Charities must work together to survive

  • Weathering storm: Elaine Butterfield and Kimberley Moore from the Centre on Philanthropy

    Weathering storm: Elaine Butterfield and Kimberley Moore from the Centre on Philanthropy
    ((Photograph by Akil Simmons))

Bermuda charities must work together to withstand the continuingly harsh economic climate, according to the executive director of the Centre on Philanthropy.

“We are going to have to pull our socks up and talk together about survival,” Elaine Butterfield said. “It has really come down to survival of the fittest.”

At the Hamilton Rotary Club on Tuesday lunchtime, Ms Butterfield described the “perfect storm” created by the financial crisis, increasing the demand for third sector services while agencies’ coffers progressively dwindle.

Ms Butterfield explained that, beyond their goodwill endeavours, Bermuda’s 325 registered non-profits played a significant role in buoying the island’s economy.

She quoted Department of Statistics figures from 2014, which showed that the sector generated $70 million in revenue, totalling 1.2 per cent of the GDP and 2.4 per cent of the workforce.

However, following Government funding cuts and the escalation of social needs, Ms Butterfield underlined the need to “look at things differently if we hope to survive as a sector”.

To help with this transition, she revealed that the Centre on Philanthropy was planning to introduce a “collaboration platform” at the end of its fiscal year on June 30. This would include discounted and pro-bono assistance, discounted directors and officers liability insurance, and consultation among experts on how best to combine services and programmes.

“We’re going to have to take on a different mindset about how we deliver our services,” she said. “We believe that collaboration and/or consolidation is the answer.

“We’re doing that already, but we will have to do it more proficiently in order to be sustainable.”

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Published Mar 24, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 24, 2016 at 2:36 am)

Charities must work together to survive

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