Charity Leader’s ‘Wish List’ For 2017 Budget

February 23, 2017

Elaine Butterfield Bermuda Feb 23 2017 “Our budget wish is for collective strategies around supporting social services providers, who greatly lessen the burden of the Government to provide a striving society for our Bermuda,” the Executive Director of the Centre on Philanthropy Elaine Butterfield said.

Ms Butterfield said, “The top of our Budget Wish List includes a healthy Bermuda where our social infrastructure [in particular charities] is supported by the Government and private sectors both financially and legislatively, to make the greater impact that we all desperately desire and need.

“We all benefit from the collective efforts of charities in Bermuda, consisting of professional service providers who are experts in their field and embrace their day to day work as a mandate.

“There are approximately 320 registered charities in Bermuda. Down 20% since the establishment of the new Charities Act implemented at the end of 2014.

“These charities include Churches, PTAs, Sports clubs, charities that raise funds for an annual event and approximately 150 core charities that address human services which include families, children, women, men, abuse, education, the environment, sports, art, human rights, etc.

“Trends in social needs will likely continue to strain the capacity of the public and private sectors and challenge non-profits to respond.

“Non-profits are choosing to collaborate more. Like organizations are pooling their resources in events, programs and a few are even considering consolidation or mergers, in order to maximize their impact.

“What is really needed are resources to provide concrete data to identify core needs, promote consensus building and collaboration to support a collective strategy involving all sectors. Charities would be far more effective and sustainable with this kind of support.

“I once went on a cruise that visited a small island. Upon docking I was so amazed at the appearance of the shoreline. The houses were pastel colored and pretty. All looked so well.

“On taking a tour and immediately on driving past the shore lined cottages, the air smelled of trash and people begged for money and anything that could help them to eat and live. The houses were unkempt and it was soon apparent that this was the true reality.

“This may seem to be a farfetched example, but this or something similar could be our future state, if we cannot see the urgency of investing in our social infrastructure.

“So our budget wish is for collective strategies around supporting social services providers, who greatly lessen the burden of the Government to provide a striving society for our Bermuda.”

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