Funding Review Forces Volunteer Model for SIMNA
7 April 2015 at 12:58 pm
An operational review by the Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia (SIMNA) – a knowledge sharing network for social impact measurement in Australia – has seen the departure of its Community Convenor Lisa McGhee.
In a statement to members Simon Faivel, on behalf of the SIMNA Steering Committee said: “Over the past few months, the national SIMNA Steering Committee has been reviewing its plans, budget and operating structure. As we have grown and learnt about what works, we have decided to transition to a fully volunteer-based operating model.
“As a result… we bid farewell to SIMNA’s Community Convenor, Lisa McGhee.”
As a volunteer-led Network, SIMNA says it has over 800 members. McGhee was responsible for supporting the social impact measurement practitioners that volunteer for SIMNA’s State Chapters, for advising the Steering Committee and for helping grow the Network and its activities.
McGhee joined SIMNA in March 2013. Her post was part-funded by the Centre for Social Impact.
CSI CEO Andrew Young said his organisation is still committed to SIMNA however the impact measurement organisation needs to find the pathway to sustainability.
“CSI has provided some financial support for SIMNA for the past three years and it has always been our focus that the organisation needed to work out how to be self-sustaining," he said.
“This reassessment is an opportunity for SIMNA to build on its progress and develop its volunteer network.”
Before joining SIMNA, McGhee worked for the Scottish Government, in regulation and charity law. For a number of years, she worked in a senior policy role for Scotland’s Charity Regulator, leading on the review of charitable status of Scotland’s independent schools.
Before that, she designed and developed programs to help the long-term unemployed into work, mostly notably Scotland’s ‘Routes Out Of Prison’ (ROOP) project, which continues today.
“Lisa has had an extraordinary impact,” Simon Faivel said.
“(Her) achievements during this time are remarkable: supporting the establishment of SIMNA’s state chapters across Australia, managing the SIMNA Awards, standardising our processes and communication, being the first contact for all media enquiries, and holding the Steering Committee accountable.
“Lisa has been the force that has helped SIMNA develop a national identity. Her professionalism and diligence in supporting the establishment and growth of SIMNA has been impeccable.
“The organisation is moving forward and recognises the need to be sustainable. We are continuing our involvement with the Think Outcomes Conference, the SIMNA Awards and all the state-based events to continue to generate an income stream.”
CSI’s Andrew Young also said that "community of practice" organisations like SIMNA needed to get the technology right to grow their knowledge and information base.
“This is not available yet on websites," he said.
“CSI is investigating a technical platform in the next six months to look for ways that can cheaply capture content and ways to fund it."