Community Programs – is it better to partner or go it alone?
Recently I had the unique experience of spending four days on the road with the team from Power Community Limited, helping to deliver their Empowering Youth Program to schools and youth groups on the Eyre Peninsula.
Power Community Limited (PCL) is an independent entity which serves as the community development arm of the Port Adelaide Football Club. Formed in 2010, with the primary objective of making a positive difference to the South Australian community, the PCL program has delivered many positive community outcomes in its short history.
Beyond Bank recently became a major partner of PCL, specifically supporting the ‘Empowering Youth Program’. Put simply, we see this partnership as an investment in the development of young people that live within the communities that we operate in.
Reflecting on the time spent during these four days, I found myself thinking about whether it is best to partner with another entity and co-create a program, or go it alone and develop a program on your own. Quite often it easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your organisation can go it alone and operate community programs in isolation and get great results. There are certainly occasions where this is in fact the best approach but for me, there are times when it is worth considering the alternative of bringing in a partner.
As an example, as a customer owned bank, the youth within our communities are extremely important to us. We are always looking at the best way to engage them on a range of issues including respect, leadership, resilience, health and wellbeing and financial literacy. This task can be quite a challenge when recent statistics suggest that 71% of young people would rather visit the dentist than hear what their bank has to say.*(Botsman R, WOCCU 2015).
This is where the partnership with PCL has been most beneficial. This Empowering Youth Program, in our opinion, is the best of its type in the country. Before our involvement it delivered strongly in many key areas including leadership, respect and healthy lifestyles. We didn’t want to change any of that so our aim by becoming involved was to broaden the program’s reach and add value to the content of the program by bringing some of our expertise to the table in some other key areas, particularly in the area of financial literacy.
I can honestly say that partnering in this way has been positive for all parties to date. Having spent the time on the road with this program, it is also easy to see that the young people in our communities are also winning. This program is changing lives every day for the better and helping to shape stronger communities.
If you’d like to support this partnership please ask us about a Community Reward Account in support of Power Community Limited. If you would like further information on the Empowering Youth Program please visit our website: http://www.beyondbank.com.au/your-community/support/port-adelaide-football-club-community-program.html
*References: R Botsman – Key note speech WOCCU, July 2014
Pictured in the photo are Russell Ebert, Shane Farley and Johann Wagner with students from Port Lincoln High School.