Over the last 12 months ABV has undertaken significant work to clarify our strategic direction, particularly given the current fiscal climate facing not-for-profits, whilst also being true to our origins when we began as AESOP in 1981.

Last year we provided an update on our new Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) Framework which identified the four strategic outcomes we are working towards (Improved socio-economic conditions; Strong volunteer integration; Community-driven partnerships; and Strong organisational capacity – refer to Perspectives 1, 2015).

To support this framework, we have now revised our mission and vision as follows:

To alleviate poverty by using business expertise to drive inclusive economic growth and well-being.

Strengthen business and institutions to enable a strong and vibrant private sector.

  • ABV’s core value continues to be altruism which is underpinned by the following principles:
  • We build capacity by transferring skills and knowledge.
  • We work with integrity, delivering what we promise and demonstrating impact.
  • We are collaborative and respectful in our approach, drawing on the cross-section of local community, business and government to develop targeted and sustainable solutions.

Those readers who know ABV well will realise this vision and mission are not so different from the previous incarnation. However we believe they are more reflective of ABV’s expertise, and the way we want to work and achieve impact under our theory of change, encapsulated in MERI.

International volunteering, and indeed the international development sector as a whole is changing. Long term assignments are no longer seen as the only way of achieving capacity building outcomes, and not-for-profits are now seeking to work with and harness the private sector to achieve development outcomes. Not only is the value of short-term highly skilled volunteering being acknowledged, but the role that small and medium enterprises play in addressing inequality and driving inclusive growth is also being recognised.

With more than three decades’ experience placing highly experienced volunteers on short term assignments with businesses, ABV is well placed to contribute in this new environment. We believe that our updated mission and vision helps to do this by capturing clearly the impact that ABV seeks to achieve, while our core value of altruism and supporting principles articulate our daily approach to all we do. We’d welcome any feedback you might have on the intent of these adjustments, to more accurately reflect our direction.

Australian Business Volunteers