The Way Forward - Afternoon Session

Better news from inside the Rooms this afternoon. 

Multi-Year Funding

First, clarification on the issue of multi-year funding. Beginning in 2018, the Provincial Government will implement multi-year funding agreements for community organizations. While the heritage sector has enjoyed this benefit for a number of years, the same cannot be said for many nonprofits in this province. This will facilitate longer-term planning, multi-year projects and (hopefully) greater impact on our communities. It will be interesting to see how multi-year funding rolls out in conjunction with the implementation of zero-based budgeting. Will this mark the arrival of the mysterious “nonprofit rationalization” process first mentioned by Minister Bennett back in March? What part will CEDP minimum standards (both existing and future) play in this process? 

One-Stop-Shop

The Provincial Government will also implement an on-line portal to provide one-stop-shopping for all grant applications from provincial sources. Horray! This was one of the recommendations put forward by the Community Sector Council as a result of the nonprofit community’s meeting with Minister Bennett last spring. In theory, it will allow organizations to create a secure, on-line profile where they can upload key documents. Then, when an organization applies for funding, program officers within government can access their profile, rather than requesting copies of that information directly from the applicant. Think of the time and frustration this could save! Hmmmm... imagine if we could link ACOA into this system!

On a bit of a downer, I’m wondering if implementation of this system will REQUIRE all organizations to abandon paper application and apply for government funding on-line. For most of us, this is no big deal. However, computer access and literacy has been an ongoing challenge for many community-based heritage organizations.  

Social Enterprise Action Plan

Finally, the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Recreation will spearhead a social enterprise action plan for the province. Normally, this news wouldn’t get much of rise out of me. However, it was followed by the comment that there are many community-based social enterprises currently engaged in the tourism sector. I’m guessing they’re talking about community museums and historic sites? Not sure how the proposed action plan might impact our sector. Stay tuned. 

Check It Out

A summary of the day and “roll-up report” will be live streamed beginning at 3:30 pm. If you’re interested, you can check it out here