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Charities’ ‛approach work backwards’ – report

Charities have been accused of “approaching their work backwards” – by finding a solution, and then looking for a problem to solve, a study has claimed.

The report warned: “Too many third sector self-improvement efforts approach their work backwards, beginning with a silver bullet solution that goes looking for a problem to solve.

“Setting a leading example requires beginning with the ultimate end in mind, honest recognition of what is getting in the way and the root causes of Bermuda’s greatest community challenges, clear priorities, and rigorous hypothesis for how to address them.

“Setting a leading example requires confirming the Bermuda’s third sector’s collective purpose, stakeholders, and roles while addressing underlying dynamics, which would mirror stakeholders’ own calls for greater inclusivity, coherence, collaboration, sense of shared identity and community.”

The news came in a report compiled after six months of research, interviews and surveys into Bermuda’s third sector.

Centennial Bermuda Foundation – an independent, philanthropic body – and the Bermuda Community Foundation, an organisation set up to “mobilise and funnel resources strategically, while sustaining a focus on the continuing and changing needs of Bermuda”, said charities, non-profit organisations, foundations, donors, quangos, private consultants and government officials all took part in the review.

The study praised charities for their “clear, long-term commitment to achieving a Bermuda that works better for all”.

It added: “The latest circumstances have lifted up an opportunity to step back while looking ahead towards a stronger and more equitable future.

“Other third sectors and the Bermuda third sector’s own history of self-improvement efforts provide useful learning.

“While advancing transformation and targeted strengthening and are outlined as separate categories, they are not an either-or proposition. Approaches in both categories can work hand-in-hand and reinforce each other.”

Anand Dholakia, a researcher and project co-leader, said: “More than 300 people have participated in the effort so far and the collective work has helped to identify the third sector's priorities and shape a transformative vision for what it can look like in the future.”

The purpose of the research was to provide accurate information to charities and help them determine whether they are meeting the needs of the public, and how they can improve.

The final report will be the subject of a working session “to walk through the key findings and takeaways, and to discuss the ideal process and leadership for phase two, which will turn the recommendations into action”.

The online workshop is next Wednesday from noon to 2pm.

To register, e-mail info@centennial.bm.

The report is available at www.centennial.bm/resources/.

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Published June 23, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated June 30, 2021 at 1:36 pm)

Charities’ ‛approach work backwards’ – report

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