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Shared learning would enhance social investment effectiveness - survey

FIN24 / 04 MARCH 2019 - 12.59 / STAFF REPORTER

The majority of businesses who completed the Nation Builder assessment tools indicated that forums for shared learning would enhance their social investment effectiveness.

They now participate in such forums as part of the Nation Builder Collabs.


The majority of Nation Builder businesses who invest in CSI indicated that they do so because it is the conviction of the CEO to contribute to the socio-economic development of South Africa.

Where the company has a CSI Head, he or she is often part of the senior management team.

More than 150 businesses have completed the free online Nation Builder assessments intermittently since 2015.

The small businesses (less than R50m annual turnover) who do not have regular Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) processes in place, stated financial constraints and a lack of clear guidance or standards as reasons.

The bigger businesses (more than R50m annual turnover) also stated that a lack of clear standards, combined with inadequate skills in the team, inhibits regular M&E processes.

According to Nationl Builder, what is interesting, though, is that people base their original decision to partner with a specific NPO based on the NPO’s past performance and impact or mission and objectives. That should mean, then, that monitoring and evaluation, as well as reporting against clear objectives should play a critically important part in a social investment strategy. Yet many still struggle with M&E.

The Collabs that took place in 2018 identified the need for developing a flexible form of standardised reporting to meet the needs of both donors and NPO partners, for greater social impact. The first steering committee kicked off the research process in January 2019.

The findings of this collaborative research will also be a topic of discussion at the annual Nation Builder In Good Company Conference on 15 August 2019.


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