Monday, November 14, 2011

Mergers as a strategy to ensure more seamless service delivery

Interesting article from the US by  Bob Harrington about the benefits of a merger between two not- for- profit organizations as a way of creating a more seamless service delivery system to address client needs.
"As the facilitator of this merger (and a former executive director with experience in behavioral health), the most compelling outcome was the creation of a seamless service delivery system to address the needs of clients in a more holistic way.
By unifying services to address substance abuse addictions, mental illness, homelessness, and to provide job training and primary health services, this merger will help to ensure that client needs do not slip through the cracks of a fragmented delivery system.

In the mainstream dialogue about nonprofit mergers, the focus is often on efficiency and costs savings   but ultimately these alliances must make sense from a mission perspective: How can services be integrated and provided in a more effective manner? What will payers – in this case the City and County Department of Public Health – find attractive for contracting?

The landscape of services in San Francisco is fragmented, with many separate organizations providing numerous different services addressing specific client needs.  However, in most cases, they are not comprehensive, integrated services. The merger of Haight Ashbury Free Clinics and Walden House creates a more seamless approach, such that clients do not have to go in search of services from multiple entities to get the care they need"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Charities and not "biting the hand that feeds them"

Sometimes artists and charities who take money from mining companies in Western Australia give the game away.

This story Mining Company cash creates movie making boom  appeared on the ABC TV program Stateline WA on Friday November 4 and demonstrates that the primary reason for the "philanthropic" activity of the mining industry in WA is self interest.

The message is very clear- we will sponsor you but you must not speak certain truths about the industry. In other words the mining industry buys the silence and acquiesence of those it sponsors.

Listen to the journalists and artists in the ABC story who make it very clear that with the money comes conditions and the expectation is that you must show the mining industry in a favourable light.

Show the mining industry in a less than favourable light in their eyes or speak certain truths about the industry and you can say goodbye to the sponsorship.

One interviewer put it this way:

" We can't say we want you to sponsor us but the script says you are unscrupulous swines who rape and pillage the land..... they see the first draft of the script....... they don't want the industry shown in an unfavourable light..... you don't bite the hand that feeds you".
Of course this story reflects a much larger issue- the way that the mining industry and corporations in WA are using their money and power to shape the arts and cultural industry and the charitable sector to serve their corporate interests.

This article by Rosemary Neill provides an insight into the corporate takeover of the arts and cultural industry and charitable sector in WA:
In a harbinger of this, some of the country's most powerful businesspeople have teamed up with artists and launched a new, turbo-charged arts lobby, the Chamber of Arts and Culture, aimed at developing a coherent cultural vision for WA. Among the chamber's founding members are Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Sam Walsh, prominent arts patron and businesswoman Janet Holmes a Court, former WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry boss John Langoulant, KPMG national executive director Helen Cook and former Australia Council chairwoman Margaret Seares.

An alliance of high-powered executives -- some drawn from the blokey resources and engineering sectors -- intent on proselytising for the arts is a first not just for the West but, arguably, for the nation. Walsh says this move signifies that "the state is growing; there is a need for a more creative and vibrant community and arts and culture will help us deliver that and help us attract people. I think the stars are aligned . . . we have a unique opportunity in Perth and WA's history, building on the mining boom, to work on these things." The unfailingly courteous Rio Tinto boss says the chamber has received "very strong support" from Day and federal Arts Minister Simon Crean. He stresses it is not merely an arts lobby; that it will engage with governments, the regions, schools and untapped audiences to spread the word about culture.