Volunteer Funding In Doubt
27 February 2014 at 10:16 am
Ongoing funding for Australia’s national and state volunteer peak bodies is set to end on June 30 without any future funding commitments from the Coalition Government, putting programs and workforce planning in doubt.
The Federal Coalition Government is yet to announce any ongoing funding arrangements for the Volunteer peak bodies that oversee more than an estimated 6.2 million volunteers across Australia.
Volunteering Australia said the national peak body operation, seven state and territory peak bodies and 11 metropolitan volunteer resource centres were under threat because of the funding uncertainty.
Volunteering Australia’s new CEO Brett Williamson said volunteer funding has been moved from the Department of Prime Minister to the Department of Social Services under the new Coalition Government.
“We have not be able to meet with the Minister but have spoken to his advisor who tells us that that everything is still under review and we will find out in due course.
“This is not effective or efficient when we are talking about future planning, programs and services as well as workforce planning beyond June,” Williamson said.
“It’s unbelievable that we can’t get funding confirmation for something that is so intrinsically in the Australian culture – volunteering.
“This has created a great deal of uncertainty and concern around how we make commitments to our programs and staffing arrangements.”
Williamson said federal funding for the National Volunteer Management program, the national and state offices and metro and regional operation is in the order of $5 million.
“The economic reality is that we need certainty about our financial future,” he said.
“Ironically national volunteer week is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Budget week this year but May is too late to find out.”
Of the 600,000 Not for Profit organisations in Australia some 540,000 are run by volunteers.