Funding impacting Wellington's community organisations
Uncertainty about funding and government direction impacting Wellington’s community organisations
A recent survey of members of Community Networks Wellington (CNW) has found that insecure funding and changes in the government’s approach to the sector are creating uncertainty for community organisations.
The survey of CNW’s 90 members had a 40% response rate and provides insight to what some of the city’s social service agencies and community-based organisations are facing in their work.
“We’ve noticed a shift in our members’ outlook for the community sector,” says CNW Chair, Mary O’Regan. “When we surveyed our members 12 months ago the key issues they identified were those facing their clients: housing, homelessness, inequality and poverty. This year however, our members’ main concerns are around their own organisation’s viability: in particular funding and changes in the government’s approach to the community sector.”
The recent experience of Vincents Art Workshop, a member of CNW, is an increasingly common story for community organisations. Vincents' partnership with a government department had previously been based on a two-year funding agreement, but, this year they were told that their funding would be rolled over for five months before new funding criteria would begin. The funding has since been reinstated for one year. However, as Vincents’ Coordinator, Glen McDonald, says, “This sort of uncertainty makes it really hard to plan programmes, budget, or to look ahead. It’s unsettling for both staff and the people we work with.”
Community Networks Wellington (formally known as Wellington Council of Social Services) has operated in the Wellington community since 1952. It is a member-based organisation with over 90 members in Wellington city and a newsletter distribution of 140. The organisation’s primary purpose is to share information, resources and knowledge with organisations and individuals working in, for and with the Wellington community to encourage a collaborative and effective community sector.