The Centre on Philanthropy
I have been a volunteer for the Centre since 1995. I was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2001. During this time I have been responsible for technical support and web site development. Some of the service and programmes offered by the Centre are listed below.
The Registered Charities Directory-Profiles
Lists all non-profit organisations registered with the Bermuda Government. The directory will soon be available from the Centre's web site in a downloadable "pdf" file format. The Directory provides details of each charity's resources, activities, goals, values and needs. This resource gives guidelines to new registered charities, provides an overview of potential opportunities for volunteers and assists grant-makers and donors in making well informed decisions on their charitable giving.
Bermuda Donor Directory
This is a restricted resource, only accessible to charities that are Centre On Philanthropy members and to participating and/or member donors. The information gives a guideline to charities on how to best structure their fundraising initiatives. It also helps donors develop their own charitable giving programme. This book contains topics such as; How to make an appeal; Who to ask first and last; How to write your request; Your charities business plan; and How to think like a donor. Each donor profile gives details of the contact names, philosophy, type of contribution, criteria and preferred field of support.
The second edition is made up of a list of over fifty donors from service organizations, local and exempt companies. This publication will be available on the Centre’s web site, and will be downloadable in a "pdf" file-format.
Centre’s Web Page - www.charity.bm
The Centre’s new web site forms an integral part of our new Resource Centre. Research done in 1999 identified that operational costs for charities were on the increase, but donor gifts were not keeping pace with inflation. The result was a call for the Centre to provide more tangible resources and to make those resources more accessible.
Enter the New COP Web Site. After a period of research, a plan was put in place to completely redesign the Centre’s web site. This turned it from an "electronic brochure" into a fully interactive resource, a first of its kind for the charitable community. At the same time we needed to implement a strategy to "e-enable" registered charities. This ensures that no organization is left out simply through lack of access. The web site now provides more options for information, education, discussion and feedback.
Information & Education
Information that is accurate, current and relative to the needs of our clients is one of the Centre’s primary goals. We have to make sure that we get that information to those most in need.
Every charitable organization is simply a business with a "more challenging" revenue source, and because charities must take a business approach to their day-to-day operations, the Centre has developed an education programme to help every charity acquire the skills they need.
As part of our information initiative we publish a quarterly newsletter. This is sent via mail or e-mail, eventually it will be available on-line. The Centre will also have other publications available online. Our web site provides a network of links to other charitable and philanthropic resources.
Our Education Programme has been restructured to run on two tracks. One track will have sessions/workshops to deal with the basics of a particular subject and the second track will host courses at the advanced level for directors/senior staff and Board members.
In addition, we started an educational grant fund in 1998 that seeks to provide financial assistance to Bermudians looking to pursue further education in the philanthropic field.
Finally, the Centre’s complete educational calendar is available on our web site with facilities to register and make payment for courses online coming shortly.
The Centre maintains a library of educational and reference materials to assist charities, volunteers and donors in every aspect of philanthropy. An expansion of library materials is already underway and the Centre is looking forward to offering even more resources to the community in the near future.
Promotion & Recognition of Bermuda’s Volunteers
The charitable community relies on the help and commitment of it's volunteers. It seems only right for charities to have some way of acknowledging how much their contribution means. We invite our charity members to submit the name of one of their outstanding volunteers to our Volunteer Recognition Program every month. That volunteer will receive a thank you card from the Centre on behalf of the charity supported, the Centre and the entire community.
We hope to encourage more people in our community to volunteer with the charity of their choice. Bermuda’s charities exist and contribute so much to the community, largely due to the commitment and willingness of the people who volunteer. We estimate that a volunteer-hour has an approximate value of $20.00. We have polled our charity members and they unanimously agree that the volunteer-hours given by a committed individual are of greater value than a cash donation for an equivalent sum.
Consulting & Referrals
Experience and expertise are required to ensure the success of a charitable organization in the Bermuda community. The Centre has approached many talented and highly skilled nonprofit professionals and invited them to become part of the Centre’s professional resources. These people are considered to be leaders in their particular field and they have agreed to work with us in support of charities in Bermuda.
When the needs of a charity are deemed to be large enough to warrant a more structured approach, we have the professionals and their contact information available. We will make referrals to them wherever and whenever appropriate.
Bermuda’s reputation as one of the last "islands of paradise," has attracted, and continues to attract, nonprofit professionals from other countries, especially the US, Canada and the UK. Off-island consultants can be very expensive, but the Centre will solicit donated time from these professionals whenever possible.