Partners for Good
Business, Government and the Third Sector
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After a century in which charities suspected the motives of cynical business people, and business people dismissed the contributions of amateur volunteers, the two sectors are coming together today as never before. The third sector has increased its business capacity through the experience gained from a decade of providing commissioned services to the public sector. Society today expects employers to do more to engage with both communities and good causes and the business case for doing so can be and is being made. But business also realises that charities do conscience better than they can and so co-working is increasingly being sought. In Partners for Good, Tom Levitt points the way to successful partnerships at local, national and international levels. There is now even an agreed international standard on what constitutes the social responsibility obligations of organisations operating in all sectors, in all parts of the world, over and above international legal frameworks. Sustainability today refers to the triple bottom line (financial, social, environmental) rather than being a green concept alone. On the down side, grants and other funding opportunities provided by governments to the third sector over the last ten years are suddenly ending and support structures are disappearing. The incentives for forging successful and sustainable win:win partnerships between businesses and charities in the new Big Society are therefore high, however demanding the time scale on offer.