48th AGM - Infrastructure document & slide presentation

This report began life intended as an internal briefing for the AJC to help the organisation’s committee plan its future in the face of significant change. Subsequently, development work that the AJC had begun, was paralleled by that of a VCS Working Group and so it has made sense to align those two work-streams. This report has therefore changed focus from advice for the AJC, into broader recommendations for Jersey’s Third Sector, led by the clearly expressed intentions and views of many different voices.

Seismic changes in the environment surrounding Jersey’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) are affecting every area of operation for local organisations. Increasing competition for funds, a new charity law, strengthening rules and regulations, political changes, commissioning changes, impact measurement changes, project planning changes and funding changes are all happening at the same time and charities need more and different central support in order to set up and operate effectively.

There are three broad types of support required by local organisations; Grant Distribution; Direct & Indirect Support and Advocacy & Representation. Detailed feedback has highlighted which areas are considered most important and which are most lacking at the moment. 

The VCS in Jersey has called for infrastructure support in the future to be provided by an organisation separate from a grant decision-making body. An infrastructure body needs a mandate, if it is to be the voice of the sector but for a grant-maker, not only is a mandate not necessary, but a membership gives rise to accusations of conflicts of interest. Direct Support (e.g. advice, training, but also research) that doesn't need a mandate, can be provided by either of these bodies or another entirely.

The Association of Jersey Charities (AJC) has been engaged for some time in a process of self-evaluation to develop its role serving local charities, and has been a leader in work with local government and the VCS to identify the sector’s support needs and how they might be fulfilled.

The AJC’s role as the distributor of the Jersey proceeds of the Channel Islands Lottery has been changed and funding for development work through the AJC has been cancelled so the role of the AJC will be reduced as a result.

The conclusion of this report is to recommend that

  1. The AJC to continue as a grant distributor and supporter of Registered Charities.
  2. A new company is created to provide infrastructure support only to the whole sector, beyond the AJC’s previous charity membership.

The new company will create a category of ‘Supporters’ who will act in a similar way to members, being a body to consult with and represent, receiving discounted training and most importantly providing a mandate for the organisation to represent them as a whole or as individuals. Supporters will be able to vote on suggestions or recommendations taken to them, but will not have the right to appoint trustees nor approve accounts.

If approved, the next steps will be to consult with the third sector to see who wishes to be involved in this new project and to discover what skills and financing are on offer and to ask for the views of the members of the AJC. A project lead or team will need to engage a Transition Manager to set the organisation up to the point where it is ready to begin operations.

An EGM will be called to discuss this further - date to be advised.

Follow this link to read the full document

Follow this link to view the slide presentation

Any thoughts and feedback welcome.

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