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Foundation promotes NFP sector

IN the battle to attract high-calibre staff, one not-for-profit player has taken an innovative approach to executive recruitment by offering to fund a post-graduate student in return for their time and knowledge.The Paraplegic Benefit Fund (PBF) Australia, in conjunction with the UWA Graduate School of Management, has formed a foundation for just this purpose, believing it might help attract talented individuals to the sector.The foundation offers those completing part-time post-graduate study an opportunity to work at PBF Australia for 20 hours a week over the duration of their degree (12 to 18 months).In return, the recipient receives a salary of $20,000 and payment of their fees. PBF Australia managing director Jon Morris said the main motivation behind the idea was to attract people into the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.“Historically NFPs don’t have the resources to pay for good quality people,” he said. ”They don’t promote the sector well enough.” Mr Morris said the foundation would enable those appointed to gain experience in an organisation they may not have previously thought of Appr-oaching. He said he contacted the UWA GSM with the idea following a workshop where attendants were discussing the problems of promoting the not-for-profit sector.“UWA GSM was falling over itself to assist me and thought it was a brilliant initiative,” he said. “They helped me advertise internally for the position and we had a number of real quality applicants.” Mr Morris said WA was the test case, however he did not rule out setting up similar foundations in other states where PBF Australia operate. GSM MBA student Maree Quinlan is the first recipient to be appointed to a 12-month position.“Primarily this is a good value proposition for me,” she said. “I thought it was a very good idea and an excellent example of innovative thinking.” Ms Quinlan said she would never have considered a NFP sector position in the past. “I didn’t think business thinking was applicable [to this sector] but it most certainly is,” she said. “It’s been a real eye opener for me. You do need to apply as much strategic and innovative thinking in this business as you do in any other.” PBF Australia has more than 50,000 members who receive a member benefit of $100,000 at the time of a spinal injury accident should it result in paraplegia or quadriplegia.The charity’s membership base ranges from individuals and families through to the mining industry, local governments, sporting clubs and a number of small to medium sized businesses.

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