Government funded community based organisations are facing great change in the way they operate and are funded. Assured funding to deliver a service by one particular organisation is not longer the case. Open tender process within the social service industry now allows other players to participate and ranges of agencies are now tendering to provide particular services to the community that had previously been provided by the same organisation over many years.

Being an executive member on a number of community based boards, the following question is being asked:

‘How can we compete in this current funding market place?’

By becoming commercial and strategic – in todays funding climate this would seem paramount for a community organisation’s survival.

‘No longer can an agency expect to survive on good works alone, no matter how commendable that may be’ (ref: Tony Robinson | Strategic Analyst – Jack in the box Corp)

Becoming commercial is a very difficult concept for community organisations that traditionally have not operated from a business model. However today in order to compete and develop, the organisation must brand itself, offer superior service and market its achievements loudly and widely. To achieve this they are often faced with several challenges – changing the perception of staff and board members and working from a business model while still maintaining the organisation’s culture and values.

However, challenges can be overcome and there are examples of community-based organisations who have embraced this model with vigor whilst still maintaining their integrity and values. They have positioned their organisation for growth by developing a strong brand, straightforward and long term marketing strategies, interesting and easy to access websites and good use of the both print and social media. In this current funding climate these are the organisations which will survive and grow.

Are you ready to be one of these organisations?