Amy Braier - 18 January 2016
“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do”, Elvis Presley
Although not the most obvious authority on the importance of values, Elvis most definitely got it right!
This is exactly how we think about our values at Pears. Our values are our DNA - they are the golden thread that runs through the Foundation informing everything from who we are, to what we do, who we work with and how we do it.
So what do passion, professionalism and integrity mean to us?
At the heart of Pears Foundation are its people. We are led by a passionate, engaged philanthropist whose compelling vision and commitment to tackling complex problems and creating lasting, positive change drives the Foundation.
The professional team share a genuine sense of enthusiasm and dedication to the Foundation’s causes and partners as we translate this vision into programmes and partnerships. We celebrate our partners’ successes, understand their challenges and push them to be better organisations.
We expect passion from our partners too. We want to work with people and organisations who are passionate about making the world a better place and who care deeply about their cause; deeply enough to speak truth to power - be that a funder or government - and to look beyond institutional boundaries and work for the good of their sector and wider society.
However, passion alone does not guarantee effectiveness – it’s difficult to work with an organisation that is passionate about its work but unable to submit a report on time.
But professionalism without passion can turn an organisation into an impersonal bureaucracy.
For us, the two go hand in hand.
The Pears team are dedicated to learning and reflecting. We have created robust grant-making systems to help us operate effectively, monitor our grants and achieve impact. We expect professionalism from our partners as well, on occasion helping organisations to build this capacity if we believe they have the passion and integrity to be a Pears partner.
Like any good relationship, we believe that funding partnerships should be based on trust and mutual respect. Integrity is what builds trust between the partners as we work and learn together. Without it the partnership simply won’t succeed.
We are open and honest with our partners and expect the same in return. If our partners are honest with us about their needs and the needs of their sector then we can make better decisions as a funder. We encourage them to tell us what we need to hear, not what they think we want to hear, and we will never penalise them for doing this. If things don’t go to plan we won’t walk away, but we will want to understand what happened and how we can all learn from it and work better in the future.
Passion, professionalism and integrity are the values that link our vision, our people and our work and, to paraphrase Elvis, we aim to leave ‘em over everything we do!