Community Scoop

Let’s ponder while we wait

Dianne Armstrong
Philanthropy Manager Dianne
Arthritis New Zealand

The country is waiting for a political outcome and it seems that we will be waiting for at least another week. But for charities, are we really waiting?  I’m sure that every charity out there has continued since Election Day working across NZ and in their communities for the people and causes  they support.

During this hiatus I pondered whether charities had political leanings in the same manner as we mere humans?

How much do staff members influence the political leanings of an organisation and is that helpful?

Political parties all have their own agendas and it’s surely a charities role to advocate for their constituents and convince politicians of whatever party of the importance of their work and of course that they need more resources to make a difference. Making a difference is a priority or vision for most charities.  In my experience some charities are successful in this advocacy and some not so. That’s often a human resource and staffing issue.

We heard during the campaign of the need for more social housing, more support for children, more health funding, greater access to new and expensive drugs and daily the papers carried stories of the plight of individuals.

How are decisions then made on funding to support the myriad of causes that were presented over recent weeks?  Is it the squeakiest wheel, the most heart wrenching story or the numbers of New Zealanders impacted. I’m personally convinced that for politicians it appears to be a no win situation. For every charity or cause that gets government funding support others lose.

Does the fact that a politician personally has a condition or a family member come into play? Does the voting history and support of a charities CEO have any influence?

It would be great to think that neither of the above are involved in the decisions but often it’s difficult to fathom some funding outcomes.

Is there a fairer more transparent way of funding charities based on agreed formulas and priorities?

I’m not sure that there is any charity who is not advocating for more funding for their clients and that work I’m sure will increase over coming weeks as the political picture becomes clearer.

Wouldn’t it be great if charity funding was one of the bottom lines being negotiated!

Every charity is providing amazing support for their communities and this will continue despite the political decisions lto come. But some will continue to struggle to fund the work that is important to them.

It would be great to think that our futures are all supported despite the political parties involved and our own personal political preferences.

This blog has been contributed by a member of the ComVoices network

ComVoices actively promotes the value that community sector organisations and their people, both paid and unpaid, add to New Zealand’s economic and social wellbeing through information, and political advocacy and dialogue.

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