Philanthropy Article


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Philanthropy Article

  1. 1. Career Moves inPhilanthroPy Judy Friedlander looks at the new ‘spiral’ career and how more corporates are committing to socially meaningful work Special Briefing Commissioned by:Dealers’ Group is a membership and knowledge network offering content, community and collaboration forprivate client and family wealth advisers. For more info visit 3 Pillars Netwok is an independent membership and knowledge network for sustainability in Australia,aspiring to set the agenda for sustainability issues including food security, climate adaptation and resilience,behavioural change for sustainability and social impact investment and measurement. For more info
  2. 2. When I grow up, I want to be a philanthropist.” His mother replied, “Why Johny, that’s wonderful.” “Yeah,” Johny responded, “they all seem to have a lot of money.” “We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” – anoncareer moves in philanthropy 2
  3. 3. T he naming of investment banker, philanthropic powerhouse and record-breaking yachtsman Simon McKeon as Australian of the Year 2011 zeroes in on the zeitgeist of high-level engaged philanthropy that is manifesting itself around the country.The recent high-profile transfers of corporate bosses into not-for-profits, a sector whichrepresents 8.6 pc of Australians in employment and contributes $34 billion, or 3.4 percent, to GDP is a definite trend noted by media, recruitment specialists and the big endof town.“We see philanthropists become more engaged with what’s happening and reallyexpecting a greater deal of transparency,” says Andrew Thomas, head of Perpetual’s Phil-anthropic Services. “It’s not just about their cheques – it’s about their contacts, theirinfluence and networks to provide a greater outcome.”Says Michael Traill, chief executive of independent non-profit organisation Social VenturesAustralia (SVA): “We are getting a lot of people wanting to have the conversation aboutmoving to not-for-profits. More people are finding ways to engage in this sector – not justby leaving their corporate positions, but also by working within their organisations.“There is not a lot of hard data on this but observations and conversations seem to backup this trend.” These leaders can’t be precious because there won’t be the best coffee machine in the kitchen, but they have the opportunity to lead and drive significant change for results for which many others are handed a significant pay packet.”Traill joined SVA as founding CEO in 2002 after 15 years as a co-founder and ExecutiveDirector of Macquarie Group’s private equity arm, Macquarie Direct Investment.He believes there is movement at both ends of the not-for-profit sector: “More youngpeople are using their skills in the sector and at the other end, there are those who havedone well financially who are looking at different ways to give.”He cites Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest as a high-profile example of very successful business-people who are plowing their energies into the not-for-profit world.Forrest announced this year that he would be handing over the reins of his FortescueMetals Group to focus on his philanthropic endeavours, aiming to bridge the gap betweenindigenous and non-indigenous Australians.Profiler Recruitment Director Lynne Payne, who introduced NAB’s Glenn King to Save theChildren Australia, said the news that King had decided to leave his high profile job asHead of NAB’s Small Business Division to “give back to the community” by working in thenot-for-profit sector was significant.“And, only two months ago, Caltex Senior Executive Helen Conway attracted news head-lines when she resigned as Company Secretary and took a reportedly massive pay cut tobe the Director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA),”says moves in philanthropy 3
  4. 4. Payne, who works with Senior Executives to build their careers across both corporate andthe not-for-profit sectors, said more business leaders were contacting her for help to landsenior jobs with not-for-profits (NFPs). “They have to do it for the right reasons,” she said.“These leaders need to be culturally aligned with the organisation and willing to roll theirsleeves up. They can’t be precious because there won’t be the best coffee machine in thekitchen, but they have the opportunity to lead and drive significant change for results forwhich many others are handed a significant pay packet.”Says Ethical Jobs founder Michael Cebon: “We’ve definitely observed an increase in inter-est from people in the private sector who are wanting to move into the non-profit world.”The company’s 2009 survey of more than 60 Australian NFPs found that the majority ofjob applicants to non-profit organisations were willing to take a significant pay cut up to20 per cent to secure jobs they saw as ethical.Simon McKeon, quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month, said that chari-ties need to adapt. “We have more than 600,000 charities in this country… We need peo-ple from business to come into the sector and assist in consolidating, putting some out oftheir misery, and merging them with others so the whole sector becomes more effective.”In 1994 McKeon transitioned into a part-time role as Executive Chairman of MacquarieGroup’s Melbourne office, enabling him to support a range of causes and organisations,including joining the board of World Vision Australia. McKeon is currently Chairman of theCSIRO and Business for Millennium Development, which encourages business to engagewith the developing world. Personally challenging and socially meaningful”: Motivations for third sector career choice.So why are corporates attracted to NFPs? The assumption that they are there by default,have experienced a “post-GFC career crisis” or are motivated by the ideal of selflessservice rather than personal achievement, could be argued to derive from a limited con-cept of work as a linear progression desired by those who value prestige, managementskills, high income, power and achievement.Research into motivations of those who embrace the third sector, however, find that it isa much more complex and richer approach. Academically, the mindset is termed a “spiralcareer model” where a preference for work that is both personally challenging and sociallymeaningful is demonstrated.In fact, as Jenny Onyx, from the School of Management at the University of Technology,Sydney, and Madi Maclean, community services consultant, state: “The concept of careeris often seen as problematic for people working in the non-profit sector.”Their mid 1990s survey of third-sector employees in New South Wales, and alignedresearch found that there appears to be three kinds of reasons and influences behind jobselection in this sector.The first and strongest reason reported by 78 pc overall concerned some form of personalcommitment to the work itself, in particular, a commitment to social change. Thesecond reason, reported by roughly a third of respondents, was the pragmatic reason ofconvenience. The third reason, reported by at least a quarter of all respondents, was theirearlier life experiences, either as volunteers or as service users.Those in more senior positions were more likely to give the reasons of religious commit-ment, philosophical or political commitment and commitment to social moves in philanthropy 4
  5. 5. “Prestige, salary and secure tenure were very low priorities when it came to applying fora particular position,” Onyx and Maclean state. “Over one-third of the respondents hadaccepted a salary drop at some stage.”The dominant motivation, both for entering the community sector and for seeking particu-lar jobs, related to strong values. However, respondents also placed a high premium onpersonal development. “The emphasis on personal development appears to be the otherside of the social values coin. The two go together,” Onyx and Maclean write.Michael Traill says that from his observations, the motivations for transferring into thethird sector tend to fall into two categories: evolutionary and revolutionary.“Revolutionary factors relate to an event or tangible experience, for example, the sellingof a business and coming into money or an issue or trauma that revealed the dark side ofhuman nature. I have seen people who experienced a financial services collapse whichended badly and found it as a catalyst for a more positive move in life. Others have longer-term experience with the not-for-profit sector and wish to spend more time doing this.”Steve Hawkins, Executive of The Benevolent Society’s Social Initiatives, believes that theGFC did cause a certain amount of reflection and motivation for moving into the thirdsector “but it was more a catalyst for something people wanted to do anyway rather thansomething that changed people’s view on the world”.Hawkins’ segue into the third sector from managing director and joint head of UBS’sAustralian Capital Markets business was sparked by his own personal involvement in thephilanthropic sphere.“I had always intended to have a second career outside investment banking but alwaysimagined this would be in education. However, we set up a family foundation in 2005and I got more involved in the philanthropic space. In my sabbatical in 2009 I did somevolunteering in the homelessness space and realised just because Australia is a relativelyrich country didn’t mean that the Government could solve all our social issues alone.”Ian Learmonth, who recently joined SVA to lead the Social Finance initiative, was formerlyan Executive Director of Macquarie Bank for 12 years. He says SVA has allowed him to“connect his head and heart”.“I didn’t have a particular epiphany to move into this field, rather it was a desire to takemy skills and make a broader social contribution,” says Learmonth.“I had already worked for 20 years in the corporate sector – I asked myself: ‘Did I want tomake it 35?’.”A major appeal for Learmonth is the challenge of developing the Social Finance area whichis increasingly being recognised as a new paradigm for philanthropy.Contributions and new paradigmsSocial finance is playing an increasingly important role in British philanthropy. Learmonthcites the example of UK Social Impact Bonds which raised 5 million pounds to place youngoffenders into social juvenile justice rehabilitation programs. Repayment to investors iscontingent upon specified social outcomes being achieved. Reoffending among the targetgroup must fall by at least 7.5pc to trigger the dividend payments in each of the six yearsof the bond’s operation.Social Impact Bonds have also generated interest in the United States. In February 2010,President Barack Obama’s proposed 2012 budget stated that up to $100m would be freedup to run Social Impact Bond pilot moves in philanthropy 5
  6. 6. SVA’s foray into Social Finance which aims to achieve a social purpose outcome andfinancial return began through its role in the GoodStart Childcare transaction. The Good-Start Childcare Ltd syndicate comprises Social Ventures Australia, Mission Australia,Benevolent Society and Brotherhood of St Laurence and in December 2009 it won the bidto take over 650 ABC Learning centres from receivers.The transaction was undertaken with the assistance of a $15 million medium-term loanfrom the Australian Government, along with debt financing from the NAB and additionalsupport from a range of private investors who have provided “social capital”.Operating as a non-profit organisation itself, GoodStart Childcare ensures all surplusfunds are reinvested to improve early childhood learning and care at the childcare centresGoodStart Childcare will manage.“We are trying to take the investment community away from the purely donation model toa middle ground approach where there is a combination of financial and social return. Anytrade-offs in financial return are offset by a degree of social impact,” says Learmonth whohopes his financial background and experience in carbon direct investment and renew-able energies can assist in the task of shifting the social investment mindset.NSW is also trialing Social Impact Bonds and has appointed the Centre for Social Impact,based at the University of NSW, to formally advise on the program.Michael Traill believes that three concepts are fundamental to social investing today –the need to create smart ways to attract finance and mix the private and public sectors,the need to draw the best talent across all the sectors and the ability to provide a clearevidence base of success for investors. We are trying to take the investment community away from the purely donation model to a middle ground approach where there is a combination of financial and social return.”The issue of measuring results in the social context has been a subject of discussion incurrent issues papers prepared for forthcoming Senate enquiries into the not-for-profitsector.The Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework that has been developed by the Mea-suring Social Value consortium in the UK has been devised to understand, measure andmanage the outcomes of an organisation’s activities. The SROI places a monetary valueon outcomes so that they can be added up and compared with the investment made.A number of executives now working in the not-for-profit sector are hopeful they can usetheir networks to advocate for and fund new initiatives.“I think a lot of people genuinely want to help their fellow human being,” says SteveHawkins. “My own personal view is that my business relationships are much better –people who I barely knew in my former life now go out of their way to try to support whatwe are trying to do.“I would say the issues we face are at least as challenging as anything I dealt with inbanking. In Social Initiatives at The Benevolent Society we focus on projects that are eitherprivate sector funded or are innovations or pilot projects. These include our Apartmentsfor Life project in Bondi, our investment in Goodstart and our Growing CommunitiesTogether program in Bankstown, Sydney.”career moves in philanthropy 6
  7. 7. Ex-Citigroup banker, Kylie Charlton, who was Vice President in the Project and Structured Finance Group with 11 years experience in commercial and investment banking in Sydney and New York, now wears a number of hats in the third sector. As Social Investment Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact she is actively involved in look- ing at the development of a system of social finance in Australia. Charlton is also a Managing Director and founding team member of Unitus Capital, a financial advisory firm specialising in arranging capital for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses benefiting those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. As a “postcode privileged white girl”, Charlton says her travels to countries such as Zimbabwe, India, Nepal, Samoa, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia have served to motivate her to use her financial skills to help bridge the divide. learning from the third sector Charlton says she would like to see more people with “mainstream” professional expe- rience crossing over to build careers in the third sector, stressing the need for respect between long-term third sector professionals and those shifting sectors for both skill sets are needed in designing and executing solutions for unmet social needs. “Not-for-profits need expertise like any other business; operations, legal, human resourc- es, financial and accounting expertise are all important. However, there needs to be an understanding that social business models adopt blended values – financial, social and environmental.” “Social businesses are not just providing a widget but a service or product which can change social and environmental outcomes for people and place,” says Charlton. “They are not just faceless business models.” “During the toughest times, I sometimes wondered if this was the worst idea I’d ever had,” says Audette Exel, a structured finance and banking lawyer and founder of the ISIS Group, a set of businesses set up to fund and support The ISIS Foundation.about the author Exel was a recent recipient of a Social Enterprise Network award, bestowed yearly upon YPO-WPO organisations, and was asked by the network to share her challenges and suc-Judy Friedlander is a post-graduate researcher at the cesses.Institute for SustainableFutures at the University of As reported in Real Leaders magazine, Exel’s misgivings were proven unwarranted – theTechnology, Sydney. ISIS businesses are now in their 13th year and have provided millions in recurrent fundingFocusing on organisational to the Foundation, which provides service to around 11,000 people in extreme povertymedia strategies & campaigns in Uganda and Nepal a year, and provided direct and indirect support since inception toin the sustainable arena, she around 100,000 people in need.draws upon her background asnewspaper editor and feature The Bermuda and Australian-based venture was started by Exel and friends in 1997writer with The Australian, The who saw the potential in bringing business and non-profit teams together. After initialSun-Herald and The SydneyMorning Herald and Channel suspicions from business colleagues that the business was purely being set up for taxNine television producer and reasons, as well as skepticism from non-profit organisations who didn’t believe anyoneresearcher. would run a business purely for social outcomes and so viewed her business model asJudy has also been awarded having a hidden agenda, Exel proved that by utilising the unique strengths of each, mucha post-graduate degree in good could be achieved.Interactive Multi-Media fromThe University of Technology, “Real leadership is inspiring others to come with you on your vision,” says Exel. “I believeSydney. that finding ways for people on extremes to work together for a common good is the way of the future for our planet.”  career moves in philanthropy 7