Riviere upbeat about philanthropic return
The new executive director of the Centre on Philanthropy said she was determined to find answers to Bermuda’s social problems.
Danielle Riviere, 41, who took over at the charity in May, said that, despite funding problems in the charity sector the organisation supports, she would focus on improvements.
Ms Riviere explained: “Ultimately, I want the centre to be an organisation that helps to move the dial in solving our country’s social and communal issues by providing the necessary services to non-profits that help them to have their greatest impact.
“I understand the important role the centre plays in bringing organisations together, providing educational support and being a voice and conduit for change and growth in the sector.”
Ms Riviere, who worked at the centre in the past as programme manager, said the organisation had recently relaunched its training and education programme and is looking forward to hosting its tenth Give Back Games Beach Olympics on September 21.
She added the centre had been strengthened by a “re-energised” board including newly recruited members.
Ms Riviere said: “We are on an upward momentum which will only help with finding the funds we need. Donors and non-profits know that we are doing good work and they continue to support The Centre on Philanthropy.”
Ms Riviere said she stepped in as interim executive director on a six-month contract which started last November
But she added that “returning to the centre felt like coming home” and decided to apply for the permanent role.
Ms Riviere has worked in the non-profit sector since she was 21 when she started as a youth co-ordinator in 1998.
She joined The Centre on Philanthropy in 2006 as programme manager.
Ms Riviere worked at her sister’s company, OD Solutions, which gives operational and strategic advice to charities, in 2013.
She said a lack of funding from both the private and public sectors remained the biggest problem in the non-profit sector.
Ms Riviere added: “We are, like others, trying to figure out how to do more with less — less money, less time, fewer staff.
“Fundraising is critical and has been since the recession. The flux of companies leaving the island was the initial hit and since then companies merging created new issues.
“The bottom line is that in Bermuda, charities are providing key social and community services that in other countries are provided by government or through government-funded agencies.
“These services and programmes are essential to the social fabric of our country and without them we will face a certain crisis.”
Ms Riviere added: “Everyone plays a role in helping non-profits thrive. Companies can continue to donate and provide opportunities for staff to support charities through community days.
“Government can look at other ways it can give through tax breaks or a reduction in other government-mandated fees.
“Individuals can give both financially and with their time — both are invaluable.”
Ms Riviere said anyone who wanted to volunteer for the island’s charities should visit: www.volunteer.bm.
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