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A Lobbying Strategy for a Community-Based Human Services Organization

Essay by review  •  January 11, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,206 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,381 Views

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A community-based human services organization is liked a uniquely approaching which the objective is meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. It is a non-profit organization. Therefore, it heavily relies on secure and stable funding which comes from federal and provincial governments, donations, membership and user fees, etc. And 57% organization revenues come mainly from provincial government. However, current studies show the government cuts the funding for these services agencies. The majority of agencies serious concerns have emerged about the long-term stability and capacity of the sector due to current funding practices. Issues such as the lack of funding for core organizational costs, and inconsistent and cumbersome reporting requirements must be addressed by funders to ensure the sustainability of critical part of the human service sector.

Since the early 1990s, senior levels of government have reduced and devolved many responsibilities to the community sector. However, the question is whether the community sector has the capacity, stability or the appropriate funding to assume this responsibility.

In 21st century, too many agencies result in the funding environment is competitive, unpredictable and frustrating. All agencies seek the funding through the same channels. The government has the difficulty on allocating the funding to each agency, since there are different types, sizes and structure of agency, various geographic environment and diverse programs. Sometimes, the government is unable to provide adequate funding for agency infrastructure. The government also has the serious concerns on how the agencies operate the funding, do the agencies have the accountability on fulfilling the program. Although projecting funding is one way government can target resources to address the citizensÐŽ¦ needs, the government still wonders do the agencies have the capability.

Recently, the government changes the form of funding, form shifts from core funding or long-term that support primarily service to short-term project funding. Indeed, the funding from the provincial government has been cut down. Therefore, the necessary issue is to design a lobbying strategy for the community-based sector to help them obtain increased funding by the provincial government. How a lobbying strategy can be more efficient and convictive, six steps need to be considered.

Steps 1 ÐŽV Decide on the type of issue. It is obviously that acquiring funding for the human services organization is an advocacy issue. Under this type of issue, it is focused on influencing the public awareness and acceptance, economic, or social behaviour.

Steps 2 ÐŽV Discuss what you want to achieve. For the community-based human services agency, it is kind of non-profit organization, so that it does not have its own incomes. If the agency has a plan that deliveries service to the citizens, it needs adequate funding to implement. The Community agency said in Jan. 2005 ÐŽ§Planning ahead is very difficult. It is hard to do when you donÐŽ¦t know if you will receive funding.ЎЁ The organization should communicate with the funder, in order to get the secure and stable funding for operation. The funding should cover not only core organizational costs that are necessary to effectively operate an agency such as rent, utilities, staff and volunteer training and supervision, volunteer co-ordination and financial management and reporting, but also on agency infrastructure; i.e., adequate level of salaries and benefits, compensation equity, development and to a small degree facilities, equipment and technology.

Steps 3 ÐŽV WhatÐŽ¦s the strategic variables.

Ñ"Ь Government is placing tighter restrictions on how money can be used, and require more information on how monies are spent and client outcomes are achieved. The community-based organization should prepare a good proposal-writing for funding and articulating project outcomes and performance measures documents to the government. And it has to show its capacity to assume the responsibility.

Ñ"Ь The community-based agency should let the government concern with the stability of the community-based sector which is an indispensable part helping the government delivering the services to various needs. In the meantime, the community-based organization should bring the governmentÐŽ¦s attention that the lack of funding will induce the organization struggling with program and staff fluctuations. In addition, it will affect the organization to offer permanent positions and raise occupancy costs for items such as rents and utilities. Moreover, the community-based agency should argue with the government and prove that if the funding can cover both core organization costs and agency infrastructure, then people will valued and supported, so that individual performance will improve. At the same time, the agency will attract and retain competent, committed staff and volunteers, therefore the agency performance improves. When these performances improve, the government is more likely to achieve the financial and outcome results his expect and require.

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