Press reLeasE - 7 May 2019

New non-profit opens the door to corporate Australia’s best leadership development programs

Plus One Professional Development will give charities exclusive access to high quality professional development programs usually reserved for top tier corporate executives. 

Under a new model of corporate giving, charities will benefit from free access to internal corporate leadership programs offered by some of Australia’s most highly-regarded employers, delivering an investment of knowledge and capacity that many charities struggle to afford. 

Providing placements for 10 carefully selected charity leaders via a 12-month program in Sydney, Plus One will open the doors to a suite of professional development, networking and coaching opportunities. 

“Charities often struggle to access professional development. Consequently, leaders don't get the development they need and this in turn limits the impact charities can have in the community,” Plus One chairman and co-founder, David Knowles said. 

“Plus One will be helping a diverse group of charity leaders working for some of Australia’s best and most influential charities to connect with some of the biggest and best companies in our corporate landscape so that they can learn from each other.” 

As members of the Philanthropy & Social Capital team at independent investment advisor Koda Capital, Plus One co-founders Chris Wilson, Farial Ameen and David Knowles recognised the challenge faced by charities in providing high quality professional development opportunities and sought a solution.

“Through Plus One, we are opening doors to corporate Australia - giving charity leaders free access to the kind of personal and professional development opportunities they would otherwise be unable to access, afford or justify spending money on. 

“This much-needed investment in the charity sector will produce better leaders and more effective charities, helping to foster greater cross-sector understanding and collaboration. 

“We have some amazing companies on board with Plus One, including Commonwealth Bank, PwC Australia, MinterEllison, Westpac, Macquarie Group, Lendlease, Kaplan Professional, Allianz, Downer Group and Koda Capital. IECL by GrowthOps will provide a coach for each of the 10 cohort members, meeting with them regularly throughout the year and leading tech firm Atlassian will make sector specific training available, not just to the cohort members, but everyone who applies to be part of the program. 

“These Australian companies are already committed to developing their own people and now they are showing real leadership and commitment to our community, by helping to bring this program to life.” 

Plus One will accept a maximum of 100 applications. Following the application process, the first cohort will be selected by a highly experienced panel including Community Council for Australia CEO, David Crosbie, Executive Co-Chairman of Luminis Partners, Simon Mordant AM and CEO of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, Samantha Sayers. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for talented charity leaders to get top-level corporate training at no cost. Developing leaders in the charities sector is a real challenge – we can’t always afford to buy the  best training. This program is a win-win. Corporate leaders will also learn a thing or two from the charity leaders they interact with. It is wonderful to see a great concept becoming a real program that will benefit charities and the communities they serve,” Mr Crosbie said. 

Cohort members will be given the chance to attend face-to-face corporate professional development activities over a 12-month period, followed by a further four months of post-program activity and evaluation. Participants will also have access to digital learning and relevant sector specific professional development training opportunities. One-on-one coaching support will complete the experience. 

Participation is free but total commitment to the program offered is expected. Applications must be submitted by charities rather than individual employees. Charities must confirm their nominee’s suitability and a commitment to fully supporting their participation. Individual nominees must be able to attend face-to-face learning activities in the Sydney Metro area. The program is suitable for permanent employees of registered charities who, if not already in an executive leadership position, have the potential to get there within three years. 

Applications will be open from 7 May 2019 through the Plus One website 

What is Plus One? 

Plus One Professional Development Limited is a company limited by guarantee operating on a nonprofit basis with a volunteer board. The key people involved are the co-founders and company directors: David Knowles, Chris Wilson and Farial Ameen. 

What problem is Plus One trying to solve? 

Charities struggle to access or afford professional development; consequently, leaders don’t get the development they need and this limits the impact charities can have in the community. The solution is to give high-potential, well-supported charity leaders free access to high quality, relevant professional development opportunities offered to them by corporate Australia. 

What benefits is Plus One trying to generate? 

Increased community impact, a generation of stronger charity leaders, increased corporate commitment to the community and increased cross-sector understanding through collaboration. 

What content will be offered? 

The program will focus on three development categories: People, Strategy and Operations. There is also a fourth category, to allow corporate partners to suggest high-impact opportunities that may not fit into the above categories, but which Plus One considers valuable and relevant nonetheless. Program content is informed by available research and knowledge, including recent academic studies, surveys and consultations carried out during Plus One’s pilot phase. 

Corporate commitment 

Learning and development opportunities are offered thanks to the generosity of participating corporates that offer Plus One free access to learning and development activities they schedule for their own employees. These corporates invite charity leaders selected by Plus One into their own internal activities on a ‘plus one’ basis, hence the name of this initiative. 

Plus one in the news

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