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Building Leaders & Nonprofits: Where Business Can Help

With funds scarce, how can organizations best help nonprofit partners build capacity -- and leaders?

Submitted by: James Temple

Posted: Jan 23, 2012 – 01:33 PM EST

Tags: csr, nonprofit, professional development, leadership, pwc


By James Temple

In the fall of 2010, PricewaterhouseCoopers hosted a series of roundtables to bring together representatives from not-for-profit organizations, public and private companies, foundations and major corporations. This report titled, Capacity Building – Investing in not-for-profit effectiveness, aimed to raise corporate sector awareness and understanding of the capacity challenges faced by not-for-profit organizations and the sector.

What came out of the roundtables was a step-by-step communications process solution to help increase a not-for-profit’s ability to deliver help to their community. However, these communications also impact how we can best provide professional development resources to charities.

For example:

  • Implementing cross-sector professional development and human resources management strategies
  • Corporations sharing their networks and communications expertise
  • Encouraging corporations to supply resources to enable not-for-profits to reflect, take risks and test new innovations.

The report also highlighted how funders can initiate the first step to elevate organizational effectiveness through tactics such as investing in professional development opportunities.

PwC Foundation's Leadership Grants Program

PwC Foundation’s Leadership Grants Program is one example of how funders can help not-for-profits achieve organizational effectiveness. At the core of the program is increasing the number of learning and development opportunities available for countless dedicated employees and volunteers working in the charitable sector. This past year, for example, the Foundation Leadership Grants Program awarded a combined $200,000 to nearly 50 small Canadian charities.

Disconnect: Building Nonprofits' Core Competencies

However, funds remain scarce and this gap is something companies and funders must address. Traditionally, the sector has steered away from providing support for core operational activities. But the reality is that learning and development play a critical role in the ongoing success of a charity’s overall mission.

Funders and initiatives like the Foundation Leadership Grants Program can narrow this gap by providing the right balance of education and resources to empower people and investing in the long term sustainability of the giving community.

At PwC, we worked alongside our charitable partners to develop the Leadership Grants Program.

Leadership & Development: Learning in Collaboration

As a result, we reached an effective balance between the firm’s philosophy for helping people strengthen their professional skills and recognizing the larger needs of charities. With positive leadership and success stories continually stemming from these opportunities, companies can be motivated to think strategically about the ways they can leverage their combined skills, experiences and resources to help find shared value within the not-for-profit industry.

Since the program launched in 2006, our Program has awarded more than $1,000,000 to over 400 recipients and developed new relationships of how funding educational experiences can be the critical initial step in the continuum of opportunity.

Readers: What is your company doing to leverage relationships with nonprofit partners to train and develop your internal stakeholders?


2011 PwC Canada Foundation Leadership Grants Program winners

The complete report: Capacity Building: Investing in not-for-profit effectiveness

Canadian Charity Leaders Lead The Industry With Professional Development Opportunities

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by CSRwire contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of CSRwire.

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