted from CommunityNet Aotearoa)