Facilitating corporate support

THE Western Australian Community Foundation (WACF) is relatively new to Perth but is already making waves by facilitating corporate donations to WA communities. WACF joins 25 other active foundations across Australia and 1,200 around the world that provide the opportunity for individuals, communities and businesses to make donations or establish permanently endowed funds known as donation accounts through the foundations. WACF project manager Natalie Jenkins said the foundation was a facilitator in helping communities to “future proof” themselves by taking ownership of and managing their needs. “Corporate support is increasing because of a greater awareness of social responsibility and a change in culture,” she said. As part of WACF’s commitment to promoting philanthropic community business partnerships, the foundation last week co-presented seminars to business and not-for-profit sectors with David Grayson, the director of Business in the Community UK and chairman of the UK Small Business Consortium. Mr Grayson said it was possible for small and large businesses to minimise negative social and environmental impacts and maximise positive impacts on their communities while building their business. He said company directors should guide with a values-based leadership and genuinely integrate socially responsible practices. “There must be engaged leadership in order for a business to be social responsible,” he said. Richard Campbell, director of Morley-based CMS events, last year approached WACF to set up a donation account with 1 per cent of the company’s annual turnover for the benefit of local communities. “It’s not the amount of money but the fact you can contribute that matters,” he told WA Business News. On top of his donations to the foundation, Mr Campbell plans to launch a progress association in the Belmont and Bayswater areas this year, driven by his strong connection to the region. Companies at the big end of town are also adopting a greater social conscience by helping communities to help themselves. International oil giant BHP Billiton announced late last year it would be donating 1 per cent of its pre-tax profits to community causes, representing a significant boost to regional and remote communities in particular. WACF, which was a recipient of some of that funding, plans to continue working with communities across the state to help them establish partnerships, facilitate the building of community spirit, find sources of funding and build a capital base where interest can grow and serve communities for years to come.

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