Shelley Dunlop, QCOSS
Effective communication

The University of Western Sydney, in collaboration with the Western Sydney Community Forum, have developed a resource handbook titled “Developing a Common Language between Corporations and Small Community Organisations”. 

While the handbook is aimed at increasing the understanding of corporate community partnerships to better resource and support disadvantaged communities in Western Sydney, it contains many useful tips which are applicable to community organisations in Queensland.

The handbook was based on research that was undertaken by the University of Western Sydney, to address the practical problem of decreases in government funding at all levels, which compels community organisations to look elsewhere to supplement their financial base. While corporate support emerges as a viable alternative, many organisations find it difficult to navigate this new funding environment and compete with other, often larger, organisations.

The resource handbook covers the key topic areas of:

  • Useful tips for effective partnerships
  • Key motivating factors
  • The problem of ‘language’
  • Maintaining partnerships
  • A role for peak bodies in facilitating good relationships

In particular it focuses on the role of language across the corporate and community sectors, since the cultures, expectations and personalities of the two can vary dramatically. One point that is made is that the language used within community development is very powerful, and funders are particularly interested in terms such as “grass-roots”, “community-based” and “empowerment”, as well as being reassured about the organisations strengths and financial sustainability.

The handbook then goes on to explore ways in which organisations can find a common language, develop new partnerships and maintain existing partnerships.

To read more, access the resource handbook here

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