Who else has spotted the trend of Not-for-Profit organisations moving staff into local authority settings?
Most NfPs will explain the move in terms of either saving money or ensuring that their services are more sustainable. Call me cynical but sustainability is defined as “support or bearing the weight of, especially for a long period” and not as “transferring from financial to physical dependency”. Moving into lower cost accommodation does result in financial savings in the short term, of course, but is it a long term solution? It may also (I did say “may”, not “will”) result in a loss of freedom of action and a perception of loss of independence. Is such a loss worth what may turn out to be a short term financial benefit?
In the current political and economic environment I suggest that we need a radical rethink about our ways of working, including our business models – we need to consider partnerships and mergers; long term trading models to generate unrestricted income and, shock horror, perhaps even to question whether, not assume that, our organisation IS still sustainable. The latter question is one that we don’t always ask ourselves, partly, I suspect, because the social need never seems to go away. However, continuing to do what we have always done, but in a more cost effective way, doesn’t seem to be to be an appropriate response to the “chaos and disorder “ (quoted from an early Francis Maude explanation of the Big Society) around us.
The world has changed and if we want to be truly sustainable organisations, we probably need to, too.