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  • Writer's pictureSocial Scaffolding

Project Updates and BCorp Accreditation

Updated: Sep 28, 2023


What an exciting time to be a technical consulting firm in the social enterprise and for purpose sector at the moment! We continue to work with our clients on strategy, culture, governance and opportunity. And as our organisation approaches it's eight year mark - we are revisiting all of the above as well as how we communicate this to the market through a revamped website coming online soon.

As the ramifications of the PwC headline comes to fruition, (eloquently detailed by my peer Phil Preston), Social Scaffolding continues to deliver on our purpose - evidenced in our accreditation as a Social Enterprise, and our recent approval as a BCorp organisation as well.

We thank our clients for the trust they have placed in our organisation and continue to do so.

Looking forward to continuing to serve our clients and community.


BCorp certified

Last year, Social Scaffolding was awarded the Social Traders certification as a social enterprise. We were thrilled to achieve this accreditation, having been in business for over seven years. We found the process comprehensive and well supported, and we encourage all social enterprises and potential for profit for purpose businesses to consider reviewing this process.

Further to this accreditation, as of this month we are further excited to announce our confirmation as a BCorp certified organisation! This process is again streamlined, extremely comprehensive, and due to the interest and demand for BCorp certification quite a lengthy process. The BLabs team were again very supportive of our application and helped guide us through this extensive review process.

Becoming BCorp certified is a great way to round out the end of the financial year. Thanks to the Social Scaffolding team for support in getting our evidence and impact documented. We look forward to engaging with other BCorps in the sector. Having known CSnet for many years, I was inspired early by Tim Gleeson and Mandy Doon’s enthusiasm for this important recognition of doing good things for community and society through the power of business.


Out and about

This month we attended the Nundah Co-op 25 year anniversary. An incredible milestone for a group of people who 25 years ago envisaged inclusive and fair employment for people of all abilities. Nundah Coop delivers parks and maintenance services, catering and also runs the award winning Expresso Train Café (At Nundah train station) and most recently the Marhaba Café under Brisbane City Hall.

The 25th anniversary was an opportunity to catch up with previous Co board members of Foresters Community Finance Ingrid Burkett and Denise Gibbons.

And then last week we attended the Queensland Social Enterprise Council 10 year anniversary dinner. Again an incredible milestone for an organisation that has achieved so much in a short period of time - influencing the Queensland and national social enterprise agenda massively. Hosted at the Food Connect shed, one of Queensland’s headline social enterprises, and well attended by the whose who of social enterprise encompassing entrepreneurs, philanthropists, social procurers, corporates and good people doing great things.


Disability International Research

As part of our ongoing partnership with National Disability Services (NDS), Andrew continues to facilitate the communities of practise sessions and facilitate the vision reference group. Social Scaffolding is also undergoing a research project to determine what countries are providing innovative and successful support and employment transitions for people with different abilities.

This paper will be released before the end of the financial year with opportunities for learning for Australian employment providers. And to round out this research, Andrew contributed to an academic book recently launched through Bristol University entitled... Bristol University Press | Employer Engagement - Making Active Labour Market Policies Work, Edited by Jo Ingold and Patrick McGurk.

Exciting to think an Australian case study of employment pathways made it to such an esteemed international publication. Thanks very much to Jo and Patrick for their support and encouragement to contribute to this publication.


Revolutionising the Not-for-profit sector with AI


If you subscribe to any newsletter or publication, you will have been overwhelmed with AI commentary – from those in the know and others that just want to add to the conversation.

Well we here at Social Scaffolding can do both – if you are keen to understand what AI could mean for your profit-for-purpose, social enterprise, charity or NFP – read on!

Our colleague James Christie has been busy working on artificial intelligence workflow and embedding this capability into our team – as we rollout this capability across a number of our current projects. We look forward to having greater impact at lower cost using these incredible capabilities. Read on to understand what this might mean for your work.

Did you know that AI is projected to contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030? With such potential, it's no wonder that more and more organisations are turning to AI to streamline operations and increase efficiency. In the not-for-profit sector, AI can also help organisations become more efficient, meet regulatory requirements and standards, whilst also improving the lives of those they serve.

The not-for-profit sector in Australia operates in an environment that is increasingly complex and highly regulated, with standards that must be met to continue providing essential services and support to those in need. However, meeting these standards requires significant effort, which can be a challenge for many organisations balancing resource allocation to either people and services or systems and processes.

A potential solution to this problem is the adoption of AI tools that automate workflow, particularly where there is a significant degree of manual effort required to deliver services or meet regulatory compliance requirements.

Areas where AI can provide significant benefits is in the development of protocols, and then the monitoring of compliance, writing of reports and even the writing of grant applications. The time and skills required for these necessary components are in high demand, and can often be left to people in the organisation to which is not their core skillset. However, AI can be used to automate this process by creating AI Assistants that are trained on an organisation's data (strategic plans, program details, media reports, past grant applications), compliance requirements and even major grant programmes (background on grant provider, grant objectives, history of the problem being solved). These assistants can then review current capabilities (using internal data and workflow), make assessments and recommendations as well as write the necessary policies, procedures and even the grant applications tailored to the specific requirements of each programme. This will all save time and effort for staff members and enabling the team to focus on their core work and impact.

AI can also be beneficial in the preparation of reports. Voice-to-text reporting can be used to automate the report writing demand of support workers - by recording their session notes, which can then be transcribed into text automatically. When it comes time to write a quarterly report, the AI Assistant can easily compile a summary of the activities and outcomes in a matter of seconds. This can significantly reduce the time and effort required to prepare reports, freeing up staff members to focus on delivering high-quality services or supporting the organisation to build its internal capacity.

At Social Scaffolding, we understand the challenges faced by not-for-profit organisations in meeting regulatory requirements and standards, while trying to optimise operations and service delivery. We also recognise the role that AI can play in the sector, so we have partnered with AI consulting firm Artificial Workflow to provide tailored solutions to help the sector adopt this emerging technology in their business models. Together, we can automate processes and workflow to free up staff members, improve the quality of data outputs and enable greater focus on delivering high-impact and essential activities. If you're interested in learning more about how AI can benefit your organisation, please contact us today.


Social Enterprise Coaching

The Social Scaffolding team is again working alongside our partners Sefa in NSW. Sefa Partnerships is delivering The Paul Ramsay Foundation’s (PRF) Social Enterprise Growth Incubator for 2023.

Eight social enterprises helping break cycles of disadvantage across Australia are supported to accelerate their growth and impact through this intensive 10-month Incubator program.

The social enterprises have access to customised learning sprints, expert coaches, a dedicated incubator manager and opportunities to connect with fellow participants and the wider for-purpose sector.

Social Scaffolding is working with Fruit2Work, Ability Enterprises, Hamlet and Blend Creative.

I'd encourage people to look up these organisations and become familiar with their vision and impact. It is a privilege to work with the team in Sefa Partnerships and these organisations as we contribute to their skills development and impact.



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