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Business on Boards

Here you can find out how your business can contribute more to your community by helping to build better boards.

Volunteering is one of the most well-known, widespread and popular ways that businesses have found to form relationships with their communities. Volunteerism is relatively easy to organise and has some obvious benefits for both parties. But as many community groups are discovering, some forms of volunteerism are more useful than others.

One of the most meaningful and innovative ways your business can engage with your community is by encouraging your staff to join a community group board or committee of management.

Every community group has a governance structure of some sort – and most of these are in desperate need of new members. Small community groups in particular are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain members to revitalise their boards, add new skills and ensure they meet the demands for greater efficiency and accountability.

Businesses have a huge amount to offer in helping these groups to meet their obligations and strengthen their governance structures. Indeed, Our Community believes that every community group board or committee of management should strive to fill a third of its seats with members from the local business community (while ensuring they continue to retain control of their own destinies by drawing the remaining two-thirds of board members from traditional stakeholder communities).

Volunteering for a board or committee of management can be harder than other forms of volunteerism and requires much more than just a token contribution; but it can a have real, long-lasting impact on the long-term health and future of a community group.

What your business has to offer

Your staff members can bring to a community group board or committee of management:

What your business stands to gain

Your business stands to benefit in a range of ways, including:

In addition, your staff members will gain a range of benefits that may be of enormous use in their current and future work and social lives, including:

What do we do now?

Step one: Find a group

Encourage your staff to find out what community groups might be in need of their skills. There are a range of places they can search:

Step two: Do it properly

Remember that joining a board or committee of management requires a long-term commitment. Signing up and then not following through – not attending meetings or turning up to meetings unprepared, for example – will do no good at all for a community group; in fact, it is likely to harm it.

It is also vitally important that your staff members do not see your "Business on Board" project as an opportunity for you to gain community kudos by adding to their workload.

You can demonstrate your company's commitment to the project, and help staff follow through on theirs, by providing real support for their community group governance role. This might come in the form of:

Our Community Pty Ltd   www.ourcommunity.com.au   ABN 24 094 608 705
National Headquarters: 51 Stanley St, West Melbourne Victoria 3003 Australia
(PO Box 354 North Melbourne 3051 Victoria)
Telephone (03) 9320 6800   Email service@ourcommunity.com.au