Partnering with business

Business community partnerships in New Zealand: Understanding experiences of partnership by Dr Louise Lee 

Dr Louise Lee



For all of the community organisations in this study a prime reason for working with business was to access resources

Community organisations looked to business organisations to provide money, goods, services or expertise towards meeting organisation needs that might otherwise go unfunded:

“Their financial director is our treasurer, she does our monthly accounts …to get that sort of expertise would cost us a fortune that we don’t have. They have been involved in terms of facilitating our planning days and have offered support with team building, performance reviews.”

In addition to monetary resources, community organisations wished to tap into a range of business capabilities, including access to business networks, technology and expertise: “It’s the added value stuff we get, the leveraging we get rather than the monetary amount. It’s their staff supporting us on an annual appeal, it’s the fact that I’ve got the support of their agencies, they can swing deals, like our annual appeal they knew who to go and see….so for a small organisation like us it’s the contacts that they have that we can use and that’s of value and that’s what you get out of a partnership.”

Building brand recognition

The potential to generate greater brand recognition and meet marketing and communications objectives was a key driver for some community organisations: “All of our relationships have a significant brand promotion within them…. So the two most important elements of our business partnerships are the marketing potential and communications potential and then it’s whatever revenues are raised.”

 Enhancing organisation credibility

Community organisations may view partnerships as ways to enhance organisation credibility. In this study enhanced credibility with key constituencies was an important source of value for some community organisations, as one community manager commented: “It adds to our credibility that an organisation such as X (business partner) wants to have a relationship with us. So I use that relationship when I am talking to possible funders or people who may want to support us or have a relationship with us”. Read it here


Dr Louise Lee

School of Management Massey University Private Box 756 Wellington 6140 New Zealand

+64 4 801 5799 extn 62584