May 8, 2011
By Ingrid Zacharias
Recently, we had a major change here in Canada on our political front. For the first time since Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister, we have a Conservative majority government. It amazed me during the campaign how much fear mongering that went on by all the political parties. The same fear that is present in individuals during political elections are the same kinds of fears that non-profits experience.
Why would non-profits be fearful of a change in government? Well there are a variety of reasons:
- Changes in government policy – Government policy creates the environment in which non-profits function. Policy changes can create drastic changes in how non-profits function. That can be very intimidating for non-profits with little cushion in their budgets to make changes mandated by government policy.
- Alterations in funding formulas – Who the government is that is in power can have a huge impact on how funding is distributed and who receives funding. The ramifications of this can be devasting to some non-profits.
- Deviations in the social environment in communities – The policies developed by governments can have a positive or negative impact on the socio-economic environments in the communities that non-profits serve.
- Needing to build new relationships – When our elected officials get voted out of office, for non-profits, it creates the need to build new relationships with whoever the new elected officials are. This can take time, energy and sometimes new representatives are not as open to the social change that non-profits are endeavouring to create.
Question of the Day: What kind of an impact has changes in government had on your non-profit?