The growth and impact of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative is made possible by the engagement of over 850 Signatory Members and partners from across the world that are committed to a common vision: building a better future through and for the leaders of tomorrow. In addition to being a movement, PRME is also a non-profit organization that relies on the generous contributions of PRME Signatory Members to support its mission as well as the Secretariat team, which serves the interests and programmatic work of the community. Due to its nature and intended global impact, PRME has been presented with the need for a critical rethinking of its business model.
On November 30th, the PRME Board convened for its second meeting and made its first set of key strategic decisions on the future of PRME. Among these decisions was the consensus that, in line with the practice and standards of the UN Global Compact, and in order to ensure the financial sustainability of the Initiative and its community in the future, PRME will move from a Voluntary Fee Model, with Basic (non-paying) and Advanced (paying) Signatories, to a Mandatory Single-Fee Model, with only one category of Signatory Members beginning in 2021. As in previous years, fees will be charged annually as the PRME Annual Service Fee.
This decision comes after years of careful and considerate deliberation with Signatory Members, partners, and other key stakeholders. It is widely agreed that such a transition is the fairest route for all Signatory Members and is essential for the stability and future prosperity of the initiative and its constituents. After careful review of the financial performance and standing of the Initiative, the Board has come to the conclusion that the current business model can no longer support the financial sustainability and strategic direction of PRME.
While this decision was encouraged by a large majority of the community, we understand that this opens up the risk of the membership base being reduced, but we are confident that this is a more sustainable long-term plan for lasting impact. We have come to understand that even a small monetary contribution incentivizes in-depth engagement beyond biennial reporting. In time, this decision will increase the commitment of PRME Signatory Members to the mission and vision of a more sustainable future for the next generations. It will further lead to closer collaboration on responsible management education within the community and will enhance academia’s role in accelerating the achievement of Agenda 2030.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the PRME Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
The intention of moving to a single global fee is to make Signatory Member participation in Regional Chapters across the world guaranteed, fair, and inclusive. This will not prevent Chapters from seeking other sources of funding such as corporate partnerships, sponsorships, events, or research grants. Such additional income generated and spent in association with the United Nations brand shall be reported to the PRME Secretariat, as an initiative of the United Nations Global Compact. To support the development of all PRME Regional Chapters, a percentage of the single global fees will be put into a Development Fund and redistributed to Chapters to support their activities.
Currently, PRME Chapter UK & Ireland is the only Chapter that collects mandatory local fees. To ensure the continued success of the UK and Ireland Chapter the PRME Secretariat is in consultation and will collaborate closely with their Steering Committee with the aim to meet PRME Global as well as Chapter needs. The established local fee requirement will remain in place until a mutually agreed funding model is in place.
To provide ways in which Signatory Members can maximize their reach and impact on the Six Principles and SDGs through PRME, there will be additional engagement opportunities.
- Engaging with a global community of practice on RME and thought leadership, including cross-regional knowledge exchange
- Attracting prospective students to an existing network of over 3 million sustainably-minded peers and faculty
- Use of PRME Logo and UN brand
- Opportunity to take a leadership role in PRME Chapters and Working Groups
- Being featured in PRME global communications
- Preferred access to PRME and UN Global Compact events
- Preference for PRME and UN Global Compact internships
- Community toolbox of preferential resources and partnerships, including yearly Carbon Literacy Trainings
- Access to knowledge exchange platforms such as the "Blueprint for SDG Integration into Curriculum, Research and Partnerships" repository (launching soon)
We understand that this year, and the year to come, are exceptional and particularly difficult for higher education institutions. For this reason, there will be a grace period of one year to accommodate any instance in which a Signatory Member is unable to budget for even the minimum tier of contribution. During this grace period the PRME Board will further review and enhance the Business Model in order to ensure continued inclusivity and financial sustainability of PRME.
Following our traditional tiered model, based on an institution’s operating budget, each Signatory Member will be expected to contribute within their means at their corresponding tier, with no difference in engagement opportunities across tiers. In the past, these tiers have been adjusted annually to account for inflation and other factors, but this has not been the case over the last three years, with the fees remaining unchanged. Beginning in 2021, each tier will be adjusted by a small percentage for the years when this did not occur.