19/01/2016 - 05:45

Charity CEOs seek funding, synergies

19/01/2016 - 05:45

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In an exclusive Business News survey, leaders of some of WA’s top charities reveal they are more optimistic than last year, despite increasing competition for funds, challenging economic times and charity fatigue.

St Bartholomew’s House chief executive John Berger.

In an exclusive Business News survey, leaders of some of WA’s top charities reveal they are more optimistic than last year, despite increasing competition for funds, challenging economic times and charity fatigue.

What were conditions like for your organisation in 2015?

Ian Carter
Chief executive
Anglicare WA
Last year was one of our most challenging years ever. Tight fiscal settings at both federal and state level created significant challenges for service delivery and required tough decisions as budgets came under pressure. We faced growing and more complex demand on our services. Governance and management was also very complex.

 

Gordon Trewern
Chief executive
Nulsen
The charitable sector, in particular the disability sector, has been going through unprecedented reform over the past three years. While much of this reform in the earlier years created uncertainty, 2015 enabled us to be much clearer and optimistic about the future role Nulsen will play in 2016 and beyond.

 

John Berger
Chief executive
St Bartholomew's House
The agency remained stable despite some of the political issues regarding homelessness funding.

 

Chief executive
Activ Foundation
Anticipatory. Exciting. Challenging.

 

Ashley Reid
Chief executive
Ngala
Record numbers of babies born, combined with net population growth, means the demand for services and support has significantly increased. A focus on the ‘early years’ has been very positive, as government has recognised the social and economic dividend from this investment.

 

Grahame Marshall
Chief executive
Royal Flying Doctor Service
Last year was challenging for the RFDS, with the demand for services continuing to rise, the Australian healthcare landscape rapidly changing, and the economic environment, both state and federal, placing financial pressure on our ability to always be there for a patient in need, whenever and wherever.

 

Mark Fitzpatrick
Chief executive
St Vincent de Paul Society WA
In a word … deflating. The economic mood around Perth as a result of changes in the mining sector seems to have pervaded all sectors and the general sentiment. This gloom is significant and unfortunate because we have some really exciting times ahead for WA.

 

Michael Tait
Chief executive
Rocky Bay
It was a year of growth and development for Rocky Bay. Client numbers reached the 3,000 mark for the first time, staff numbers exceeded 600, additional operational locations were added across Perth and new services and programs were launched.

 

David Mackey
Managing director
Lions Eye Institute
It was a good year for research outcomes but a tight year financially. Regrettably it was a lean year for NHMRC research grant funding and thus the pipeline for future treatment breakthroughs is at risk.

 

Disability sector dominated by National Disability Insurance Scheme changes

Tony Vis
Our program of strategic change to embrace the NDIS-led reforms taking place across our sector progressed according to plan in 2015. We have made significant advancements towards shaping Activ to be ready for the future.

 

Michael Tait
The NDIS and NDIS My Way trials in Western Australia dominated discussion and thought for the sector in 2015. For the first time real choice has been given to the thousands of individuals living with a disability and their families, rather than a few government agencies.

 

Message to politicians

Michael Tait
More synergy between state departments in order to break down some of the silos between departments and be able to provide more holistic supports to people with disability. This, in turn, will reduce people falling through the cracks and government will also benefit from closer working relationships with service providers.

 

Justine Colyer
Make evidence-based decisions around delivery of outcomes rather than outputs, and give them enough resources and time to prove themselves; better three well-resourced initiatives that deliver than 10 poorly funded ones that have lukewarm results.

Charities are looking forward to …

Jonathan Carapetis
Director
Telethon Kids Institute
Front of mind for us is preparing to move into the new Telethon Kids Institute, housed within the Perth Children’s Hospital – a world-class health and research facility.

 

Rhonda Parker
Chief executive
Alzheimer's Australia WA
Coming out of the other side of the federal aged care and disability reforms stronger and having ensured people living with dementia in WA have better and more access to quality support and care, no matter where they live in this large state. We are looking forward to new partnerships with the wave of service providers moving into dementia care.

 

Grahame Marshall
We are very excited that, during the first half of this year, we will open a new operating base in Broome, which will be the first new RFDS base in WA in 50 years.

 

Suzi Cowcher
Chief executive
Ability Centre
I have changed sectors from aged care to disability in the past 12 months and while there is less certainty in the disability sector with NDIS and its impacts, and that can dampen optimism, there is also great anticipation and excitement about opportunities for organisations to support more people with disability in more individualised ways.

 

Gordon Trewern
We saw significant growth in service demand and delivery in 2015 and took confidence in our ability to respond. Nulsen’s operating budget grew from $31 million at June 30 2014 and currently sits at $42 million.

 

Mark Fitzpatrick
Now is not the time to stop being brave. Innovation in approaches to a range of matters is needed now more than ever before.

 

Suzi Cowcher
Make social and disability housing an election priority.

 

Ashley Reid
Understand that innovation does not just apply to technology and business, but can be championed in the community sector too.

 

Michael Tait
Our customer and staff satisfaction survey results. Seeing the difference the work we have put in over the past few years is making to individuals and families is definitely a highlight. Last year’s customer survey found 92 per cent of Rocky Bay customers will stay with us for at least five years and 96 per cent of staff believe in the purpose and values of Rocky Bay – that would make any CEO happy.

 

Maurice Swanson
Chief executive
Heart Foundation
In 2016 the Heart Foundation will be focusing on supporting the survivors of heart attack and assisting these people to live healthy and active lives. Many millions of health dollars could be saved if heart attack survivors engaged in cardiac rehabilitation program.

 

Justine Colyer
Chief executive
Rise Network
I think (charities and NFPs) are being taken more seriously and are becoming more sophisticated and professional. I find my own team and those in the sector to be funny, smart, decent, high achieving people – who wouldn’t look forward to working in that environment?

 

Ashley Reid
Ngala is in the process of its first organisational merger with a strong regional service provider to improve service delivery outside the metropolitan area.

 

John Berger
The biggest challenge I would put to any of our political leaders is to stop the silo effect of government funding for key social issues such as homelessness and domestic violence. Social issues such as these do not fit into any neat government portfolio that can take responsibility. Our capacity to create impact is hindered by the current government incapacity to respond across federal and state boundaries and across government agencies.

 

The biggest challenges facing charities in 2016

David Mackey
For medical research we have major challenges funding the infrastructure that our top researchers require. We have seen some magnificent new research buildings open in Perth over the past few years and we need to have sufficient funds to keep these running.

 

John Berger
Maintaining viability in a continuing constrained environment for funding.

 

Jonathan Carapetis
When economic times are tough, charities are often the first to feel the pinch, which is a shame given that such times are when we need charitable organisations the most of all. Other than dealing with funding shortfalls, charities must respond to the need to innovate – this is an opportunity for us all to stop doing things the way we always have and start doing things the way we should in the future.

 

Tony Vis
So many worthy causes and charity fatigue. A decline in philanthropic investment from the mining, oil and gas industries will be keenly felt in Western Australia. We will have to work harder than ever to continue to grow as social businesses.

 

Gordon Trewern
I think there is a real threat to smaller non-government organisations in these tight economic times, particularly those with budgets under $2 million.

 

Suzi Cowcher
Now more than ever, charities need to ensure their back-of-house systems are strong, they are efficient and sustainable and that their customer engagement approach is continuously adopting to changing expectations.

 

Grahame Marshall
I believe that the charity sector overall still has a way to go in thinking and operating more commercially. The biggest challenges for not for profits, particularly during economic downturns, is being able to prove effectiveness in terms of measurable outcomes, and efficiency in terms of costs and value for money.

 

Justine Colyer
Their ability to be nimble, innovative and responsive and take (and manage) risk.


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