The latest newsletter from DIA Charities Services has some interesting research on the number of charities per population. We have one registered charity for every 162 New Zealanders. That compares with the USA at 243, England at 322, Australia at 389 and Canada at 413. This brings the need for more urgent debate and research on rationalising our sector with the expected savings in doing away with duplication of charities services and back-office expenses.
Ensuring proper governance and effective rationalisation of charities which releases more funds for meeting charities’ outcomes is an important part of our advocacy and education at FINZ and it is not the easiest of tasks. This is something we need to discuss with government this year.
There is the same issue with some of our charitable donor trusts that we depend on so much for funding. Grant applications make up to 20 – 25 percent of charities’ funding nowadays and as a percent it is falling as the monetary amount of grants drops through lower investment income and less gaming proceeds. If there was a way to release more funding through better rationalisation of our donor trusts then that is certainly worth investigating.
I am impressed at the advocacy by the Lion Foundation to rationalise the 41 class 4 gaming societies and believe any such move will release greater funds for the charities within the community. Such a move can only benefit our sector, making compliance easier and less costly, and giving that much needed income boost to communities and charities without impacting on government expenditure.
We do need to have a more public and government-driven discussion on the benefits of such rationalisation at all levels of charities and the sooner this is addressed the better.
James Austin, CEO - FINZ