Craig Pollard [00:00:00]:
Welcome back to the Fundraising Radicals podcast. I'm your host, Craig Pollard. Now, if you're a regular listener, you may have noticed that we've switched these episodes from landing fortnightly to monthly. We've learned a lot over the last few months as we've set this podcast up, as we found our rhythm and what works. We are in this for the long term. Our promise to you is that every month, we'll continue to explore new global perspectives on fundraising and leadership from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, that challenge us all to think differently about our communities, our causes, and our charities and their place in the world.
Craig Pollard [00:00:42]:
Today's fundraising leadership conversation comes from Jakarta in Indonesia, the world's most generous country. No country in the world gives as much per capita to charities. This conversation is with Luki Kurniyawan, who is the Director of Support Operations for Yayasan CARE Peduli, CARE international's lead NGO partner in Indonesia. Luki's remit includes coordinating the whole internal structure of YCP to deliver its strategic objectives, with responsibility for fundraising thrown in too. We're going to be talking about the practical side of corporate partnerships, where they come from, how to build them, how to present costs and budgets, that level of detail, and how to manage expectations and relationships along the way. Luki. Welcome to the Fundrising Radicals Podcast. It's wonderful to have you here today.
Craig Pollard [00:01:36]:
How are you?
Luki Kurniawan [00:01:37]:
Good. Thank you, Craig. So it's wonderful to meeting you finally.
Craig Pollard [00:01:43]:
Brilliant. So tell me, Luki, where are you based? What work do you do? Yeah, I'd love to hear more about your work.
Luki Kurniawan [00:01:52]:
Okay, thanks again, Craig, for having me here. So, my name is Luki. I joined Yayasan CARE Peduli in November 2019. So my current position is Director of Support and Operation. And one of the additional role in my responsibility is to build the foundation for Business Development in YCP. So this includes the fundraising initiatives, which YCP is now focusing on the corporate or domestic partnership with the companies instead of doing the mass marketing initiatives.
Craig Pollard [00:02:36]:
And why did YCP Yayasan CARE Peduli decide make that choice to not pursue mass marketing, but to pursue corporate partnerships?
Luki Kurniawan [00:02:48]:
Okay, that is a good question. So we think although it's not proven by the research or studies, but we think the market for mass marketing is already saturated because many competition here, the UN and other NGOs doing the same thing. And secondly, we're just baby in this sector, although we inherited the CARE International Indonesia legacy in development sector in Indonesia as a YCP, which is five years old now. And the second, we tend to use our funding investment effectively. So we targeted the companies or potential companies who has the same vision in the gender or humanitarian or other kind of sector that relates to gender. So we can target our investment effectively to get the funding to fund our project. And the third one is the charity in Indonesia doesn't have any tax benefit for individuals. So I think there is a challenge for us to obtain the funding from the individual.
Luki Kurniawan [00:04:14]:
So they tend to giving their money for cost related purposes such as disaster or other kinds of humanitarian or if we can find from the research the world charity index in 2022 shown that Indonesia has the highest rating on charity.
Craig Pollard [00:04:37]:
Most generous country in the yeah. In terms of charitable giving?
Luki Kurniawan [00:04:42]:
Yeah, definitely. But I assume there is include the Zakat, which is based on majority of communities in Indonesia are Muslims. So there is includes the Zakat. It's opposite research. If you can find or we can read from the Centre for ASEA Philanthropy and Society. Indonesia is a third category, which is the charity. Initiatives is doing well under the doing well category. So it's below the Singapore and Hong Kong in terms of the charity.
Luki Kurniawan [00:05:19]:
So I think those are the three major concern why we target the companies instead of the individual. Of course we still studying and then collect the potential wealthy individual who have the intention to support our programmes.
Craig Pollard [00:05:40]:
And do you find there's a lot of crossover between those wealthy individuals in Indonesia and the corporate fundraising and the partnerships?
Luki Kurniawan [00:05:49]:
Yeah, that's correct, Craig, because many of the wealthy individuals, they are like conglomerates who has multinational or global companies and then I think 20 30% of the MNCs or multinational companies in Asia is owned by the conglomerates such as you may want to recall the Indo Food Group, the FMCG companies. So I think that relates to the domestic private sectors.
Craig Pollard [00:06:25]:
Yeah. So when you're meeting these people, do you have it in your head that you're thinking about a corporate partnership or a private donation or does it really depend on the circumstances?
Luki Kurniawan [00:06:37]:
Yeah, I think it depends on the circumstances because there are three types of we call it donation in the perspective of the company. One is they tend to make a large donation or not donation, large investment because the companies may have the tax holiday for any investment which are reinvested in domestic so they will have a tax holiday for that purpose. I think yeah, in a simple way in accounting terms they can capitalise the cost for that investment under the balance sheet. So I think the value of the company may bigger and feasible for other investor or the banking to fund the company and second, there is mandatory CSR initiative for the company within particular sectors for example mining, banking or manufacture.
Craig Pollard [00:07:49]:
So they must give away a certain percentage of their profits to charities and causes.
Luki Kurniawan [00:07:55]:
Yeah, 10% of their profit, I think, earning after tax profit something. And the third one is a charitable giving, which is comprised of the disaster prevention and management and secondly for sports and for education or other social infrastructure that will be considered under eligible expenses for the company to reduce the tax.
Craig Pollard [00:08:27]:
And do you find that these corporate partnerships in indonesia are really focused on the cash exchange and the cash transaction, or do they go deeper than that? Is there volunteering? Is there staff engagement? Is there sort of introducing to customers in other markets? What is the depth of these partnerships that you're seeing?
Luki Kurniawan [00:08:50]:
Okay, I think the first layer is cash transaction base for the donation or the social investment for the company who has already the ESG. Or they have a well structured sustainability programmes they may want to involve in our project. Although it's a light touching or light relationship between their employees or their high executive in our programmes, as well as they like to maybe complement our project with others, for example, like Matchmaking, the project initiative that is impactful and beneficial with the similar sectors.
Craig Pollard [00:09:42]:
Interesting. It's interesting that you're seeing the different layers of these corporate partnerships, but that it sounds like they are starting with the cash transaction and then building from you. So you have a very interesting past as well because a lot of your career has been spent on the other side of these funding partnerships, working with the Ford Foundation, Tanoto Foundation. I'm really interested in that perspective as well on sort of NGOs in Indonesia. What is the perspective and the view from the funders? What are the challenges you have you had as a funder and what are the things you saw that causes and charities could do better at when it comes to approaching organisations for funding?
Luki Kurniawan [00:10:33]:
Yeah. Thank you, Greg. I think that is relevant in Indonesia to consider our costing method, because most of the companies, they don't want to pay the overhead or what you call it, the management fees or indirect cost is too high. The rough percentage is below 5%. So if we can pack or we can have sort of like methodology, the correct methodology to present our project costs or investment costs to the private sectors, I think that would be very helpful for us either to maintain our impact of the project as well as to sustain our organisation. So in the common Practise, most of the NGOs, they present the cost conservatively between the programme project and then they present also the organisation cost, personnel, salaries, maintenance, et cetera, et cetera. So it's different in the US, where they have a certain percentage of ICR, it's defined by the Internal Revenue Services. In the US or NGOs, they have up to 3% of the indirect overhead costs.
Luki Kurniawan [00:12:08]:
So in Indonesia, I think we need to have different angle for presenting our budget and then calculate, for example, like ROI, what is the benefit, what is the impact for the company if they do the investment.
Craig Pollard [00:12:28]:
But it feels like it's not just up to the charities to keep pushing down their overheads because that's not sustainable. Overhead is your salary, for example. These are vital parts of the organisation that without which the project is not possible to deliver. So I remember the director of the Ford Foundation, darren Walker talking about this and he said that it's arrogant of funders to assume that or not be willing to pay for the costs that make their project possible which is the overhead. How able are you to advocate and to change the mindset of funders in regards to the importance of so called overheads?
Luki Kurniawan [00:13:21]:
Yeah, to me it's an opposite perspective between the companies and the philanthropist sector. So I think in the past years most of the philanthropists, the leading philanthropic organisations such as Ford, Rockefeller, they push or either AVPN Asia Venture Philanthropic Network they push the grants into the unrestricted to build the local organisation, to advance the capacity of the local organisation to be more competitive. And in the other way, from the company's perspective, they tends to see whether the project or the investment will be go directly into the project. There is relates. So they would have like rationale where the money will be spent for instead of going to the person. Maybe for them it's okay if the money is expended for the personnel, but it's for the personnel who are directly working with.
Craig Pollard [00:14:36]:
Of course, the direct project cost they're happy with, but they're constantly pushing back on the things that they don't consider as direct, but which are super important for delivering projects and programmes.
Luki Kurniawan [00:14:49]:
Correct. So I think it's about our costing method to what you call it, to integrate certain percentage of overhead into the direct cost. For example, if you buy a mineral water, there is a percentage of the overhead right, of course. In the product. Of course, yeah. I think the calculation is more or less kind of manufacturer or a business perspective. So I think for them or for the companies, it's more understandable and rationally. They can accept the cost allocation.
Craig Pollard [00:15:26]:
And I guess companies are set up to create value for themselves. So even when it comes to nonprofit partnerships, they're seeking value from these. And I think it's important that's almost always the mindset yeah.
Luki Kurniawan [00:15:42]:
Correct. Agree. So I think you're creating the value and impact for their business. I think that is important as well.
Craig Pollard [00:15:52]:
How do you communicate? Because I can see you sort of talking in the language of companies you're talking about value and value propositions et cetera how are you sort of communicating that value and the impact on the company?
Luki Kurniawan [00:16:11]:
Yeah. I think in my past experience, we communicate first for all is gender. The companies who has vision on the gender equality purpose. So I think that's I think common. And then the most easiest way to bring that or align our value with the organisation. The secondly is through the SDGs, the contribution to SDGs whether the company has target that they may want to contribute to certain SDGs so we can integrate their efficient into ours and the third one is, of course, in terms of the size of the investment. We may propose some of the project approach, but again, it depends on the size of the funding. Right.
Luki Kurniawan [00:17:08]:
So we will need to tailor made or tailor the cost structure or the area or the targeted beneficiaries. It's the economic principle. I think they want to maximise the investment for the project. Yeah.
Craig Pollard [00:17:29]:
And apart from the sort of the cost part, what are the other challenges that you find in these corporate partnerships? What are the big challenges that you find?
Luki Kurniawan [00:17:41]:
Yeah, okay. I think to my experience, the big challenge is the layer of leadership in the company because most of the CSR or EST investment, even in the internal organisation, the size is decided by the board or the sustainability committee. So it may take a long or back and forth communication. When we are talking about the potential project with the company, some of them we can predict the estimated CSR budget but again, maybe they have already the cost for branding or government relationship into the CSR budget and it's a big chunk for the company and it's more benefit to utilise the budget for communication and government relations.
Craig Pollard [00:18:44]:
It is interesting that you're competing against funding for building government relationships and marketing and branding as well. And this is all is that where the CSR budgets tend to sit alongside these things?
Luki Kurniawan [00:19:01]:
Yeah, for particular business, yes. So they have like set aside some funding to be directly spent for the community. There is tangible project, for example, rehabilitate the school renovation, the mosque, for example, or either donate some funds for the social infrastructure, for example. And then for the structured project like the NGO usually proposed. I think it's challenging for us to discuss the rationale as well as the values of the project to the company. But if we can have the same understanding with the company, I believe there will be a long term relationship built with the company as well. So I think it's hard approach in the beginning, but I think with the correct or appropriate approach that we can also have the potential long term relationship with the company.
Craig Pollard [00:20:09]:
Tell me about your approach when it comes to building from these. It's difficult to get these corporate partnerships to start with, but what is your approach to building them once you have them?
Luki Kurniawan [00:20:22]:
Yeah, I think maintain or optimise the moment of truth when we had connection with the company, with the company's representative, I mean so maintain the positive relationship and then either we have a project or we don't have any project with them. Maintaining relationship is important. Maybe they don't have budget for this year, but if they have budget for next year they may invite us to present other types of the project proposal that we can propose to them.
Craig Pollard [00:21:04]:
So you're staying visible, you're staying sort of front of mind being there. Once you have your foot in the door, you're there and correct reminding them regularly that you're there.
Luki Kurniawan [00:21:14]:
Yeah, and we send them, for example, for any of the event. We can inform them to be involved or to be participated in our event or we just send a fact sheet for our project so it brings them the idea or perspective on what we are doing.
Craig Pollard [00:21:35]:
Yeah. So that's the sort of bill, where do you see or where are your corporate partnerships coming from? What are the sort of origins of where do you find them?
Luki Kurniawan [00:21:45]:
Yes, so far we find the corporate partners through the desktop studies, for example, from their prospectus, from their annual report downloaded from the website. And then we are trying as much as possible the companies who are operating in the project area. For example, we are working in Serang in Bantan province. So we are trying to scale up our project and propose some of the activities to be funded by the other companies. Based in you.
Craig Pollard [00:22:23]:
Are you also working through individuals as well, wealthy connected individuals? Are they providing you with introductions or opportunities for new corporate partnerships?
Luki Kurniawan [00:22:35]:
Yeah, I think if the companies is owned by the individual, which is most of the domestic private sectors in Indonesia is non public companies. So I think that will be leveraging our profile if we can get connected with the owner or with the wealthy individuals.
Craig Pollard [00:23:02]:
If you're enjoying this conversation and would like to hear other global perspectives on fundraising and leadership in the nonprofit sector, then please do subscribe using the links in the show Notes. If you want to find out more about our work, please do visit our website, fundraisingradicals.com. Now back to the conversation. And when it comes to the bigger corporates, I guess you're working in identifying which staff members to engage and how are you taking those first steps? How do you approach them?
Luki Kurniawan [00:23:38]:
I think from the third or second layer first, the sesr. But if possible, we may want to approach the head of sustainability at least so they have a decision making capacity to elaborate more on the perspective or on the initiative that the company has before the proposal gets to the board or the board of the sustainability committee.
Craig Pollard [00:24:05]:
So you're sort of constantly advocating at different levels, I guess board level, at CSR team. And having those multiple levels of relationship can only be a positive thing for the sustainability of these partnerships as well.
Luki Kurniawan [00:24:22]:
Craig Pollard [00:24:22]:
Because people move on within corporates, within INGOs as well. So it's important to have these multiple layers.
Luki Kurniawan [00:24:31]:
Yeah, correct. Yeah. I agree with you that I think the purpose is to avoid the miscommunication when the project launched. So I think at the beginning it would be good if we have already the positive communication with all level of the company.
Craig Pollard [00:24:53]:
Yeah, absolutely. And managing those expectations in those early days because it's quite easy for nonprofits to over promise as well to land a corporate partnership and it's hard to come back from that. So there's a sense of keeping expectations clear and managing what's possible.
Luki Kurniawan [00:25:16]:
Yeah, correct. I think in the discussion that we have to also maintain the expectation with the investor or the sponsor and we also want to consider our internal capacity to achieve those kind of expectations.
Craig Pollard [00:25:36]:
Can you tell me about a partnership that's going really well and without naming names necessarily, but are there corporate partnerships or other partnerships that really excite you and are working well?
Luki Kurniawan [00:25:48]:
I think in YCP, which is only one corporate partners that contacted me directly in late 2019, I think it's about two months after I was on board with the YCP. So the discussion was going like two years for different kind of perspective. First is to carry out the study and then elaborate the study with the sustainable ecotourism and then the final project approved and it's ongoing now is a stunting project in West Sumbawa. So it's a three years project started in mid last year, 2022 until 2025. I think the investment cost is viable for us to carry out the project and I think the first year we are doing well. The companies also receive some awards from the government as well as awards from the association because the stunting project in which they are funded.
Craig Pollard [00:27:15]:
Yeah, that's great to hear. I like how you're sort of leading with your purpose and values that you're saying, look, these are the companies we think share our worldview and they are committed to gender equality as a starting point and that sort of approach, that proactive approach to corporate partnerships makes things much easier. But are there sectors or types of organisations that you won't work with?
Luki Kurniawan [00:27:44]:
Yeah, I think there are many potential sectors, Craig, in terms of maybe the company has the priority in health sector, but we can also integrate the gender or just a risk management into the project. But I think we can start the small investment first, like two, three types of initiative, like training workshop and then we can build on the next project if they are interested in investing in those initiatives. Yeah, so build small to target the.
Craig Pollard [00:28:22]:
Bigger investment and that's what it comes down to, right? The deliberate, consistent building of these corporate partnerships and it takes time in terms of the length of time, but it also takes your time internally to keep progressing and maintain the momentum of these partnerships. How much of your time because you have a very big role across the whole organisation, how much of your time is put into these partnerships and building these partnerships?
Luki Kurniawan [00:28:55]:
Yeah, I don't have sort of like calculation for that but I think if we are progressing with the proposal or potential partners, I don't want to lose those chances or opportunities. So I think we have to be more aggressive if we are talking about the potential project in place and if for the regular maintenance communication for updates. So I think it doesn't cost me a lot in terms of my time.
Craig Pollard [00:29:33]:
Okay, and do you have other staff members working with you on fundraising or are you doing this all alone?
Luki Kurniawan [00:29:38]:
Last time it was Kadung.
Craig Pollard [00:29:43]:
But Kadung has moved on.
Luki Kurniawan [00:29:46]:
But now I'm working after he left the YCP, so I have some ideas to integrate his position also to perform some of the project design. It's like a repackaging of our project, it is suitable for the company. So I would like to name the position as portfolio analyst or portfolio design, which the fundraising or funding and business development is part of the function.
Craig Pollard [00:30:23]:
And how easy is it to recruit? Because it's difficult to recruit everywhere for sort of that sort of role. How easy is that? How difficult is that to sort of roll that portfolio, that private sector partnerships, funding role? How difficult is that to recruit to in Jakarta? Somewhere like Jakarta?
Luki Kurniawan [00:30:46]:
Yeah, I think we'll see whether, how many applicants for that position. Yeah, I think integrating the sustainability approach from the companies and then with the value from care YCPs, I think it's a challenging but I think it's possible for them to learn and then to elaborate the value of the project into something interesting. I think that's still possible, although it's challenging in the recruitment,
Craig Pollard [00:31:25]:
of course, and. Then after the recruitment as well. If you're recruiting somebody from the private sector, it's a cultural transition as well, coming from the private sector into an organisation like YCP. How do you manage that?
Luki Kurniawan [00:31:44]:
Yeah, I think I would rely on my experience working with the private sector and then the UN system as well as the global philanthropic sectors. So to align the value of work and the purpose of the organisation is important for them to catch up or to make themselves fit in into the objective of the organisation as well. I think coaching, mentoring and then I think the frequent discussion should be in place or should be carried out with the team as well as to the top leadership, just to ensure the alignment of our work with the strategic objective. Great.
Craig Pollard [00:32:37]:
It is very difficult. I moved from the private sector into a charity and I found that cultural shift very difficult, even on a practical, even on a really daily to day basis. The lack of stationery or having to provide my own laptop, for example. It was a real shock to the system having come from somewhere like KPMG into the charity sector. And it's not easy, that transition. We talk a lot about transferable skills from the private sector, but actually transferring them is the art and it's really helpful to hear you sort of outline how the amount of effort that you'll put in because that makes that transfer and transition possible. And it's such a big investment in one of these roles to focus on corporate partnerships that you have to factor in this additional time to help people settle in and land and manage their expectations and everyone else around them particularly when it comes to something kind of shiny and high profile as corporate partnerships within the organisation.
Luki Kurniawan [00:33:46]:
Yeah. Great, Craig. So I think we have at the top leadership role is also need to be patient and investing their time to just make sure that the function will be performing well.
Craig Pollard [00:34:06]:
And how well do the board and other senior leadership members understand their sort of role within corporate partnerships of building relationships and engaging?
Luki Kurniawan [00:34:15]:
Yeah. I think the TOR for this position is I think it's a back and forth communication with the board as well, especially Board of Supervisors who are concerned on our financial health, so we integrate their inputs and their consideration for this position. So it's not ideal, but I think it's more unil for us if we don't have the person in place.
Craig Pollard [00:34:51]:
Yeah, of course. But these are imperfect. We have imperfect organisations and imperfect people, so it's making ourselves and our organisations less imperfect. Right. And working with what we have, and it's often easy to I find it can be quite distracting looking to other corporate partnerships and other organisations that are thriving in this place. And it's sometimes really hard to remember that where we're starting from, our resources, our people are very different to those and that it's important to ground ourselves in our own sort of corporate partnerships reality.
Luki Kurniawan [00:35:29]:
Yeah, correct, Craig. I agree.
Craig Pollard [00:35:31]:
So it's helpful. Brilliant. Thank you so much for your time today, Luki. I'm massively grateful for joining for you joining the podcast and thank you for sharing so much helpful, practical advice, particularly on corporate partnerships. That's massively appreciated. Thank you.
Luki Kurniawan [00:35:51]:
No worries. I'd like to also thank you, Craig, for having me again in this session. So I hope that the information is useful and benefit for you to elaborate the programmes in Fundraising Radicals. So good luck for the initiatives. So we're looking forward to hear more from you.
Craig Pollard [00:36:16]:
Wonderful. This was a really interesting conversation for me. I've always enjoyed the challenges and opportunities of initiating and building corporate partnerships as the points where two very different worlds, cultures, ideologies collide. It was great to hear Luki's perspectives and ideas and I hope you enjoyed today's episode. If you'd like to listen to more episodes of the Fundraising Radicals podcast or find out more about the fundraising radicals and our work, please do visit our website at www.fundraisingradicals.com. Thanks for listening and see you next time.