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Collaboration for Community Change: how to make it happen

posted by Janita Suter, 12 Jun 2017

It’s now broadly accepted across the NGO, government, philanthropy and business sectors, that complex social issues can’t be tackled effectively by single organisations or individuals. Experience has shown we need to work together, across sectors and with communities, to create broad and lasting social change. The good news is that more and more of us …read more

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Why Neutrality Matters for Collective Impact Backbones

posted by Janita Suter, 10 May 2017

As using a Collective Impact approach to address complex social issues gains momentum in Australia, and around the globe, there’s been much discussion over the role of the ‘backbone’ and whether neutrality should be a prerequisite. In essence, the role of a backbone organisation is to facilitate collaboration among diverse stakeholders, rather than deliver traditional …read more

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A community-centred approach is not business as usual – are we ready?

posted by Leigh Stewart, 20 Apr 2017

Deeply listening and understanding. Doing with, not for. Enabling communities to create their own change. That’s what ‘good’ community development is meant to be about. Yet when it does happen, there’s no linkage to inform social policy, planning and service delivery – the very systems that can scale social change in Australia are often deeply …read more

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Why impact-led thinking should be part of every NFP’s DNA

posted by Leigh Stewart, 23 Mar 2017

A successful business requires a solid business plan, a watchful eye on the bottom line and radar for opportunities. In the non-profit sector, social change is our currency – but how do we measure up when it comes to tracking performance? To date, many social purpose organisations have measured success on meeting specific project goals …read more

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United Way Australia announces new CEO

posted by Janita Suter, 10 Mar 2017

United Way Australia is pleased to welcome a new CEO, Clayton Noble. Clayton has an extensive career in the public and private sectors, beginning as an Air Force Officer before moving to executives roles with companies including Fuji Xerox, Dell, BAX Global and Coles Myer. He brings strong commercial and operational capabilities, having lead diverse …read more

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Innovation in unemployment: Are we setting ourselves up for failure?

posted by Janita Suter, 09 Feb 2017

Someone needs to say it, is what I keep hearing. We in the social purpose sector and government, look to be scrambling for ideas to address unemployment in Australia. But the answers exist already. Are we not learning? There is $96.1 million available through the government’s Try, Test and Learn Fund to ‘trial new or …read more

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How to know if Collective Impact is the right approach for you in 2017

posted by Janita Suter, 05 Feb 2017

Complexity. It underlies many social issues in Australia. It’s why community dynamics sometimes suddenly shift, funding opportunities open or close, government policy changes, and community leaders emerge. It’s behind the many twists and turns that minimise the effectiveness of traditional programs and services dealing with complex social issues. And it’s why there’s growing momentum in …read more

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Community Conversations: WHAT’S ALL THE TALK ABOUT?

posted by Leigh Stewart, 17 Jan 2017

It’s increasingly clear that ending the cycle of disadvantage in Australia needs genuine engagement from communities. But there’s no doubt really listening to aspirations and challenges through the community’s eyes, and building and maintaining the momentum to leverage community skills and solutions can be deeply challenging in postcodes with complex social needs. Here we share …read more

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Collective Impact: Insights from The Hive Mt Druitt

posted by Leigh Stewart, 01 Dec 2016

In August 2014 United Way Australia’s David Lilley began scoping a Collective Impact initiative in Mt Druitt, Western Sydney. Within the Mt Druitt postcode (2770), around one in three children still start school ‘developmentally vulnerable’, despite decades of investment and hundreds of services operating within the region. The Hive is the resulting Collective Impact initiative, …read more

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The 4 P’s driving innovation in employee engagement

posted by Leigh Stewart, 16 Nov 2016

Passionate, Personal, Purposeful Partnerships With disengaged staff costing Australian businesses $33 billion annually, the case for businesses to invest in dedicated employee engagement programs is clear.   Last week in Sydney, United Way Australia brought together industry leaders to share their thoughts on how to better support employee engagement for the good of the company, …read more

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Philanthropy is Not Future Ready, But These 4 Steps will Help Turn the Corner

posted by Janita Suter, 27 Sep 2016

Despite decades of investment, good will and effort by Australia’s philanthropic sector, it surprised few attendees of the Philanthropy Australia conference last week that philanthropy is not future ready. To really move beyond ‘tinkering around the edges’ of complex social issues in Australia, the sector must embrace the reality that we – philanthropy, communities, business, government …read more

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Business-community partnerships: re-thinking volunteering to deliver impact

posted by Janita Suter, 06 May 2016

More than ever, social purpose organisations are trying to achieve greater impact with less resources. It seems our sector’s need for volunteers to help deliver on our varied missions is set to increase, yet according to some reports volunteering rates in Australia have begun to decline (ABS 2014). The momentum towards increased business-community partnerships brings …read more

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Charles Leadbeater (Guest Blog): Reflections on innovation in early learning

posted by Janita Suter, 17 Mar 2016

Thanks for the opportunity to speak at events hosted by United Way Australia around innovation in early learning. It was interesting to be speaking the same week as the Australian Government released its latest Australian Early Development Census results, which indicated little improvement in the headline statistic over the last six years – 22% of …read more

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Ending ‘developmental vulnerability’ for children is everyone’s business, but how do we build effective collaboration to tackle this?

posted by Janita Suter, 10 Mar 2016

Last week the government released its latest Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) results, a mixed bag underneath the same headline statistic as the previous census 3 years ago – 22% of Australian children still start school ‘developmentally vulnerable’.  While there were very slight improvements in language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge, …read more

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‘Merge or shut down’: moving beyond debate towards real social change in Australia

posted by Janita Suter, 13 Nov 2015

This week’s call for charities to merge or shut down by David Crosbie, CEO of the Community Council for Australia, has come at a tipping point for our sector. The communities we serve, the staff on our programs, fundraising teams and CEOs know it is time to move beyond debate.   This need to change …read more

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Navigating End of financial year philanthropy dilemmas: a ‘how to’ guide

posted by Janita Suter, 09 Jun 2015

There are 54,367 charities currently registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (fear not if you don’t like any of the current ones though as there are 6-7 new charities registering each day). Each and every organisation is dependent upon donors like us to survive.  So how on earth do we choose which ones …read more

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Same, same, but (very) different: reflections of a long time corporate executive on shifting to the not-for-profit sector

posted by Janita Suter, 25 May 2015

Have you ever considered moving from the corporate world to the not-for-profit (NFP) sector? Does an executive role creating positive social impact appeal? For me, such a move came out of the blue. Although I had been a member of United Way Australia’s Sydney Council for five years and had performed pro bono work for …read more

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Those who Give Happy, Live Happy: National Volunteer Week

posted by Janita Suter, 12 May 2015

Volunteers are United Way Australia‘s ’extended family’, helping drive our work to halve the percentage of children starting school unprepared and halve youth unemployment. Fortunately they tell us that volunteering makes them happy too. And this is just the beginning. Businesses providing staff to volunteer with us tell us it increases their staff engagement and …read more

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How Macquarie Telecom raised payroll giving to 10 times the national average

posted by United Way, 21 Jan 2015

How Macquarie Telecom raised payroll giving to 10 times the national average Macquarie Telecom is one of United Way Australia’s longest supporters. In 2015, we celebrate the 20th year of our partnership – a wonderful achievement in a time when charitable partnerships often only last a year or two. Over the past 20 years, we have …read more

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CEOs of Fairfax and United Way share truths about organisational transformation

posted by United Way, 01 Dec 2014

By Doug Taylor, Executive Director and CEO, United Way Australia I recently spoke at a business leader’s event with Greg Hywood, CEO of Fairfax, about a CEOs view of ‘organisational transformation’, facilitated by veteran ABC journalist Peter Thompson. From the outset it was clear how similar the experiences were between Greg and I, albeit in …read more

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It’s time Not For Profits become more than just service delivery professionals

posted by United Way, 18 Nov 2014

By Doug Taylor, CEO United Way Australia. Recently I was sitting at my desk and jumped when I heard fighter jets fly over the Sydney CBD. It was not an invasion but the RAAF acknowledging the Memorial service for Gough Whitlam at Sydney Town Hall. Although I wasn’t inside the Town Hall, I did see …read more

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Critical Questions About Place Based Solutions for Disadvantaged Communities

posted by United Way, 25 Aug 2014

Let’s ask the right questions about place based solutions for disadvantaged communities This is a summarised version of a keynote speech Doug Taylor, CEO of United Way Australia, gave at a Conference in Sydney on ‘Place Based Solutions’ on Tuesday 26th August, 2014. You can access the full version via the link at right Criterion …read more

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Seven Principles of Impact Reporting

posted by United Way, 01 Jul 2014

The Community Impact Manager for United Way Australia, Jenny Riley, offers seven principles of impact reporting as she reflects on designing and writing United Way Australia’s first Community Impact Annual Report. In putting together United Way Australia’s first Annual Community Impact Report, we had a blank slate and the opportunity to apply some of the …read more

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Doubling our Investment to Help Kids Read

posted by United Way, 18 Jun 2014

Doug Taylor, CEO reflects on Doubling our Investment to Help Kids Read. Many of our generation, especially in the big capitals such as Sydney – have been able to ride the property boom to more than double their investment. Very often the latest trend or data dominates the daily news and even many a dinner conversation. Let’s …read more

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Let’s remember that a backbone has multiple parts.

posted by United Way, 24 Feb 2014

  Doug Taylor, CEO and Jenny Riley, Head of Community Impact from United Way Australia will be presenting on mobilisation at the Collective Impact Conference. Here, Jenny Riley comments on an emerging distributed backbone model.   Did you know your backbone, also known as a vertebral column, is made up of usually 24 vertebrae? However when discussed in …read more

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Towards Collective Impact

posted by United Way, 20 Feb 2014

Reflections on ‘Towards Collective Impact’ by Jenny Riley, our Community Impact Manager. Shared measurement requires us to each understand each other, after two days at the Progressing Social Outcomes Measurement I am hopeful because the discourse is getting stronger and we are getting better at asking better questions i.e.  is what we are doing making …read more

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Shared measurement – the way to get us all measuring?

posted by United Way, 11 Feb 2014

United Way is pleased to be nominated for the Impact Measurement Awards, presented by SIMNA at the ‘Progressing Social Outcomes Measurement’  conference. Jenny Riley – our Community Impact Manager – comments below on shared measurement as a way towards better outcomes.   Someone said to me the other day that measurement was just too hard, that …read more

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The “One Day” Video

posted by Geoff, 09 Feb 2014

Understanding why we focus on Read Learn Succeed.

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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library & Rotary – helping kids in Noble Park

posted by United Way, 14 Jan 2014

  Dolly Parton’s aim with the Imagination Library is simple: to improve early childhood literacy for children by giving them a free, high-quality, age-appropriate book each month from birth to age five. As a little girl, Dolly’s dream was to be a writer and singer. Her strong belief is that the seeds of dreams are …read more

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Why funders need to get out of their swimming lanes – the benefits of Collective Impact

posted by United Way, 08 Jan 2014

There’s something inherently appealing and logical about using our respective assets and capabilities to work together to achieve a common goal and it’s most evident in our community when we face a crisis or natural disaster. Somehow on those occasions the social sector is able to shift from running our own individual races in swim …read more

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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is helping to make a world of difference!

posted by United Way, 18 Nov 2013

Earlier in 2013 United Way launched its early literacy initiative, which incorporates Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – a monthly free book program for children aged 0-5 years, at risk of low-literacy!Kayla is one of 171 children living in Doveton and Eumemmering, VIC, already participating in our program. During a recent interview with a journalist from The Age in …read more

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Reading is becoming a family affair – with the help of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

posted by United Way, 18 Nov 2013

For the Hobson family, reading is becoming a family affair. Both Emma, aged 4, and Samuel, just a baby, are already benefiting from the free monthly books provided as part of the Imagination Library. Their 7 year old sister Lily, also enjoys reading their new books to them. The Hobson children are two of the 850 …read more

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Literacy rates affecting workers’ competence, with early childhood reading key

posted by United Way, 05 Nov 2013

As reported on ABC World Today, and also on 7 News website, yesterday Australian companies are reporting an alarming deterioration in levels of worker literacy and numeracy. In a survey of more than 500 employers by the Australian Industry Group, 93 per cent of respondents said their employees’ poor literacy was affecting their business and …read more

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CEO United Way Worldwide interview with Fran Kelly – ABC Radio Breakfast

posted by United Way, 16 Oct 2013

During his recent visit to Australia, Brian Gallagher, CEO United Way Worldwide, was interviewed by Fran Kelly – ABC Radio Breakfast. During this interview Brian provided some insight in to our work globally, the challenges of dealing with the social issues of today and on a ‘new way to do business’ – in particular how engaging across …read more

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Deloitte CEO champions role of business in driving significant social change

posted by United Way, 16 Oct 2013

Barry Salzberg, Global CEO of Deloitte and Chairman of United Way Worldwide, recently spoke at a United Way Australia Corporate Leader breakfast hosted by Colliers International.   Business has the opportunity to drive significant social change both through innovation and professional volunteering, Deloitte CEO Barry Salzburg said recently at the United Way Breakfast Forum. “Society …read more

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CoAPAC Community Impact Summit calls for Cross-Sectoral & Transnational Collaboration

posted by United Way, 08 Oct 2013

United Way was the proud host the 2013 Asia Pacific Corporate Community Impact Summit in Sydney recently. To open the Summit leaders from business, government and the not for profit sectors highlighted the role of cross-sectoral and transnational collaboration in advancing community development to an audience of over 100 Corporate representatives. As reported by ProBono Australia, Brian Gallagher, CEO of …read more

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Australian Corporations opportunity to be more active citizens in the Asian Century

posted by United Way, 05 Sep 2013

The Australian Government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has documented what many of our most forward thinking leaders have been writing and talking about for decades; Australia’s future is in its backyard and not far across the seas with our traditional partners of England and the United States. Business leaders have certainly led …read more

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Mobilising people to support Collective Impact

posted by United Way, 04 Sep 2013

  Doug Taylor, CEO – United Way Australia, recently presented at the 2013 Volunteering Australia National Conference. Below is an edited version of his presentation – The new frontier of volunteering- mobilising people to support Collective Impact.   My first job out of University was as a Residential Care Worker for people who had previously been homeless. It …read more

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Why doesn’t Generation X join organisations committed to public service?

posted by United Way, 14 Aug 2013

Across the world these ancient institutions are dying on the vine and we sit at home surfing the net or watching TV. Okay – perhaps that’s a little unfair – many of us are actually quite busy with both partners working long hours and loads of time spent running children to their next extra curricula …read more

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Achieving impact by collaboration

posted by United Way, 02 Jul 2013

Doug Taylor, United Way Australia CEO recently presented on Achieving Impact by Collaboration at the 3 Pillars 8th Annual Givewell Not-for-Profit Strategy Series: Social Impact & Outcomes Forum. This forum, which also involved Luke Branagan, Executive Manager, MLC Community Foundation, Sandy Blackburn-Wright, Head of Social Innovation, Westpac  and Bill Petch, CEO, Leukaemia Foundation, focused on the opportunity for …read more

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Lessons from the IGNITE Volunteering 2013 Conference

posted by United Way, 25 Jun 2013

In the below Lyndsey McKee, Corporate Partnerships Manager shares the learnings from her recently facilitated “Consult & Collaborate” session at the IGNITE volunteering conference in Sydney. Last week I got the opportunity to present at the 2013 IGNITE Volunteering Conference.  I was asked to host a workshop on corporate volunteering, aligned to the theme “Consult and Collaborate.” …read more

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From mulching to mentoring: the journey of corporate volunteering

posted by United Way, 15 May 2013

National Volunteering Week takes place from 13-17 May and highlights the contribution Australians make to the community. Lyndsey McKee from United Way, one of ING DIRECT’s community partners, talks about the impact made by corporate volunteers and the growing trend for drawing upon specialist skills to make a difference. When United Way first started organising …read more

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5 Strategies to Transform Your Corporate Volunteering Program

posted by United Way, 15 May 2013

In conjunction with National Volunteering week this week Doug Taylor, CEO – United Way Australia, writes here about 5 strategies corporations from across the world have successfully used to transform their volunteer programs. I’m lucky enough to be able to have some fairly frank conversations with corporate leaders about their volunteer programs. While most of them would suggest …read more

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‘Doing Better at Doing Good’ – Our Community Impact Report Launch Review

posted by United Way, 07 May 2013

United Way Australia along with Centre for Social Impact’s Director Andrew Young launched United Way Australia’s first Community Impact Report : ‘Collaborating for change: Our Journey so far’ at UBS’s Sydney office last Thursday to an audience of over 40 participants from the corporate, trust and foundations, government and community sectors. “In the last 20 …read more

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Impact Measurement; a big waste of time?

posted by United Way, 16 Apr 2013

Measurement is the new black in the social and philanthropic sectors. These sectors are abuzz with research papers, consultancies and conferences all rightly dedicated to doing better at ascertaining and quantifying social impact. At United Way we strongly support these endeavours and have been global innovators in introducing outcome measurement as far back as the …read more

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Resurrecting Howard to Strengthen Business Community Partnerships

posted by United Way, 15 Apr 2013

As posted recently on ProBono this Opinion piece by Doug Taylor explores the potential of an Abbott Government’s Business Community Partnership group and what a new agenda that deepens and broadens business and community partnerships could achieve. To simply replicate the agenda of John Howard’s Corporate Community Partnerships initiative with its focus on research papers and …read more

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True Champions aren’t just made in gyms

posted by United Way, 27 Mar 2013

When most people think of champions, they think of athletes, local heroes and sporting stars, but at United Way champions to us are the dedicated individuals, working within our corporate partners, who go are committed to making a positive impact in the community. The champions we know manage to do their 9-5 jobs as well …read more

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Why business leaders should get out more; lessons from the outer suburbs

posted by United Way, 25 Mar 2013

With all of the shenanigans that have been going on in Canberra in recent times you could easily be excused for ‘switching off’ at the mere mention of any of our political leaders. This is totally understandable but also a shame because sometimes we can throw the baby out with the bathwater. Take for example …read more

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Are We Creating a Philanthropic Monoculture?

posted by United Way, 20 Mar 2013

As recently posted by Philanthropy Australia, our CEO Doug Taylor looks to explore the question “Is philanthropy in Australia creating a mono-cultural sector that unintentionally excludes others who may genuinely want to ‘give back’?” I have thought for a while that philanthropy in Australia is all a bit too nice and virtuous. If you look at the Philanthropic …read more

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Taking our first steps towards helping kids ReadLearnSucceed

posted by United Way, 19 Mar 2013

Last Thursday the first Australian child signed up to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library; the creation of country music sensation, Dolly Parton, and the cornerstone for United Way Australia’s early literacy strategy, ReadLearnSucceed. Charlie was one of eight children from Acacia Ridge (about 25km from the Brisbane CBD) who signed up for the program on the day.  This small, …read more

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