News and updates
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OCVS based at Department of Internal Affairs from 1 February
1 February 2011
The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector moved from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) on 1 February 2011. The shift followed a State Services Commission review of the institutional and Vote arrangements for the community and voluntary sector, and brings the portfolio together into one Crown agency, rather than split between MSD and DIA.
The OCVS functions, funding and most staff transfer to DIA on 1 February, however Iris Webster will remain at MSD in a new Senior Advisor Risk position with Work and Income. Acting OCVS Director, Alison McDonald will resume her Principal Advisor position with MSD and Caroline Bridgland from DIA will be the new Acting Director of the OCVS. Caroline will be familiar to many of you through her previous role as Private Secretary in the Community and Voluntary Sector Minister's office, and various roles at DIA.
Permanent arrangements to fill vacant OCVS roles will be made once other senior positions at DIA are filled. The OCVS move coincides with the amalgamation of the National Library and Archives NZ with Internal Affairs, and the transfer to DIA of the functions of the Government Chief Information Officer and leadership for the Directions and Priorities for Government ICT, so much broader changes are also underway at DIA.
New contact information
- The OCVS will be based in the new Policy, Regulatory & Ethnic Affairs branch (PREA) at Level 10, 46 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington
(report to level 1 reception if visiting)
- The main OCVS phone number will be 04 495 7200
- Staff emails will be firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- The new postal address is:
Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector, PO Box 805, Wellington 6140.
Redirects will be in place should you use our old contacts, but if we don't respond in a timely manner, please try an alternative contact method in case something goes awry.
» Read the Minister's announcement of the transfer
Update on development of Kia Tūtahi relationship agreement
31 January 2011
In December, the Kia Tūtahi Standing Together Steering Group published a revised version of the relationship agreement on the OCVS website, together with a summary of its response to the feedback received.
Thank you to those who commented on the revised version. Steering group members also had very useful conversations around how to give effect to the principles of the agreement with members of umbrella and national organisations and government officials.
The Steering Group meets in early February to consider your responses and agree its recommendations to the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.
» View the revised proposed Agreement on the OCVS website
» See the Steering Group's response to feedback
Giving indicators provide insight on volunteers
31 January 2011
The latest Quarterly Generosity Indicators (up to June 2010) were released in December and include additional insight about the one million people who volunteered in the June quarter. The report compares characteristics and behaviours of people who volunteered for or through an organisation with ‘the average person'.
Compared to ‘the average person', the estimated 1,035,000 people who volunteered in the June 2010 quarter were:
Lifestyle and attitudes
- 26 percent more likely to have a busy social life
- 20 percent more likely to go the gym at least twice a week
- 20 percent more likely to agree that they would be lost without their mobile phone
- 35 percent more likely to agree that their paid work is more than just a job.
- 44 percent more likely to have at least one cup of fresh coffee per day
- 47 percent more likely to have eaten packet sweets in the past week
- 26 percent more likely to have eaten a chocolate bar in the past week
- 23 percent more likely to buy New Zealand made products
- 20 percent more likely to check country of origin labelling on products.
The September 2010 Quarterly Generosity Indicators report will be available in late February, with a full year of data featuring more in-depth analysis in April - to coincide with the Philanthropy through the Looking Glass conference.
As more detail on the behaviours of givers becomes available, this has potential to help community groups target who, where and how they recruit and engage prospective supporters. The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector, in association with the Generosity Hub, commissions Nielsen Media Research to collect quarterly data on giving and volunteering in New Zealand.
Code of Funding Practice seminar presentations online
31 January 2011
Nearly 100 public servants and their community stakeholders attended December's Good Practice in Action seminar on the new Code of Funding Practice.
The seminar invited funding partners to examine their practices and consider how they can use the Code to enhance their processes, with many attendees going away thinking of improvements that could be made.
Powerpoints of the case studies are available online, and we hope to add video of some in the coming weeks. The presentations were:
- Ministry of Social Development's Family & Community Services and Ngāti Awa Social and Health Services on the High Trust Contract
- SPARC on their Regional Sport Trust investment programme
- Department of Conservation and the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust
funded from the Biodiversity Fund
- Ministry of Health and Te Pou on Faiva Ora - the National Pasifika Disability Plan
- Ministry of Social Development, Work & Income and Interactionz on a
long-term contract to deliver services to people with disabilities
- Ministry for the Environment funding a non-profit through the Waste Minimisation Fund
- Department of Internal Affairs case study on outcome-focused grants: Porirua Living Without Violence
» See all the Powerpoint presentations in one place
» View the Code of Funding Practice at www.goodpracticefunding.govt.nz
2011: International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10)
31 January 2011
2011 is being specially marked by the United Nations as the 10th Anniversary of International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10).
Ten years ago, in 2001, the International Year of Volunteers celebrated the effort and commitment of tens of millions of volunteers who strive to make a difference. This year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and more than 40 major international volunteer-based organisations will engage the will, positive energy and innovation of millions of people towards realising the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the achievement of community-centered objectives.
"Volunteers take action in many areas and in all societies. Volunteers don't wait for others to solve their problems for them - they engage with their own knowledge and capacities and play an essential role as active citizens shaping their societies," says Flavia Pansieri, the Executive Coordinator of United Nations Volunteers (UNV).
"For this international year, we're focusing on what really matters: protecting volunteers, promoting the work they're doing, and recognising the real impact they have on communities across the globe", says International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Secretary General, Bekele Geleta.
Dr. Kang Hyun Lee, President of the International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE), says, "Volunteering is a fundamental building block of civil society. It brings to life the noblest aspirations of humankind - the pursuit of peace, freedom, opportunity, safety, and justice for all people".
With the right support and infrastructure, volunteer efforts are a true complementary component of any institutional peace, development and humanitarian effort. In marking this year, volunteer-based organisations will not only promote and recognise the diversity of volunteerism initiatives worldwide, but also call on governments, UN entities and civil society actors to engage in creating an enabling environment to support volunteerism.
Awareness of the importance and far-reaching impact of volunteering has risen following events such as the Canterbury and Haiti earthquakes, the Australian floods, and other recent crises and natural disasters.
As part of IYV+10, New Zealand will join the rest of the world in reflecting on what has been achieved in the decade since 2001 and what needs to happen to raise the bar for volunteering into the future.
Kiwi volunteering highlights during 2011 will include the national Volunteering Conference in May, Volunteer Awareness Week in June, the Rugby World Cup 2011, more new research insights about volunteers from the Quarterly Giving Indicators, the continuation of VNZ's development project for management of volunteers, plus a range of other events and activities being planned by a range of volunteer-involving organisations.
» Watch the OCVS and Volunteering NZ websites for more news as IYV+10 progresses
» See UN information on IYV+10 (PDF)
» Volunteer Awareness Week (19-25 June 2011)
Revised draft community-government relationship agreement now available
25 November 2010
The Kia Tutahi Steering Group thanks everyone who participated in the July and August consultation hui or made a submission on the draft Kia Tutahi Relationship Agreement. The feedback received was extensive and helpful, and steering group members say it was great to hear the many different voices of people within communities and government.
The steering group received a clear message that people wanted to see the proposed agreement before it is finalised, so a new version of the proposed agreement, along with a summary of the steering group's response to the feedback is now available on the OCVS website.
More input to policy development expected from new ICT priorities
9 November 2010
In October, Internal Affairs Minister, the Hon Nathan Guy, announced that the Government has adopted a set of directions and priorities for information and communication technology (ICT) management and investment across the State Services. The Directions and Priorities for Government ICT replaces the 2006 e-Government Strategy.
Mr Guy also confirmed that strategic and operational leadership for the Directions and Priorities for Government ICT, including the functions of the Government Chief Information Officer and the stewardship of the New Zealand e-GIF, will transfer to the Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs.
The Directions and Priorities for Government ICT seek to align and coordinate government agencies in planning, development, procurement and delivery of ICT services to achieve a higher quality of experience for New Zealanders and reduced costs through economies of scale and reuse.
Direction 2 is to "support open and transparent government". Related priorities are to:
- improve public access to government data and information
- support the public, communities and business to contribute to policy development and performance improvement
- create market opportunities and services through the re-use of government data and information.
The officially-released Cabinet paper states that one of the changes expected over the next 18 months to two years, as a result of adopting the Directions and Priorities for Government ICT, is an increase in contributions to policy development through online channels by the public, communities and business. Other expected changes include cost savings, reduced duplication and more collaboration.
» Read more about Directions and Priorities for Government ICT
» Have your say on how government can improve online information and services (before 30 November)
» Read the State Services Guide to Online Participation: When Government Engages
Minister Turia launches Code of Funding Practice
6 October 2010
The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Hon. Tariana Turia has launched the Code of Funding Practice to help government funders and non-profit organisations work together when using public funds to benefit communities.
The Code of Funding Practice is now available online at http://www.goodpracticefunding.govt.nz where users can explore the seven core code areas, and the accompanying criteria, success indicators and examples of good practice. Review tools for each core code (available online) can help funders and recipient agencies to assess their current practice against the new Code and identify appropriate changes. Additional online guidance to support implementation of the Code of Funding Practice will be added in coming months.
The voluntary Code of Funding Practice complements official guidance from the Treasury and the Office of the Auditor-General, and will help government and community parties to understand each other's motivations and purpose. The Code of Funding Practice is not prescriptive, but focuses on behaviours that lead to more productive relationships and help improve trust and achieve outcomes.
The Code of Funding Practice can be used by funding managers and negotiators, the non-profits that they fund, and public servants involved in designing funding processes or making recommendations on funding policies.
More than $3 billion of public money is provided annually to the non-profit sector - for services and activities as diverse as aged care, mental health, care and protection of children, sports, the arts, conservation and international aid. Although most of the 97,000 non-profit organisations in New Zealand receive no government funding, those that do require fit-for-purpose funding arrangements so they can achieve good outcomes for communities and make good use of public resources.
Months of collaborative work went into development of the Code of Funding Practice. The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) and Standards NZ held a series of interviews with government and non-profits to inform the initial draft. In April 2010, Standards NZ sought input via public consultation. The Code of Funding Practice was refined based on responses to the consultation, and the funding and accountability network and various government agencies helped to finalise content.
The OCVS hopes to run a Good Practice in Action seminar based around the Code of Funding Practice later in 2010, and will send details of this at a later date.
Explore the Code of Funding Practice now at http://www.goodpracticefunding.govt.nz
Payroll giving donations grow slowly
16 September 2010
Payroll giving only began in New Zealand in January this year, but already donations through the scheme have reached $170,193 for a single month, and they seem to be growing - according to new data from Inland Revenue.
Figures for June 2010, show this amount was donated by 1,135 employees in 227 workplaces. Because the donations were made via payroll giving, the employees received IMMEDIATE tax credits totaling $56,731 - effectively making their generosity more affordable.
Since payroll giving began, 342 distinct employers have processed at least one payroll giving donation. Reasons why only 227 employers notified Inland Revenue of payments in June may be:
- some employees are using payroll giving to make one off donations
- a few employers have stopped offering it
- staff who were donating that way have moved on or not worked
- some of the Employer Monthly Schedules had not yet been processed.
More than 35,000 staff work for the employers who have introduced payroll giving. So far, only 2.8% to 4.1% of staff are donating direct from their wages or salary in workplaces that have processed payroll giving donations. This indicates there is scope for extra promotion within these workplaces to encourage more staff to take advantage of the immediate tax benefits of payroll giving. Of course, there is also a need to encourage more employers (including donee organisations) to offer payroll giving to their employees.
Figures for the first six months of payroll giving show:
- 56 employees working for 34 employers donated $12,729 in January 2010
- 135 employees working for 69 employers donated $16,983 in February 2010
- 249 employees working for 80 employers donated $25,863 in March 2010
- 952 employees working for 174 employers donated $83,262 in April 2010
- 980 employees working for 214 employers donated $114,813 in May 2010
- 1,135 employees working for 227 employers donated $170,193 in June 2010.
That is a total of more than $423,500 donated via payroll giving in six months - so if growth continues at this rate, a total of $2 million could be donated in the first year. If more people start requesting and promoting payroll giving, then the donations to worthwhile causes will be even greater and so will the tax credits people receive!
Since payroll giving began, several payroll companies have adapted software to make administration easier for employers. Intermediaries are also gearing up to assist both employers and non-profit recipients with processing. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has also been making its software freely available to employers who wish to introduce payroll giving in their workplaces.
New guides on charitable tax changes can assist various organisations
16 September 2010
Nineteen different information sets have been created to highlight the key benefits of payroll giving and offer ideas to promote payroll giving and overcome barriers to its introduction. They also explain recent changes to the tax treatment of volunteer reimbursements and honoraria, and the lifting of the cap on tax credits for charitable donations.
Information has been designed for specific audiences such as Māori, the arts, sports groups, recreation organisations, churches, schools, fundraisers, employees, corporates and small-medium businesses.
Donee organisations/charities have key roles to play in encouraging their existing supporters to consider how they want to give of their time and/or money. This might include supporters actively requesting payroll giving in their workplaces. Donee organisations that employ staff can also set an example by implementing payroll giving in their own workplaces.
Research on giving indicates that approximately 794,000 people in employment are already committed givers (ie: making regular contributions of time or money to causes that are important to them). By switching to payroll giving, many of these workers could potentially get money back that they might not have claimed from Inland Revenue in the past. This effectively makes donations more affordable, which may encourage some people to increase the amounts they give.
Check the list and download and print the version most relevant to you. A limited number of hard copies are also available, so e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help distribute these.
Bigger tax credits claimed by donors since law change
16 September 2010
Donors claiming tax credits from Inland Revenue are getting more money back following changes to legislation. Individuals have been able to claim tax credits of 33.33%, up to the value of their annual income, for donations made in the 2008/2009 tax year onwards. Similarly, companies and Māori authorities have been able to claim tax deductions for donations up to the level of their net income (before taking into account the donation deduction).
Inland Revenue figures for the 2008/2009 tax year show a big leap in the amount of money credited to donors - even though the number of people making a claim dropped slightly.
- For the year ending 31 March 2007, 393,800 donors received tax credits totalling $110.5 million
- For the year ending 31 March 2008, 401,100 donors received tax credits totalling $114.8 million
- For the year ending 31 March 2009, 377,500 donors received tax credits totalling $187.4 million
With the tax credit now equaling one third of the donation amount, this means the 2009 claims represent donations totalling at least $562.2 million.
Claims can be still be made for previous years if you have the donation receipts, but the tax credit for individuals is limited to $1,890 for donations made prior to 1 April 2008. Tax credit donation claims are processed separately from other income tax returns, so you can put in a tax credit claim without having to complete any other tax documents. If you don't want the tax credit for yourself - you can provide the bank account details of a worthy organisation and they will get the money you don't need.
Consultation underway on draft Community-Government relationship agreement
7 July 2010
Feedback is being sought on a draft Relationship Agreement between the Communities of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Government of New Zealand.
Drafted by the Kia Tutahi Standing Together Steering Group, the agreement will be a guide for how government agencies and communities can work together.
The Kia Tutahi-Standing Together Steering Group is a joint group of community members and government officials appointed by the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Hon Tariana Turia.
The Steering Group is keen to hear from the community and voluntary sector, the public and government agencies on their response to the draft Agreement, and is especially keen to talk about:
- The content of the draft Agreement (eg: vision, principles, wording, etc)
- How to ensure the agreement is put into practice
- How to get the message out
- How to keep things on track
- How to know if the Agreement is working and how to do it right.
During July and August, the Steering Group is seeking public input through nationwide hui, written submissions and an online discussion forum. Seventeen regional hui will be held around the country, with the first one held in Rotorua on 9 July 2010.
Participation linked to effective public services
20 May 2010
A recently-published literature review explores reasons why 'participation' remains high on the international political and policy agenda – associating participation with greater social justice, more effective public services and a society of self-confident citizens.
The review identifies four primary reasons why advocates of participation in national and local governance see it as a good thing.
- By involving individuals more directly in decisions that affect their lives, participation is seen as a way of strengthening the legitimacy and accountability of democratic institutions.
- Involving people in local decision-making processes and bringing them together around a common cause or interest can empower communities and help build social cohesion.
- Participation is considered a tool for reforming public services and providing services that are more efficient and better suited to people's needs.
- Personal benefits for individual participants range from increased political efficacy and satisfaction gained from influencing change, to personal development and growth in self-esteem from learning new skills such as public speaking
Undertaken as part the UK Pathways through Participation project, the review covers many types of participation – including community development, volunteering, public participation, social movements, everyday politics and ethical consumption.
The review looks at the historical and current drivers of participation, the activities and actors of participation – exploring how and why people get involved and stay involved in different forms of participation over the course of their lives.
Relationship Agreement Steering Group's work progressing
20 May 2010
The Kia tutahi Standing Together Steering Group has met four times since its membership was announced in early April. The group is posting a brief summary online shortly after each meeting to share key discussion points.
The Kia tutahi Standing Together Steering Group was set-up by the Hon Tariana Turia to lead the development of a Relationship Agreement to replace the 2001 Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship. The Steering Group has been tasked to assist the Minister to complete the Agreement by October 2010.
The Steering Group has developed an initial framework and thoughts on the Agreement and envisages a short, aspirational document with associated documents to guide implementation.
Payroll giving schemes now underway in NZ workplaces
19 January 2010
New Zealand workplaces can now introduce voluntary payroll giving schemes to enable employees to receive immediate tax credits on donations to approved organisations.
Payroll giving is an easy way for employees to support good causes as it enables donations to go directly from a person's pay to a chosen community organisation. Payroll giving will be administered through the PAYE tax system, so people whose employers introduce a payroll giving scheme will receive the tax benefits of their donations each payday, without having to present donation receipts or wait to claim at the end of a tax year.
In November 2009, every employer received a letter and brochure explaining the basic changes. Employers with five or more staff also received a CD-Rom including the Payroll Giving Guide (IR617) from Inland Revenue and a selection of promotional posters. All this material is available on the Inland Revenue website and from the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector website.
How workplaces choose to set up payroll giving is very flexible - it is entirely voluntary for both employers and staff - and employers can limit the scheme to a few community organisations if they choose to.
Some workplaces are planning to start with a short list of groups to support, so they can keep things simple for the initial introduction of the payroll giving. The OCVS has heard of workplaces where staff have voted for which groups to support, and other situations where donors (who are employers) have decided to offer their staff the opportunity to give to that chosen group.
Some workplaces will be introducing payroll software that makes it easy for staff to change their own payroll donations - giving them the opportunity to donate to any one of the 18,000 plus donee organisations registered with Inland Revenue.
» Check the donee organisations list to see who you can potentially donate to
Community-Government Forum explores development of a Relationship Agreement
26 November 2009
A national Community-Government Forum held in Wellington on 11 November 2009 was hosted by the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Hon. Tariana Turia. Prime Minister John Key and other government Ministers attended part of the day-long event, which was a further step towards building strong and trusting community-government relationships. Relevant government agency representatives also attended.
The event provided an opportunity for government to hear the voices of the community and discuss specific actions in response to the recent reports from the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations Aotearoa (ANGOA) and the Building Better Government Engagement (BBGE) reference group. The forum discussed possible development of a Relationship Agreement to replace the 2001 Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship.
A steering group of community stakeholders helped the OCVS organise the forum and plan the day’s programme.
Non-profits - a significant (and diverse) economic force, even in recession
26 November 2009
The community sector includes 11 distinctly different sub-sectors that are diverse in terms of size, number of organisations, income sources, contribution to GDP and reliance on volunteers.
While the Culture, Sports and Recreation sub-sector is by far the largest group (44.6%) in terms of numbers of non-profit institutions, the Social Services sub-sector is the largest group (29.9%) by number of employees and in terms of economic contribution to GDP.
Data from Statistics NZ's NZ Non-Profit Institutions Satellite Account: 2004 and the How Do New Zealanders Give? report show the extent of volunteering and support that Kiwis perform for the different parts of the sector.
The How Do New Zealanders Give? report was sourced from Nielsen Media Research Panorama (Jan-Dec 2007 database)/Nick Jones & Associates Consumer who Cares service.
New Zealand’s non-profit sector*:
- contributes 2.6% to GDP
- contributes 4.9% to GDP when taking into account volunteer labour
- contains more than 1.2 million volunteers who give more than 270 million hours of unpaid labour to the sector
- has over 97,000 non-profit organisations
- has over 105,000 paid employees – only 10% of all non-profit organisations employ paid staff.
*Non-profit Institutions Satellite Account: 2004, Statistics New Zealand.
New Zealand Non-Profit Sector and Government Policy research published online
1 October 2009
The final paper from the Study of the NZ Non-Profit Sector has been published online. The NZ Non-Profit Sector and Government Policy examines the relationship between the non-profit sector and government, and the public policy environment in which the sector operates in Aotearoa. In particular, it explores the impact of government policy on the sector and how current issues facing the sector are linked to interactions with government.
Non-profit organisations are affected by laws and regulations that determine their legal forms, tax treatment, and the ways in which they can act. Government agencies’ operational policies, particularly in relation to the manner and extent of funding for non-profits, also have a major impact. This report represents one of the first attempts to analyse recent developments across the whole sector.
It notes that the state’s relationship with the non-profit sector is constantly changing, nuanced and complex. Historically, some government agencies have had more comfortable relationships with the sector than others. The report observes that "the state is a conflicting ensemble of institutions rather than a monolith" – resulting in a multitude of relationships between different organisations.
Government committed to building strong community relationships
8 September 2009
The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has released publicly a Cabinet paper entitled Government Commitment to Building Strong Community Relationships. This paper proposes a programme of actions to strengthen government engagement with citizens and communities.
The programme of action was in response to the Good Intentions report by the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa (ANGOA) and the From Talk to Action report by the Building Better Government Engagement reference group.
Cabinet agreed that a national Community-Government Forum in November 2009 will consider development of a Relationship Agreement to replace the 2001 Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship.
Cabinet also agreed that:
- the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector, assisted by the State Services Commission and Te Puni Kokiri, and in consultation with the Treasury and Office of the Auditor-General, will assess how community relationships can be included in wider work around improving and measuring government performance
- the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector and Cabinet Office will work to clarify guidance in the CabGuide regarding consultation with community and voluntary organisations on policy proposals.
The government will also be working on the development of:
- a set of principles to guide effective community engagement
- a code of practice to guide government agencies when funding community organisations
- regionally-delivered seminars on good practice in community engagement.
A number of other actions across government were also noted by Cabinet.
BBGE group recommends improvements to community engagement
20 August 2009
The Building Better Government Engagement (BBGE) reference group released its report From Talk to Action: Engagement with Citizens and Communities on 31 July after submitting it to the OCVS and the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.
The report is the follow-up to the BBGE group’s discussion document It’s More than Talk, which explored options for building engagement skills, knowledge and values in the public service.
From Talk to Action lays out challenges for the community and government to achieve effective engagement and trusting, respectful relationships.
The report states that active engaged citizens are core to addressing societal issues, and the benefits of effective engagement will include strengthened public trust in government, greater government transparency, enhanced civic capacity to contribute to decision-making, and polices based on better information and wider consensus.
Recommendations in the report call for:
- high level government commitments to engagement
- the development of accountability mechanisms
- better co-ordination and collaboration
- more capability building to improve skills within the public service
- greater consideration of diversity and support for community-led development.
The next step is now up to the OCVS and Minister Turia. The Minister, in discussion with her colleagues, is developing a formal response to From Talk to Action and Good Intentions (the recent report from ANGOA on ways to improve the community-government relationship). Once finalised and agreed, the OCVS will communicate what actions will be initiated in response to community feedback.
OCVS Director, Alasdair Finnie welcomed the report, saying “it is a comprehensive contribution to the debate on this important subject, and provides some clear direction on what is needed to change the status quo.”
Practical ideas to help community groups work differently during the recession
15 April 2009
At February's Impact on Communities: Managing the Downturn Together workshop in Wellington, participants acknowledged the need to work differently or face dire consequences from the economic downturn.
The importance of greater collaboration, diversifying income sources, and proving effectiveness were some of the ideas discussed.
A new section on the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector website offers some guidance in these key areas. As well as tips for community organisations, it includes guidance on what funders and government agencies can do to help community groups through the recession.
New resources will be added based on recommendations from the community sector.
Change, or face dire consequences - community sector told: Media release
27 February 2009
“Work together differently or face dire consequences from the economic downturn” was the challenge put to attendees at the Impact on Communities: Managing the Downturn together workshop held in Wellington on Wednesday 25 February, 2009.
The message was delivered repeatedly by members of an invited panel and key speakers at the workshop, which involved 60 community and government sector participants.
“Now more than ever, co-operation amongst non-profits is essential” said NZFVWO President Tony Mayow.
“Whilst businesses may be struggling to maintain jobs, the voluntary sector continues to maintain volunteers for now, but if demand for services goes through the roof and funding goes through the floor, then the sector could face huge problems,” said Mayow.
Leading Wellington economist, Suzanne Snively helped set the scene for participants in a keynote address, pointing out that “New Zealand non-profits and their volunteers contribute 4.9 percent to our nation’s GDP, more than the construction industry. With around 105,340 paid employees, the community sector can help lead productivity and the pace of economic recovery.”
Jointly hosted by the NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (NZFVWO), Philanthropy NZ and the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS), the gathering worked towards identifying practical actions to help the non-profit sector manage its way through the economic downturn.
As a first step, workshop participants agreed to respond to the downturn by exploring how to overcome duplication and gain efficiencies, while encouraging people to continue to volunteer and be employed in the sector. Closer relationships with Government to develop joint initiatives will also be sought.
For further information, contact:
Tina Reid, Executive Director, NZFVWO, 027 684 6640;
Robyn Scott, Executive Director, Philanthropy New Zealand, 027 618 2400;
Alasdair Finnie, Director, OCVS, 029 200 6041
Impact on Communities: Managing the Downturn Together
27 February 2009
A workshop on 25 February was a collaborative effort to identify what effect the recession may have on communities in New Zealand, and what can be done to lessen any negative impacts (and maximise positive ones),
Philanthropy NZ, the NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare organisations and the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) invited a selection of community and voluntary sector representatives, and the government agencies working with them, to attend an Impact on Communities: Managing the Downturn Together workshop in Wellington on 25 February.
Around 60 people attended the workshop, which helped to build a greater understanding around what is happening with the credit crunch and economic downturn; discussed the impacts for non-profit organisations from a social and economic perspective; and explored strategies to manage finite resources.
Leading economist, Suzanne Snively of PricewaterhouseCoopers gave an overview of economic changes as they affect the community and volutnary sector - identifying impacts and options. This was followed by a panel discussion about the recession's impacts on communities and how to manage the effects of the downturn together. The panel featured Jeff Sanders (Relationship Services), Donna Matahaere (Arai te Uru), Geraldine Clifford (Taeaomanino Trust), Jenny Gill (ASB Community Trust) Heather Newell (Foresee Communications) and Derek Gill (Future Makers).
'Living' document shows NZ efforts to build better government engagement
10 October 2008
As part of the Building Better Government Engagement project, a stocktake of current resources and activities that support or illustrate effective engagement practices in New Zealand has been compiled.
Activities are categorised as follows:
- staff development
- legislative requirements
- planning and accountability
- policy and research
- activities across the ‘inform-consult-partner-empower’ spectrum
- protocols and agreements.
The summary is a living document and the OCVS is interested in hearing of other significant resources and activities that could be included.
The Building Better Government Engagement project reference group is developing a discussion document looking at issues in community engagement and options for building engagement skills, knowledge and values in the public service.
Community sector's foresight results in hard data
1 September 2007
The publication of the Non-Profit Institutions Satellite Account in August 2007 was a long time coming, but well worth the wait!
The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) thanks all those who helped bring the publication to fruition. In particular, the OCVS acknowledges the important role the community and voluntary sector played in this long journey.
Five years ago, the Community Trusts brought Lester Salamon, the head of the Centre for Civil Society at Johns Hopkins University, to New Zealand and from there they persisted until they were successful with their goal of getting New Zealand to join the International Comparative Study of the Non-Profit Sector. Their ability to look to the future and to appreciate the importance of collecting this information together in one place is to their credit, and epitomises one of the real strengths of the non-profit sector.
We thank the community and voluntary sector for initiating this opportunity to join together with government to better understand the economic contribution of non-profit insititutions, and we look forward to ongoing collaboration and co-operation as our knowledge grows.