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Kia ora koutou

We are two months into 2021, and the year is shaping up to be a busy one.

Our work to increase support for community governance and build overall sector capacity will continue to be a major focus for CSI this year. Before Christmas we advertised for a programme manager to lead the implementation of the national action plan, and I am pleased to announce that Rose Hiha-Agnew will take up this role and join the CSI team in March. Rose will work with us alongside the community governance steering group on the detailed design, planning, development and roll-out of the actions. Our support for governance development in the community trust sector will also continue with this year’s workshop programme designed to meet the needs of trustees, from those recently appointed, to those taking on the leadership responsibility of chairing their trust.

The demand from the social impact sector for support from CSI for strategic research, and for strategy, leadership, and capacity/capability development continues to grow. This has seen us look to build our network to ensure we have people with the range of skills and experience we need. I am pleased to welcome the latest addition to our team; Mele Wendt. Mele has worked alongside CSI as chair of the NGO and community governance project steering group, and she brings a wealth of governance experience to our network.

Kia Whiti Tonu, the online capability building programme we developed with Foundation North for community organisations managing through COVID-19, was piloted at the end of last year. We are pleased that Foundation North is happy to continue to support this service to the sector again this year. A preview of what will be on offer is outlined below.

Along with the CSI team and network, I look forward to working with you over the coming months – and COVID-19 permitting, we hope that much of our work will once again be in person.

Ngā mihi nui

Monica Briggs, Head of Centre, Centre for Social Impact

Kia Whiti Tonu – back for the future

The national COVID-19 vaccination programme is hopefully the beginning of the end of the significant disruption the pandemic has caused in our communities. For community organisations, that means the focus is gradually shifting from responding to and recovering from the crisis, to rethinking and reshaping for a post-COVID-19 future. Demand for support to assist that process remains high, so Foundation North and CSI are developing a new programme of the Kia Whiti Tonu free online workshops for 2021.

We’ve taken on feedback from our 2020 series about what topics are of most interest, and are developing this year’s programme around these. Topics in demand include Strategy and Innovation, Wellbeing, Working with the Media, Governance, Digital storytelling, IT / digital tech, Evaluation - Models and practice, and Collaboration. Free 90 minute workshops on each of these topics will be run between March and September 2021. All sessions will be online.

Details of the first two workshops to be held in late March, focused on Wellbeing and Digital Tech, will be on our website on Tuesday 9 March. Numbers are limited and priority will be given to Foundation North grantees.

Community governance – video resources on effective chairing

The 2021 action plan for community governance includes a commitment to produce resources to grow community governance capability. Production of the first set of resources, four videos on effective chairing, are now underway. These respond to a particular information gap, identified in the sprint process, for people who are new to chairing a community organisation.

Being a new chair is challenging at the best of times, but much more challenging than usual currently given the continuing impacts of the global pandemic. To address this need, the videos are being produced, with filming starting in March. Jo Cribb, who managed the development of the national action plan during 2020, is directing the videos which will cover: Chairing the Board: Back to Basics; Board Dynamics; Focus on Strategy: and Focus on Process.

“It is exciting to see the actions in the National Action Plan for Community Governance come to life,” Jo says. “This first one fills a gap to support chairs as critical leaders in community sector. The videos will draw on the insights of people experienced in NGO and community governance to provide practical support for what can be a demanding role.”

The videos should be available to the sector mid-year.

Introducing our Programme Manager: National Action Plan for Community Governance

Rose Hiha-Agnew (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata) brings to this important initiative an impressive background in management and governance across iwi, community and government organisations. During her career in local and central government Rose has led environmental, Te Ao Māori framework, sustainability and infrastructure programmes. Her governance experience includes chairing Keep New Zealand Beautiful, and co-chairing the Endangered Species Foundation.

As programme manager for the National Action Plan for Community Governance she will be responsible for supporting the detailed design, planning, development and roll-out of the actions. The implementation will be co-designed with community board members and in collaboration with key stakeholders including Māori, Pasifika and other ethnic groups, community groups, and funding organisations.

Rose knows from her own experience the challenges associated with NGO and community sector governance.

“My experience in the not-for-profit sector is one where people give time freely, they are super passionate and strong advocates for the mahi they undertake.

“The value of the NGO community is significant. We have many different types of compositions of community boards, and Māori governance that add local and national community value.

“I really enjoy the wide variety the sector provides and see this Action Plan as setting the best standards in good governance.”

Rose is currently Senior Investment Advisor for Te Uru Rākau, Ministry of Primary Industries, One Billion Trees Programme. She joins the CSI team on 15 March and will be based in Rotorua.

Sprinting for good – co-design for social impact

Development of a national strategy for community governance required the engagement of people and organisations as diverse as the communities of Aotearoa. The challenge was to build an inclusive process in a sector in which people are usually time poor, and organisational financial resources are often limited. Co-design sprints were identified as the approach most likely to use time and energy effectively to generate, clarify and assess ideas, and determine priorities. The outcome: over 150 people were able to participate in shaping the strategic direction for this important kaupapa, and agree a national action plan.

“The process exposed many community organisations to the benefits of the co-design sprint process,” Monica Briggs says. “We have since seen a lot of interest in the Sprinting for Good toolkit we produced to capture what had been learnt during the NGO and community governance process and share this with the sector.

“For CSI, co-design sprints are now an added tool we have available to support the organisations we work with to bring their stakeholders on board to look at issues and determine a path forward.”

Welcome Mele to our associate network

We are delighted to have Mele Wendt join the CSI associate network. Mele brings expertise in leadership, governance, Pacific peoples’ development, diversity strategies, scholarships, and organisational capacity building. She has experience as a CEO, a certified board chair/director, and a consultant.

As chair of the national strategy for community governance steering committee, Mele is already familiar with CSI’s kaupapa and people.

“I have been working with CSI for over two years now and so the opportunity to become a CSI associate builds on that relationship and experience.

“I believe in and support CSI’s vision, mission, and purpose. The work I do is very aligned with what CSI does. As a consultant, board member and community person I have been working with and responding to the needs of a range of ‘clients’ and helping them to achieve their goals, which is exactly what CSI does.

“I also bring additional Pasefika capacity and expertise to the CSI team and network.”

What we’re seeing, what we’re reading, what’s coming up

New Foundation North website

Our Foundation North colleagues have put a lot of effort over recent months into renewing the Foundation’s website. It is designed to be more accessible to applicants, grantees, and people who visit the site just to see the many cool things across Tamaki Makarau and Te Tai Tokerau that the Foundation supports. It is a delight!

Disturbed Present. Better Future?
Whakararu o ināianei e pai ake kia anga whakamua

As we look beyond the national vaccination programme and a return to something closer to our pre-COVID-19 lives, the sector faces the challenge of addressing both the social impacts of COVID-19, and the entrenched social issues that have long been a focus of funders and community organisations. Last week the Salvation Army released its annual State of the Nation report. It provides a compelling insight into what needs to be addressed across five specific areas of social wellbeing. Further information here.

IoD Governance Resource Centre - Perpetual Guardian scholarships

The Institute of Directors Governance Resource Centre is a new online governance learning resource that makes available combines IoD’s learning framework and bespoke content all in one place. Perpetual Guardian will enable access to the newly created Governance Resource Centre via 250 scholarships made possible by the Raymond Forbes Wilson Estate, the legacy of a generous client of Perpetual Guardian. Priority will be given to new, emerging and diverse directors who will receive access to modules and resources available for the first scholarship recipients in March for 12 months.

Applications for the Raymond Wilson and Perpetual Guardian Governance Scholarship are open until 19 March 2021. Further information here.

Fundholding in Aotearoa New Zealand

Steven Moe of Parry Field Lawyers hosted a discussion about Fund holding for groups that are not yet registered as charities. The discussion drew on the combined expertise of Alanna Irving, Craig Fisher, Kate Frykberg, and CSI’s Monica Briggs and Kat Dawnier to discuss a defined situation and issues.

The Situation: A group of people want to do important social, environmental, cultural or other charitable impact work in their community. A funder wants to support that work but there is no legal entity to send the funds to. Another charity agrees to act as Fund Holder and receive the funds for the project.

The Issues: On what basis are funds held from an accounting perspective? Does this trigger Financial Service Provision rules? How are funds released? What role does charitable status play? What form of agreement could set out this arrangement? What can we learn from “fiscal sponsorship” models used overseas? What does our framing and terminology say about relationships of power and how could we model relationships of collaboration by the choice of our words?

The discussion was captured on video and is available for viewing and further information is available here.

All 235 of Steven’s Seeds podcasts are also now available online here.

Combined Community Trusts Professional Development Programme 2021

The 2021 workshop dates have been finalised and have been advised to participating community trusts. This year’s workshops include: Introduction to Community Trust Governance for Community Trust trustees who have been in their Community Trust role for 18 months or less: Advanced Community Trust Governance Practice for trustees who have been in their trust role for more than 2 years and are wanting to further develop their governance practices; and Chairs Workshops. Further information on the programme is available here.

Be.lab internships

Be. Lab, formerly known as Be. Accessible, was launched in 2011 with the aim of creating a 100% accessible New Zealand. Today its programme includes a 12 week fully funded internship programme to facilitate work experience for tertiary students who have a long term health condition or disability and who are either undergraduates or less than one year out of study. The purpose of this employment initiative is to provide tangible, meaningful work experience in the chosen area of study to highly achieving students.

These internships are fully funded through MSD (no cost to the employer apart from Kiwisaver and any holiday pay), and can be full or part-time. Further information on this programme here.

IoD’s annual Directors Sentiment Survey

We were interested in the insights from the not-for-profit sector in the IoD's annual Directors Sentiment Survey. The survey found that results for not-for-profit organisations were similar to the results for all respondents, with 59% of respondents saying their organisation had been negatively affected in a year in which the defining event was COVID-19, while 20% said they had been positively affected. Further information is available here.