Council of Social Services Dunedin executive officer Alan
Shanks (right) and Community Support consultant Rob Tigeir
are working to help community organisations become stronger
in a tough funding environment. Photo by Brenda Harwood.
Dunedin community organisations must find ways to shift
to a more professional footing to ensure future sustainability
and secure ongoing government contracts.
That is the message from the Council of Social Services
Dunedin (Coss) Dunedin), which is working closely with its
135 member organisations to help them meet the challenge.
''Some smaller organisations haven't yet grasped the full
implications of the [changing funding] situation, so we are
working with them to develop strategies,'' Coss Dunedin
executive officer Alan Shanks said.
One of the first questions put to social sector and community
organisations by Coss Dunedin community support consultant
Rob Tigeir is ''why are you here?''
''This is a very important question for organisations to
answer, as it is increasingly vital that they can show they
are making a difference in people's lives,'' Mr Tigeir said.
Recently, the Ministry of Social Development, Department of
Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Health - which provide
funding for an array of community organisations - have been
moving towards a funding framework focused on ''outcomes''.
Organisations are increasingly being required to show they
are making a ''tangible, positive difference'' in people's
Under the ''Investing in services for outcomes'' framework,
which will take effect in the 2015-16 funding rounds, MSD
will look for organisations to be proactive and to work
collaboratively with other services.
''The number of people who come through the door is not the
focus. Outcomes are the important thing now,'' Mr Tigeir
said. Organisations were likely to find themselves being
funded under a more business-type model - being paid on
''delivery of service''.
The eventual result of the planned new funding model would
likely be that the government would wish to deal with fewer,
larger organisations, leading to possible mergers.
Part of Mr Tigeir's role involves providing ''capability
mentoring'', using MSD tools which aim to help groups to look
at all aspects of their governance and sustainability.
''The biggest challenging is understanding your `outcomes'
and being able to prove our worth as community
organisations,'' he said.
''If we can't do that, we won't get paid.''