Recently we had the pleasure of sitting down with Co-Founder of Magneto Communications (MC), Petrina Buckley to discuss the innovative ways the organisation maximises its footprint for social good through its unique partnership with ALNF.
ALNF: What inspired MC to partner with ALNF – how did the relationship come about?
Petrina: We knew we wanted to build giving into our business model so it was sustainable on all sides. We’d previously done what I think many businesses do and sporadically given to a range of charities but were really looking to find something longer term that was values-aligned and Australian. We wanted to make a difference in our own backyard. ALNF was the perfect fit for us because the core of our business is about teaching educated people in large enterprise to write better. Our clients were given access to early education to shape their lives and careers. ALNF is about all of us working together to make sure all of Australia has that same human right of early education.
ALNF: How does MC embed its partnership with ALNF into the fabric of its organisational structure?
Petrina: Every time we run a corporate training course we sponsor an Indigenous teen to mentor a group of little ones to read and write. We thought long and hard about which of the initiatives to support and this was where we thought we could have the most impact – both for the teenager who might need some purpose and for the little ones who would benefit from the learning.
ALNF: How does structuring financial support in this way allow MC to donate so frequently to ALNF despite
being a small/medium sized organisation?
Petrina: We built the giving into the sale price so when we make a donation it is both our company and our client making the contribution. We know this is completely sustainable because it’s factored into our profit margin from the start. We can maintain a profitable, sustainable business and at the same time our giving can be consistent and reliable which is what ALNF needs to continue their great work. We quite simply looked for a way to make it work for all parties. In turn, our clients are delighted to be giving to ALNF and our trainees and team take a lot of pride in being a part of the initiative.
ALNF: What have been some of the most important lessons by MC learnt through its partnership with
Petrina: 1. Find a way to make it a win-win for all. Change your approach until it’s working for all and sustainable longer term. 2. You don’t have to be big (either in company size or size of donation) to make a big impact. Consistency and continuity are more powerful.
This quote from the book, The One Thing
, really nails it for me. It’s the same principle as Warren Buffett’s passion for compound interest (and those often unpopular but undeniably sound mathematics):
‘Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too. Success is sequential, not simultaneous.’
Businesses don’t always get this – or maybe they don’t believe it. But I do.
ALNF: What have been clients’ responses to MC’s partnership with ALNF?
Petrina: They love it! Our clients are often already involved in similar initiatives and share the same passion for access to early education – which is one of the best chances of future health as a nation and its people.
ALNF: What impact has MC’s partnership with ALNF had internally on work-place culture and morale?
Petrina: We are all so proud of the little bit we have done but mostly proud that we were able to start doing it and able to continue doing this work.
ALNF: What would MC say to other corporates who are interested in partnering with ALNF in this way?
Petrina: Build it into your business model so it becomes not-negotiable and a standard part of how you do business. Find a program within the ALNF that you most believe in and stick with it. Let your impact – within the program, within your team, and with your clients – compound across time.
A huge thank you to Petrina for sharing her wisdom with ALNF and our supporters – we are excited to continue working together to improve literacy and education levels across the country.