Global responsibilities

Mike Tuffrey

 

Posted in: Environment

Global responsibilities

August 01, 1994

NON-PROFIT SECTOR WORLDWIDE

The findings of a three year study into the not-for-profit sector worldwide were disseminated at a conference on June 23-24 in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Foundation Centre. The Emerging Sector: an overview, funded by EFC member organisations and carried out by the Institute for Policy Studies at John Hopkins University, offers the first international comparative data on the sector. It covers 12 countries, chosen to reflect the differing balance between reliance on state versus private provision – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Japan, Brazil, Ghana, Egypt, Thailand and India – with detailed empirical data gathered on the first seven. It finds that:

the not-for-profit sector is a major economic force, employing 11.8 million people in the seven countries for which complete empirical data was compiled, with volunteer labour equivalent to a further 4.7 million full-time workers;

only 10% of the sector’s revenue comes from private giving, the single largest source being fees and sales (47%) followed by government (43%);

Operating expenditure of the not-for-profit sector represents 5% of GDP in the seven main countries of the study; the sector is largest in the US (6.8% of total employment compared to 3-4% in the UK, France and Germany) and smallest in relative terms in Japan ;

education and research, health, social services and culture and recreation account for three quarters of the sector’s expenditure as a whole, although proportions differ – education is dominant in the UK and Japan, health in Germany and the US, and culture and recreation in Hungary.

Key issues identified for the future include effective partnerships with government, private support, training and globalisation. Contact Eddie Crockett, EFC, on 010 32 2 512 8938

EXCALIBUR SCHOLARSHIPS

Twenty-two students from Central And Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have completed a study year in the UK under the Excalibur Scholarship scheme. Set up in 1993, this is administered by the British Council with the support of 22 companies including Allied Lyons, British Airways, Cable & Wireless, Glaxo, Lloyds Bank and THORN EMI. Individual candidates are selected from regions where the companies are involved and the students are given the opportunity to work in those companies. Six new companies have now joined the scheme, including BAA, BNFL and Powergen, and each company makes an annual Gift Aid payment of £15,000, handled by the Charities Aid Foundation, to cover expenses. Contact David Jeffery, CAF, 0892 512244

POSITIVE ACTION

Positive Action, Wellcome’s international programme of education, care and community support for people affected by HIV and AIDS, completed its first year in June 1994. Since its launch, Wellcome has already made a contribution of £10 million towards 100 projects. Contact Dr Andrew Revell, Wellcome, on 081 658 2211

CEREC MEETING

The third presidents’ meeting of Cerec, the European arts sponsorship association, took place in Corfu from June 9-12, coinciding with the Greek presidency of the Council of Ministers. Among the themes discussed were sponsorship and the Mediterranean, and the need for a code of ethics at a European level, extending the good practice guidelines published in September last year. Also considered was the move towards the sponsorship of “culture” as a whole, and not only the performing arts. Contact Lisa Johnson, Cerec, on 071 378 8143

ST PETERSBURG DEVELOPMENTS

Following HRH The Prince of Wales’ visit to St Petersburg in May, several projects are now underway. Preservation of priceless documents from the Institute of Russian Literature was completed on July 12, with the help of the Dean Clough Centre for Enterprise and the Arts in Halifax, which will improve access to Russian heritage. Russia’s first Municipal Tourist Information Office opened in the city on July 18, facilitated by the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Greater Manchester Convention and Visitor Bureau. DuPont Medical Products has sponsored a study fellowship for the St Petersburg Hospitals Partnership, providing £4,000 over two years, and arrangements have been made for senior healthcare staff to visit Britain in November. Contact Samantha Thomson, PWBLF, on 071 321 6409

IHEI MEETING

The International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI) met with HRH The Prince of Wales on July 29 for a private working meeting. The IHEI, an international network of hotel executives who recognise that environmental management is fundamental to good practice, is the only industry-led programme co-ordinated by the PWBLF. It draws together 11 hotel chains: Accor, Forte, Inter-Continental, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Conrad Hotels, Hilton International, Holiday Inn Worldwide, ITT Sheriton, Marriott, Meridien, and Omni. The meeting assessed the network’s activities since its formation two years ago and set its agenda for the next three years, including the development of management tools, communicating best practice and activating partners for action worldwide. Contact Lucy Bernard, PWBLF, on 071 321 6409

PWBLF ANNUAL MEETING

Chief executives and senior personnel from ABB, GrandMet, 3M, Price Waterhouse and Volkswagen gathered to share information at the International Council Meeting of the PWBLF on June 2. Discussions centred on the need for international companies to be good corporate citizens and HRH The Prince of Wales spoke of the business case for CCI and the need to support communities in markets where corporations are seeking to operate. Contact Samantha Thomson, PWBLF, on 071 321 6409

Comment

Community affairs managers of global companies headquartered in the UK sometimes worry that their programmes are too focused on UK needs. The profits that fund them are generated worldwide, but the home country benefits disproportionately. Perhaps this is inevitable, as the most critical audiences (in both senses of the word) are based at home. The limits on the understanding and experience of local management – more developed in Anglo-Saxon cultures – is also a constraining factor.

However until now, good intentions to spread activity have been hampered by simple lack of knowledge. That’s why the John Hopkins study is so important. It adds greatly to our knowledge of the third sector in a broad group of countries and should prove invaluable for companies thinking seriously of getting involved. In the global village of today, corporate responsibilities are worldwide.

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 17 – August, 1994

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