Glossary of Community Business Partnership Terms

Glossary of Terms:

Best Fit: Of all the potential community groups with which a business could partner, finding the best fit is about identifying the most mutually-beneficial relationship, which will usually involve complementary organisational functions and/or goals and/or values.

Business as Collection Point: A business collects goods or money for its partner community group either on site or virtually, when a portion of sales is donated to the group.

Capacity Building: Building capacity within the community sector is increasing the ability and willingness of community members to initiate projects, programmes and business, to organise ventures and keep them running, and to identify and respond to their own problems and needs. Partnerships that focus on skills and knowledge sharing, work experience, volunteering programs and mentoring are particularly beneficial.

Collaborative Action: Cross-sector partnerships between two or more organisations, enabling small businesses to participate by pooling resources.

Community Business Partnership: (Also, Partnership) Mutually beneficial working relationships between businesses and organisations in the community sector.

Community Involvement Programs: Include initiatives such as volunteering, fundraising, serving on boards of governance and advocating on behalf of community groups and their causes.

Corporate Governance: Corporate management processes, including the examination of social and environmental responsibilities, transparency, and accountability to shareholders, stakeholders and the wider community.

Corporate Responsibility (CR): (Also, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Corporate Citizenship, and Sustainability) An umbrella term for the variety of ways in which businesses take responsibility for their direct and indirect impacts on the environment, their workforce and the wider community. See related help sheet for further info.

Employer of Choice: An organisation for which current and prospective employees are keen to work because of its ability to engender loyalty, satisfaction and happiness. This may be the result of flexible work practices, commitment to the environment or the community, or a pro-active approach to accommodating people with disabilities or progressing women through the organisation.

In-kind Donations: The donation of goods, services or resources instead of money.

Mentoring: A partnership model where a mentor serves as a role model, counsellor or teacher to a less experienced individual. The mentor can provide opportunities for professional development, growth and support in career planning and management. A one-to-one relationship providing consistent support, guidance and practical help, with impartial and non-judgemental advice and support. The mentor and protégé work together to achieve agreed goals.

Partnership Model:The structure around which partners base their relationship. Models include volunteerism, in-kind donations, skills and knowledge sharing, pro-bono or discounted work, using business as a collection point, cash donations and secondment. Comprehensive partnerships combine a number of these models.

Pro bono: (Or pro bono publico): Literally, "for the public good." Most often applied to the legal and accounting professions, a business or professional provides services or expertise for free. The work is done for the public good, without compensation.

Secondment: Employees are temporarily allocated new responsibilities. Within a community business partnership, these new duties require the seconded staff member to work with the partner community organisation, using their skills and knowledge for the benefit of the community group. Employees resume their former duties at the end of the secondment, the aim being that they are enriched with new knowledge and experience.

Skilled Volunteering:The giving of a person's time and professional skills to provide a community group with expertise in an area such as accounting or marketing. As opposed to general volunteering, such as envelope-stuffing, which calls on a person's time but not their professional capability.

Sponsorship:An arrangement where one partner agrees to provide benefits to the other in return for the completion of certain actions. For example, a business could agree to give a sporting club $5000 in goods, equipment or cash if the business's logo was displayed on club uniforms.

Triple Bottom Line: An expanded baseline for measuring performance, adding social and environmental dimensions to the traditional monetary yardstick. Reporting on the financial, social and environmental impacts of a company.

Volunteering: (Also, Volunteerism) The giving of a person's time and effort - as well as skills - to advance the aims of a community business partnership, from individual employee to whole-of-business volunteering.