Source:  GIFE

The Network of Social Investors of Curitiba (RIS) met once again last week to discuss ways to strengthen the concept of Private Social Investment in Paraná. Around 25 people participated in the meeting, representing social organizations and companies from Curitiba and the region. Currently, RIS includes about 40 organizations, among them companies, institutes, business foundations and family members.

The meeting marked two years of this movement’s existence, that was created at the initiative of regional investors with the support of GIFE. Today, linked and with structured governance, the network is organized in work fronts: Networking, Promotion and Culture of Private Social Investment (PSI); Technical Qualification; Advocacy (representation and influence); and Communication.

The opportunity has contributed to the revalidation of roles and the creation of a new governance structure. Now the general coordination of the RIS – which until then was divided between the Boticário Institute and the Positivo Institute – has one more agent: the Marist Brothers Union of Brazil.
Another novelty is that, from this meeting on, each working group will have a coordinator. “The idea is that these leaderships form a bridge to the general coordination, facilitating processes and optimizing decision making,” explains Erika Sanchez Saez, GIFE’s Links and Relationship Manager, special envoy to represent the organization at the meeting.

The group’s efforts this year will be to develop concrete actions that raise the level of reflection on private social investment at the regional level through the different working groups that are now better structured.

“We understand that our industry is very dynamic and challenging. Each organization is in a management phase. The organizations are very different in relation to size, number of employees, focus of action, maturity of management, acting of the council, etc. Providing opportunities for technical training, but also more informal moments of exchange between organizations, can help strengthen the sector in Curitiba and the region”, explains Eliziane Gorniak, director of the Positivo Institute.

Adriane Rieke, executive director of the Purunã Institute, new to the network, also makes a positive assessment of the experience. “It was the first RIS meeting I attended. I felt, in fact, the collaborative spirit. It is a group interested in sharing experiences, contributing to each other. I noticed a lot of receptiveness and found the collaboration to be spontaneous and authentic. We are in a moment of structuring in the Institute, of defining projects, giving focus, forming a team. The contribution of GIFE in the event was very interesting and I saw that the lines of action and themes worked on are very close to our challenges. Now I want to delve deeper into this space that GIFE offers.

Experiences, knowledge, trends

After validating the network governance, the group focused on discussing scenarios and the future. Erika delivered a presentation highlighting the GIFE action plan for 2017 and the special series developed by the GIFE network on Trends for Private Social Investment. Among other issues, this special highlighted themes such as the expansion of donation culture, governance and transparency and communication of causes.

Another topic that generated great interest during the presentation of the GIFE representative was the Economic Sustainability of Civil Society Organizations project, developed in partnership between the organization and the European Union. “I noticed that the group felt that there is a dialogue between the GIFE advocacy project and the local action of each,” says Erika.

The perception of the representative of the GIFE resonates in the contributions of participants of the meeting. Ana Gabriela Simões Borges, superintendent of the GRPCOM Institute, believes that participating in meetings of this type is very important for any social investor.

“Sharing information on the challenges of 2017 in the most different segments, looking at statistics and trends for Private Social Investment were some of the highlights of the meeting. I really liked the reflections that GIFE brought to the meeting, especially the proposal with the European Union to strengthen the third sector here. We not only participate in the meeting, but we will be able to take a series of reflections and questions back with us to our daily work that we need to ask ourselves to guide the investment strategy. And that is why the collaboration and closeness among industry players are so important. I feel that the network advances every meeting and that the integrated organizations are growing together.”

Adriane Rieke agrees and adds: “We know that the social challenges are huge. Resources made available by families, businesses, institutes, and foundations to be applied to social causes need to be carefully managed to achieve their purpose. Through networking, learning multiplies. In our industry, collaboration makes all sense, but it only occurs when there is trust between the parties. And trust is built through relationship with the other, and the sharing of challenges, opportunities, achievements, information, etc. The social investors of Curitiba, in agreeing to set up the network, were just looking for this: to associate themselves with others who are facing similar challenges, so as to maximize the impact of private social investment on the basis of mutual support. “