Media Release

Our Community becomes a B Corp

February 2, 2015

One of Australia's oldest and most successful social enterprises has become a certified B Corporation.

Our Community received confirmation of its certification in December 2014, becoming one of the highest rated B Corporations in Australia.

B Corporations are organisations that seek to redefine success in business by blending financial and social imperatives. Certified B Corps meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Our Community founder and group managing director Denis Moriarty said he was proud that the organisation, which was formed in the first days of the social enterprise movement in Australia, was now one of the country's highest-rated B Corps.

Our Community scored 113 points in the B Labs assessment, 16 points above the average for B Corps worldwide and 62 above ordinary businesses. The performance standards measure a company's impact on all its stakeholders - workers, suppliers, community and the environment.

"When we were formed back in 2000 it was unusual for an organisation to have both social and profit motives - none of the existing structures seemed to fit," Denis said.

"But then the fabulous B Corp movement came along and finally we had a match."

Our Community leads Australia in providing a model for socially minded businesses. The organisation operates under a cross-subsidisation model, aiming to reach as many organisations as possible at a price that is as affordable as possible.

Paid products and services (newsletters, books, training, SmartyGrants subscriptions, jobs listings) subsidise free or reduced-cost ones (the commission-free GiveNow online donations service, the free Policy Bank and the free Board Matching Service, for example) that may otherwise be unaffordable to the organisations that are doing the most to build stronger communities.

"We do some things for profit, and some things for purpose, but most things fit with both aims. Everything we do must fit with our mission - to build stronger communities," Denis said.

Lead investor, founding and continuing chair and noted Australian businesswoman and social investor Carol Schwartz said she was proud to be associated with such a ground-breaking organisation.

"As the world moves faster and becomes more complex, I continue to be as inspired and energised as I ever was by the mission and vision of Our Community. I have no doubt it is - and will continue to be - one of the nation's great social contributors," she said.

The Our Community Group includes seven enterprises:

  • OurCommunity.com.au - Australia's Centre for Excellence for the nation's 600,000 not-for-profits and schools: where not-for-profits go for help
  • Institute of Community Directors Australia - the best practice governance network for the members of Australian not-for-profit boards, committees and councils, and the senior staff who work alongside them
  • FundingCentre.com.au - the best place to go to get information on grants and fundraising in Australia
  • GiveNow.com.au - commission-free online donations for not-for-profits, and philanthropy education and tools for businesses, families and individuals
  • Australian Institute of Grants Management - information, inspiration and education for government, philanthropic and corporate grantmakers, including Australia's most-used online grants management solution, SmartyGrants
  • Australian Institute for Corporate Responsibility - creating and facilitating authentic connections between enlightened businesses and their communities
  • The Innovation Lab - the engine room for seeding ideas to drive social change by doing old things better or new things first

Key achievements of the organisation over the past 15 years include:

  • Australia's first social investment: seven social investors, $1.5 million invested in 2000
  • 80,000 members
  • More than 120,000 not-for-profit staff and volunteers educated through Our Community training
  • Australia's first diploma-level course for not-for-profit directors
  • 2600 not-for-profit board connections made
  • 6000 pages of free capacity-building web content created
  • 80,000 pages of capacity-building newsletters created and distributed
  • 50 books published
  • 44 thought-leadership conferences held, including Australia's biggest community conference: Communities in Control
  • More than 50 template policies created, resulting in around $1 million in savings for not-for-profits
  • Catalyst of a revolution in banking and legal support for not-for-profits
  • Winner of many awards, including a Cool Company Social Capitalist Award, a Rotary Community Leadership Award and an Australian Marketing Institute Award for Marketing excellence
  • More than $47 million in commission-free donations collected for not-for-profit organisations through GiveNow.com.au
  • Inventor of SmartyGrants, Australia's most-used grantmaking software (now going worldwide) - more than 230,000 grant applications processed

More information:

Comment:

Denis Moriarty: 0417 184 744 | denism@ourcommunity.com.au

Kathy Richardson: 0439 397 781 | kathyr@ourcommunity.com.au