October 1, 2003
The Canadian Council of Social Development (CCSD) has produced a seminal report, "Funding Matters: The Impact of Canada's New Funding Regime on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations." This study analyses changing funding patterns throughout Canada and their impact on voluntary sector organizations. The findings of this study compliment the results of community-based research conducted in Halton in recent years that identify major funding issues and their consequent impact on the quality and accessibility of community services. Community Development Halton has prepared five Community Dispatches of the Fact Sheets prepared by CCSD for the June 2003 launch of their study. I believe this information is essential for all those in leadership roles in the nonprofit and voluntary sector. Furthermore, a workshop, Funding Matters: A Warning and An Opportunity, for senior managers, Board members, funders and concerned citizens is planned for Tuesday November 25, 2003. Katherine Scott, author of the CCSD report, will give the keynote address. Details will be available shortly.
Nonprofit and voluntary groups must now devote a disproportionate amount of time to securing funds and reporting back to funders. This time-consuming process diverts organizations from their key activities and affects the programs and services they provide to millions of Canadians.
Survey participants suggest that monitoring requirements have taken on a life of their own, imposing heavy demands that threaten the sustainability of many organizations, particularly the smaller ones.
Not surprisingly, human-resource fatigue was a top concern. The new funding climate has placed greater demands on staff and volunteers at most organizations, as they stretch themselves to the limit to remain faithful to their mission. In fact, 57% of groups surveyed reported greater difficulties in staying connected to their constituencies. Other worrisome trends include:
For more information on Funding Matters: The Impact of Canada's New Funding Regime on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations, visit the CCSD website at: http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/2003/fm/
Produced by Community Development Halton
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