Reconnected WA - Social Capital Conversations
The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP
Shadow Assistant Treasurer | Shadow Minister for Competition and Productivity
Shadow Minister for Charities and Not-for-Profits | Shadow Minister for Trade In Services | Member for Fenner
Reconnected Sector Consultation - Trades Hall Perth - 7 June 2017
• Social capital can be defined by
o increased connectedness
o increased community engagement for common cause
o a diverse group of people establishing a network for a common cause
o create something bigger (a movement) that wasn’t there before
o a sense of purpose
• Loci include:
o Schools – community service commitments, encourage whole-of-family commitments
o Sporting clubs – stage of life commitments
Human Capital (Volunteers and Staff)
• People want to contribute short term for a specific initiative (as opposed to long term commitment)
• Volunteers can be retained by putting forward a positive outlook and by outlining what is in it for them
• Volunteers want to identify with a cause and understand how their volunteering assists
• Volunteers want to see something tangible and to see impact
• Staff need structured and consistent professional development
• Mentoring program to increase confidence and ability
• Show young people how volunteering opportunities can give them skills and experiences they want.
• Tailor volunteers skills with tasks
• Celebrate success and tell positive stories to attract involvement (social media)
• Volunteering WA has information on who volunteers, how long for and why they quit – organisations can draw on this to learn how to use volunteers.
Connectivity and Networking
• Lack of connectivity amongst service providers limits innovation
• Find ways for small organisations to overcome economies of scale in order to operate more efficiently – ie collaborating with other organisations on areas that can be combined
• Concessions on IT infrastructure will increase the number of organisations that can set up or hook into networks
• Digital connectivity can be useful or detrimental depending on how it’s used
o E.g. Ted Talks give ideas on the best information and initiatives around the world
o Find a ‘hook’ on social media
o Measure impact of initiatives
• Creation of an umbrella organisation that can provide resources to reduce overheads and extend reach e.g. financial advice and services, expertise, research
• Connecting to relevant universities for tailored information and partnership
• Hosting ‘open days’ to raise awareness of organisation in community
• Small organisations would benefit from a centralised liaison (either government or sector based) to assist with small grants and provide feedback on unsuccessful applications – many small organisations don’t have personnel with the skill set for preparing successful submissions.
• Sector ‘ambassadors’ could publicise what grants are available and keep organisations abreast of regulatory or legislative changes.
• Provide ways groups can nurture geographical networks as a way to move towards sharing facilities and resources.
• Public fundraisers can assist with resources and raising awareness about organisation
• Finding a way to use assets to create funds is a good idea
• Grant providers should design easy to use interfaces for grant applications.
• Ensure grant models have ways to direct support to startups (which are unlikely to manifest success in the same way that an established organisation will).
• Funding should be tied to a measure of impact relative to size of the organisation, this would address uneven spread of funding across different scaled organisations.
• NFPs need ways to establish continuity in funding and volunteer support – routine submissions, recruiting and training detract from resources for the intended work of the organisation.
• Integration and collaboration are often critical in meeting diverse needs, but where organisations are competing for funding the tendency is to be territorial and work in silos.
• Assist small organisations in increasing the volume of small donations. Large organisations attract the major donors and are better set up to devote resources to grant applications – smaller groups can ignore grants schemes or devote large portions of their time to applying.
Service Design and Delivery
• Co-design principles good for determining how programmes can best be structured to deliver the needs of the community while imparting a sense of ownership
• Focusing on holistic services – e.g. for young homeless people, a sense of connection is an important service delivered by shelters (not just a bed)
• Sensitivity to cultural difference and how it affects access to services – e.g. in some cultures it’s shameful to seek help
• In remote communities of WA, service design is influenced by small economies of scale. Looking to how other remote communities around the world deal with the issue is helpful for innovating.
Some of the participants are pictured below, contacts for all of the organisations who registered an interest in this project can be found here.