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Pivot or Perish Collaborating to Combat Poverty in Saint John Sustainability Plan Overview March 12, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Pivot or Perish Collaborating to Combat Poverty in Saint John Sustainability Plan Overview March 12, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pivot or Perish Collaborating to Combat Poverty in Saint John Sustainability Plan Overview March 12, 2012

2 Sustainability Plan Overview Perceptions of VCSJ VCSJ Mandate The Future of Poverty Reduction Funding and Sustainability Leadership and Succession Moving Forward Milestones

3 Methodology and Approach Input on the Sustainability Plan was obtained through various methods: –Facilitated sessions with the Leadership Roundtable –Literature Review & Portal Development –Interviews with Key Informants / Stakeholders –Social Innovation Forum –Media & Community Awareness

4 Perceptions of VCSJ

5 Overall Perceptions A valued partner A competitor A social convener An agent of the Province A catalyst for change An interlocutor An advocate A cheerleader A victim of its own success

6 Overall Perceptions If VCSJ didn’t exist, it would need to be invented. High awareness of VCSJ; low awareness of activities, structure –BCAPI seen as dominant; little awareness of role of HDC, UCSN in formation/leadership –“An echo chamber” –Need to “re-educate” partners Ready access to money, media & decision-makers Doing work that wouldn’t be done otherwise –Responsible for population increase, neighbourhood revitalization

7 VCSJ Strengths 1/2 Branding - profile & name recognition People – with passion to achieve poverty reduction Diversity – inclusive & diverse partners Not complacent, risk-taking, “agent of change” Outwardly focused, good at building partnerships Evidence-based decision-making to address problems & challenges

8 Strengths 2/2 VCSJ – leader in innovative initiatives (neighbourhood organization) Good community support –VCSJ Partners are mutually supportive of each other –Large number of partners adds to quality of VCSJ work Clear poverty reduction strategy with goals & objectives –A learning organization with widely-regarded expertise on poverty reduction VCSJ has an “end date” – does not exist for its own sake

9 VCSJ Challenges 1/3 Increasing and managing diversity within organization is a challenge –Some community groups not represented (i.e. organized labour) –Large LRT may be unwieldy, but most feel the large number of partners is useful Integration of the outlying communities – do Rothesay and Quispamsis have a stake in the core of SJ? How does VCSJ fit in with the provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy? –VCSJ is more advanced than other CINS in the province. –Lack of clear direction from ESIC or GNB

10 Challenges 2/3 VCSJ doesn’t have an easily marketable “product or service.” –Work and outcomes of VCSJ not very tangible & hard to sell. –Lack of knowledge makes VCSJ vulnerable to funding cuts. –Hard to evaluate & measure success. VCSJ is unique to Saint John –VCSJ does not fit GNB policy paradigm; no departmental champion

11 Challenges 3/3 Economic situation – at all levels. Puts more pressure on people, programs. Challenge for the work going forward. Nature of poverty changing –Growing income inequality; –increased stigmatization and intolerance of the poor; –Population decline in the inner core of SJ; –Those remaining in poverty facing multiple barriers.

12 Opportunities 1/2 Deepen partnerships with United Way, Saint John Community Foundation, other poverty reduction groups Make the LRT more inclusive; invite organized labour to participate in VCSJ Premier Alward’s personal commitment to Poverty Reduction Pending municipal elections - Time is right to affect political influences (before an election). Time is right to refresh mandate; moving many things forward on many fronts VCSJ can seek ways to coordinate & collaborate with other organizations for strategic planning at macro level

13 Opportunities 2/2 VCSJ as a Community Inclusion Network (CIN) –Adds some funding to VCSJ budget –With more voices and more communities, VCSJ will be stronger –VCSJ can share experience by being involved with the CINs –New potash mine in Sussex may provide workforce connections/opportunities VCSJ has room to strengthen and grow in the areas of the current work plan. Lots of work still to needs be done!

14 Risks 1/2 Danger of losing focus… important to stay on track of objectives (poverty reduction). Need for sustainable funding (high dependence on government funding) and lack of funding diversity. –Funding may be re-focused on other areas – for example to symptomatic relief (soup kitchen) rather than on strategic solutions. (Urgent versus Important.) –Need more foundation support (long-term funding and freedom from political interference. –How does VCSJ diversify funding without competing with other local worthy organizations in the region?

15 Risks 2/2 Because of current economic climate, VCSJ partners have their own pressures and this may trickle down to affect VCSJ. Too dependent on government for funding. Prov poverty reduction plan & ESIC may be a risk – danger that other depts. may devolve their responsibility if they believe that ESIC is taking it all on. A worry about loss of engagement in VCSJ –Need to be able to sustain the interest among the partners, so partnerships remain effective. –Need to sustain engagement with volunteer Board Will VCSJ’s role as a CIN compromise its ability to advocate, “speak truth to power”?

16 VCSJ Mandate

17 Strong affirmation of poverty reduction as VCSJ’s sole objective. –Some anxiety that other activities may divert VCSJ from this goal. –Need to educate public on the relationship between VCSJ activities and poverty reduction, especially in those areas where relationship is not clear (neighbourhood revitalization, Around the Block) –Numbers may not be large but the change is profound –VCSJ derives mandate from broad base of support, not one group or organization

18 VCSJ Mandate Support for the four VCSJ policy areas –Need for evaluation, evidence-based decision-making –Evaluate and document success/outcomes “Do we want evidence-based policy or policy-based evidence?” – Mel Cappe, Former Clerk of the Privy Council

19 VCSJ Mandate The VCSJ Challenge We want to be…But we live in in a world that’s… Evidence-basedAnecdotal StrategicTactical Focussed on policyFocussed on programs Goal-drivenDistracted Focussed on the important Focussed on the urgent Pro-activeReactive

20 The Future of Poverty Reduction as Charity

21 The VCSJ Predicament Initial seeding & long-term reliance on single foundation Conscious policy decisions not to compete or cannibalize other community sources of funding Increased geographic scope & mandate through changing public climate (ESIC, city transit) VCSJ is victim of its own success Impending federal & provincial budgets in late March Pundits predicting a range of scenarios, 5-10% cuts Potential direct & indirect implications are profound, regionally & sectorally

22 Charitable Funding Trends for Canada Almost 23 million Canadians or 84% of the population aged 15 and over, make a financial donation to a charitable or non-profit organization annually. Typically, 80% of charitable donations come from individuals. Corporations are least likely to give – averaging less than 3%. In 2007, the average donation was $437, compared with $400 in (Source: Statistics Canada)

23 Monthly & Planned Giving Social service charities typically range in the top three for charitable gifts. On-line giving continues to grow at a rapid pace, however it still brings in less than the traditional direct mail campaign. Monthly giving is increasing, providing a stable source of dependable funding. Based on the current growth trajectory, monthly giving looks set to overtake cash giving in the next year as the major mode of individual funding for Canadian charities. Planned giving has increased to 8% and is an area of tremendous potential for Canadian charities.

24 Funding and Sustainability

25 Moving toward a sustainable funding model Develop a diverse funding mix. Changes in government priorities, new directions in a philanthropic foundations’ focus or a stagnant economy can critically impact an organization’s financial health. It is crucial to never depend on any one source for resources. In the current economic climate it is tempting for non-profit leaders to seek money wherever they can find it, causing a tail-wagging-the- dog effect (the organization loses focus on mandate or becomes so fundraising-oriented that no time is left for their mission). Diversifying revenue streams is key. Developing a reliable funding mix ensures financial security and dilutes risk.

26 What do Funders look for? Funders, whether they are individuals, foundations, corporations, or government, like to see evidence of organizational sustainability. Potential financial supporters want to see evidence that the organization’s funding is not dependent on one source and do not want to be exclusively responsible for an organization’s viability. “If the cause is worthy and the funds are well-spent, the money will be there.”

27 Funding mix As a rule, it is recommended that an organization not derive more than 30% of its funding from one source. Generally, a funding mix can include revenue from government grants and programs, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, individual donors, and self-generated earnings (special events, endowment funds, fee-for-service activities, or direct fund raising campaigns). A stable funding mix, besides maintaining the organization’s viability should one income stream dry up, allows for better long term financial planning.

28 Funding mix An NGO should aim for a balance of funding sources by: –retaining the original funders; –attracting a vibrant mix of project funders; –developing independent income streams; and –reviewing and revising the mix constantly. VCSJ needs to review its current funding structure to account for uncertain government support, changing priorities in the foundation sector, and new funding opportunities.

29 VCSJ's Projected Revenue Sources (2012)

30 Analysis of VCSJ’s revenue streams for 2012 and beyond With the sunsetting of VCSJ’s foundation support and the precarious nature of provincial funding programs, it is recommended that the organization move toward developing a more diversified funding model. The proposed revenue projections for 2012 show a heavy dependence on municipal and provincial government sources. Nearly 60% of VCSJ’s projected revenue comes from PNB. (For the purposes of this analysis, the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) has been shown separately from Province of New Brunswick (PNB) sources such as employment programs or other type of grants.)

31 Foundations, Feds & Fundraising Foundation funding, at 19%, could be increased. Multi-year funding is, of course, preferred, allowing better long term budget planning. However, most foundations currently only allow for one-year funding that may be project-specific. In this current model, VCSJ is weak on federal funding, donations (private individual) and corporate sponsorship. Self-generated revenue could also be increased through community fundraising events or through fee-for-service efforts that would draw on the expertise that VCSJ has developed since its inception. VCSJ has been cautious about competing for funds with other local charitable organizations

32 Sustainable Funding: Options Across the Income Spectrum for Community & Voluntary Orgs AskingEarning Donor Gift economy Funder Grant funding Purchaser Structured Market Consumer Open Market

33 Sample: social media & innovation

34 Leadership and Succession

35 Seasoned executive director moved on, which is characteristic of VCSJ Acting, interim director Small staff core with vulnerable funding sources Highly collegial decision-making model but disparate, virtualized resources and facilities, subject to the will & potentially shifting priorities of others Highly competent & qualified chair, not indigenous to the region Collateral implications, negative & positive, due to ESIC

36 Moving Forward

37 What does VCSJ do Next? Revitalize Neighbourhoods Increase Workforce Participation More effectively meet the needs of Single Parents Address the needs of Children & Youth

38 Revitalize Neighbourhoods Recognize the maturity of Crescent Valley and Old North End neighbourhood organization –Be less “paternal”, peers not parents –Evidence of success –Ongoing collaboration South End –Sense of community beginning to gel –Like CV and ONE in their early stages –Refocus resources

39 Revitalize Neighbourhoods Lower West End –A community under siege – crime, not poverty seen as chief community issue –VCSJ lacks “street cred” –Need to engage, increase sense of community/efficacy Waterloo Village –No sense of community, an “artificial construct” –A “watching brief”

40 Increase Workforce Participation One of the key priorities emerging from the Social Innovation Forum A possible role for social enterprise Need to deal with multiple barriers to employment Demographic change as a force for social inclusion –Labour market needs of employers will drive more investment in skills development, employability skills –Social policy will need to move beyond “warehousing” people New potash mine in Sussex might provide new opportunities for workforce participation.

41 Single Parents Support for parents and parenting, early childhood education Build on success of First Steps Access to child care High school completion, access to skills upgrading

42 Children and Youth Support for existing programs (PALS, community schools, etc.) Support the collaboration of youth-serving groups (Youth House) School attendance and achievement Early childhood education Evaluate programs in order to ensure efficacy,

43 Plans to 2015

44 Revisit Organization Design for Maximum Social Impact Create 8 word mission statement Performance metrics Scalability – for impact Impact into DNA Impact Behaviour change Mission Path to scale Impact model Big idea Org- anization Model Financial Model Stage

45 A Continued Mandate Keep on Continue focus on priorities & neighbourhoods Focus on intersections Comprehensive framework & activity clusters Social innovation –Social and public sectors

46 Continuing – Priority Impact Areas Revitalize Neighbourhoods Increase Workforce Participation Single Parents Children and Youth

47 Framework Comprehensive framework Activity clusters –Sustenance –Adaption –Engagement –Opportunity

48 Challenges of a Comprehensive Framework Completeness Challenge (Filling the Gaps) Coordination Challenge (Improving Links) Robustness Challenge (Strategic Investment) Completeness Challenge (Filling the Gaps) Innovation Challenge (Social Innovation) 5. Can elements be combined in creative ways to enable new possibilities? 4. Can elements be adjusted appropriately over time in relation to one another? 3. Are elements adequately resourced? 2. Are elements effectively linked? 1. Are elements missing?

49 The “Big Idea” Social convener Social innovation Public sector innovation Recruiting New funding Centers for Economic Opportunity Financial Empowerment Centers Financial Empowerment Coalition(s)

50 Pathways to Progress – Poverty Reduction Poverty line Wealth or income gaps Pathways out of poverty Asset or capacity building

51 Organizing for Impact Program planning, research & evaluation Operations, program delivery & coordination Social innovation & investment Engagement, communications & development VCSJ

52 Organizing for Innovation Staff Financial resources New competencies in fund-raising Collaborative opportunities

53 VCSJ Milestones Q – Q1 2015

54 2012 – Q1 Provincial Budget (March) Municipal Budget BCAPI AGM Year End Reports – City of Saint John Neighbourhood Funding Proposals – City of Saint John Community Foundation New Research Strategy

55 2012 – Q2 Municipal Elections (May) Urban Transport Initiatives Presentation NB Poverty Reduction Research Forum (SJ) VCSJ Reports to ESIC & RDC CF/United Way Funders Forum United Way AGM (new strategic plan) Merger of CHMRC/PRUDE Increase to Minimum Wage GNB Government Renewal Strategy Announced GSJ Community Foundation grant application deadline

56 2012 – Q3 Municipal budget cycle begins United Way Fundraising New School Districts implemented United Way Call for Grant Applications **add ESIC funding deadlines

57 2012 – Q4 Provincial budget cycle begins GSJ Community Foundation New Focused Funding Strategy United Way Fundraising John Howard Society 60th Anniversary End of 1st Co-op Housing Subsidy Dental/Vision Benefits (GNB)

58 2013 – Q1 Provincial Budget (March) BCAPI AGM Municipal Budget Year End Reports – City of Saint John Neighbourhood Funding Proposals – City of Saint John VCSJ 10th Anniversary New Regional Service Delivery Social Assistance Reform (GNB)

59 2013 – Q2 United Way AGM SSHRC Research Grant Deadline National Poverty Reduction Forum (possible) New Statistics Canada Data GSJ Community Foundation grant application deadline

60 2013 – Q3 Municipal budget cycle begins United Way Fundraising United Way Call for Grant Applications

61 2013 – Q4 Provincial budget cycle begins United Way Fundraising Youth House (planned commencement of operations) Diabetes Strategy/Funding for Low Income (GNB) Poverty & Plenty III (HDC)

62 2014 – Q1 Provincial Budget (March) BCAPI AGM Municipal Budgets Year End Reports – City of Saint John Neighbourhood Funding Proposals – City of Saint John End of Canada Building Program (TBC) Possible New National Community Foundation Initiative

63 2014 – Q2 United Way AGM GSJ Community Foundation grant application deadline

64 2014 – Q3 Provincial Election (September) Municipal Budget Cycle Begins United Way Fundraising United Way Call for Grant Applications End of Five Year Neighbourhood Funding Agreement (City of Saint John)

65 2014 – Q4 Provincial budget cycle begins United Way Funding 5th Anniversary OPT New YWCA/YMCA End of Homelessness Partnering Strategy Funding (HRSDC) End of Phase I Crescent Valley Revitalization Plan Urban Core Support Network 20th Anniversary

66 2015 – Q1 Provincial Budget (March) BCAPI AGM Municipal Budget Year End Reports – City of Saint John

67 Reduce Poverty in Saint John:2015 Significant drop in poverty – bring SJ to the national average…. or exceed that goal Workforce participation – an innovative approach to connecting people to the workplace Strengthen the social safety net Organizationally, VCSJ more involved in creating social businesses An increase in the residents being involved in their neighbourhood revitalization and participation Children’s academic achievement scores continue to improve and soar VCSJ has a diversified funding model and not as dependent on any one source

68 Questions? Comments? Chris Baker: Gary Stairs:


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