For nearly 25 years The Centre on Philanthropy has invested in Bermuda through its work with non-profit organisations, through our three strategic focuses; training, education and advocacy.
Vision: The Centre on Philanthropy facilitates innovative, flexible and practical solutions to address the needs of Bermuda’s Third Sector.
Mission: To promote and advocate for an effective and sustainable Third Sector by providing training & education, fostering collaboration and supporting volunteerism.
Roles: Direct service to non-profits. Support donors in their efforts to help non-profits. Engage the broader community in supporting non-profits.
In 1991, a group of dedicated volunteers, led by Cummings Zuill, evaluated the state of philanthropy in Bermuda and looked for ways to make it more efficient and effective… to support the Island’s charities, non-profits, donors and volunteers.
In 1992, The Centre on Philanthropy was first registered as an unincorporated association and incorporated as a limited liability company in 2000. Highlights of the first decade include the publication of the Ready, Set, Go guide for charities, a donor directory, a charity directory and ‘A Portrait of Bermuda’s Charities’ (the first research study providing data on Bermuda’s charitable sector). The Centre on Philanthropy also established a web site to provide online information and resources to the community.
In 2004, The Centre on Philanthropy’s faced an uncertain future. The viability of The Centre on Philanthropy was questioned which led to the formation of a task force to determine its relevance. After eight months of data collection, compilation and interpretation it was revealed the community clearly saw the need for The Centre on Philanthropy to be a part of the community.
In 2006, following extensive research, Bermuda Volunteer Centre (now VOLUNTEER.bm) was launched and remains today as Bermuda’s only online volunteer matching platform. Bermuda’s first Third Sector Conference was launched in 2007, which saw 150 participants attend two-days of education with 12 international speakers and 14 local presenters. The Third Sector Conference continues today and is held every other year.
The Board’s belief in the benefits of continuous performance improvement led to a 2008 evaluation of The Centre on Philanthropy. At the conclusion, a more focused three-year plan for the organization was presented. In addition, 2008 saw the staff and the Board work through the requirements of the Bermuda National Standards and the organization was certified in January 2009.
The Centre on Philanthropy continued to strengthen and further develop their operating model as part of the 2008 strategic plan and saw the launch of the annual Give Back Games in 2008 – a beach-style Olympics in which corporate staff compete to raise funds for the non-profit of their choice (over $48,000 was raised in 2014 for 9 non-profits) – and in 2010, the annual Argus Walks the Walk a 5k fun-walk fundraiser was launched in which each walker chooses a charity and donates their registration fee to it (in 2014 over 1,100 walkers raised $28,940 for 118 charities).
In 2011 The Centre on Philanthropy went through another evaluation at the conclusion of the 2008, 3 year strategic plan. This extensive exercise produced the present 4 year strategic plan and was implemented in 2012.
Since 2012 The Board and Staff of the Centre on Philanthropy have worked very hard to deliver the mandate of the strategic plan to be a promoter and advocate of Bermuda’s Third Sector. Our efforts have been to address third sector needs and gaps, leverage our established network and access new opportunities, reinforce and expand awareness, participation and support; and expand the Centre on Philanthropy’s own capacity to address the complexity and scale of challenges we are all facing in the current economic times. The hard work has been worth it and we have seen the following accomplishments:
· The Training & Education programme endured an extensive assessment resulting in the implementation of a more ‘needs based’ curriculum, a broader pool of facilitators, continuing education credits, training certifications and more modular based training offerings
· Volunteer.bm continues to be our premier service connecting volunteers with opportunities in Bermuda. Through tracking data we know that students, job seekers, new residents, employees, retirees, and others seeking to make a difference in our community are using this volunteer portal to connect.
· The Advocacy & Community Engagement programme and quarterly Member Forums has allowed our membership to make a substantial contribution to the new Charities Act 2014. Member Forums have seen guest speakers empower non-profit members through discussions that foster collaboration, raise our standards and increase our sustainability.
Looking ahead The Centre on Philanthropy’s ongoing planning will include developing strategies that bring financial and programme goals together; go beyond the status quo and instigate sustainable change to ensure a viable future. We are committed to making decisions to support, promote and advocate for an effective and sustainable Third Sector.