17/04/2007 - 22:00

Not for profit: Double act worth admission

17/04/2007 - 22:00


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Many businesses recognise the importance of being involved in the local community, creating a sense of good corporate citizenship and fostering brand awareness.

Not for profit: Double act worth admission

Many businesses recognise the importance of being involved in the local community, creating a sense of good corporate citizenship and fostering brand awareness.


In some cases this involves a partnership with a not-for-profit group, which can bring added benefits for the parties involved.


For Clarity Communications managing director Anthony Hasluck, location was an important factor in establishing a partnership with fellow Subiaco-based group, Barking Gecko Theatre Company.


The two organisations recently signed a three-year partnership deal, whereby Clarity will provide a range of creative services, including PR and internet services, to Barking Gecko on a pro-bono basis, in return for staff development and theatre training.


Mr Hasluck said his business had been looking to assist an arts organisation and Barking Gecko was a good fit due to its size and location.


“We wanted a partnership where people left us to work in our partner’s office, as it’s more practical,” he said.


Barking Gecko artistic director Jeremy Rice agreed that working with a local business was useful.


“For Barking Gecko, being in the theatre business and working with young people, geographical identification is really important,” he told WA Business News.


“People have associated Barking Gecko with the Subiaco area for a long time. We were out of our site for 12 months and it hurt us in terms of our audiences.”


Mr Rice said taking advantage of a sense of community was important for maintaining Barking Gecko’s support and profile within the area, as most of the company’s long-term clients lived in the region.


“We’re pleased to be able to partner Subiaco businesses, as a large part of our core audiences are local,” he said.


Mr Hasluck said a number of Clarity’s staff members also had young families, providing another dimension to the relationship.


“A lot of our workforce is aged between 25 and 35 and I felt that, down the track, it would be of relevance to everyone,” he said. 


Under the agreement, Clarity staff will spend one day per week with Barking Gecko, participating in activities such as script development and costume design, which Mr Hasluck said would help develop skills.


“To have a graphic designer going out and working in a different creative environment, say script development, gives extra skills and helps the creative process,” he said.


Another partnership to have capitalised on local connections is Midland Brick’s ongoing collaboration with the Hills Community Support Group.


For about five years, Midland Brick has provided the use of one of its buildings for the not-for-profit group’s administrative headquarters, which the HCSG conservatively estimates saves about $50,000 annually in rent.


Midland Brick has also supplied traineeships and work experience for disadvantaged youth through HCSG, resulting in paid work for some participants.


The partnership has won two prime minister’s awards for excellence in community business partnerships since its establishment in 1999.


Midland Brick divisional manager Tom Fowler said the organisation felt it was important to engage with local service providers.


“We thought it would be better to be involved in the local community rather than national things. Midland isn’t an area where people have a lot of support,” he said.


Mr Fowler said it was important to contribute to the local area because of the company’s physical presence there.


“A lot of Midland Brick staff also live within a reasonably close radius,” he said.


HCSG organisational development manager Lee Roberts said it was often difficult for smaller not-for-profit groups to attract funding, but local businesses were a good source of support.


“As an organisation, there’s a sense that we’re not really big enough for the larger companies. I think they tend to go for services that are statewide,” she said. “It’s important to us that a local company wants to contribute to the local area.”



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