Social Investment

Social Investment

The Social Investment Agency (SIA) is currently travelling Aotearoa to talk to people who use social services, and NGOs and government agencies that provide social services, about two topics.
1. The Government’s investing for social wellbeing approach.
The Government wants to help improve people’s wellbeing so that New Zealanders can live the lives they aspire to. The Government has developed a new approach to investing in New Zealanders wellbeing that takes into account that people lead diverse lives with different needs, and enables choices that build individual, family and community wellbeing.
The SIA wants to hear what people think about the approach, and how it could be put into practice.
2. A policy to guide the protection and use of personal information in the social sector.
Information collection, sharing and use, play an important role in helping the most effective services be provided to the people who need them. New Zealanders’ need confidence that those using and sharing their information are doing so safely and everyone understands what’s appropriate, what’s not and whether their personal information needs to be collected at all.
The SIA wants to hear the circumstances and concerns that different groups have in relation to the collection
and use of personal information, and what could be done to improve what currently happens. The SIA are engaging with service users, NGOs and government agencies to get feedback and input through a series of hui around the country. There will also be two online surveys, one for each topic that anyone can fill in to have their say. This input will then inform the Government’s investing for social wellbeing approach and the development of
the Data Protection and Use Policy.
Engagement began on 31 May when Minister Sepuloni and Minister Henare opened the first hui in South Auckland. The SIA will be heading to Waikato in June to talk to NGOs about the two topics. The SIA will be seeking input and feedback through hui and online until the end of August 2018. Please check out the SIA’s website to find out more about the work they are doing, and provide your input through the surveys.

UK research into charities

What’s the research about?

Charities Taking Charge: Transforming to Face a Changing World. New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) is a registered charity and independent think tank who advise charities, social enterprises, grant-makers, donors, and corporate clients to support the efforts, energy, and help make resources of charities go further.

This research follows an earlier piece of work Boldness in times of change, seeking a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing charities through in-depth interviews, focus groups and telephone interviews spanning organisations of different sizes, types and sectors, with charity chief executives. The full research report may be found here. http://www.thinknpc.org/publications/charities-taking-charge/

What did they find?

Those charities at the forefront of the sector are taking charge of the things that are within their power to change. They are focusing on achieving their mission in new and creative ways by:

Establishing an impact-focused strategy that has a clear focus on an organisation’s key mission and offers a way to prioritise activities or decisions. Putting mission first enables them to take a more networked approach, working with others to deliver greater collective impact.

  1. Building strong governance and leadership, which embraces risk, supports collaboration and new partnerships, and draws on a diversity of backgrounds and skills to unlock innovative thinking and good decision-making.
  2. Taking new approaches to existing relationships, rethinking and redefining the dynamic with both the state and with the public.
  3. Harnessing new networks and resources, including technology, new partnerships and models of doing business, and new ways of relating to communities and beneficiaries.

“But there is still more work to do. Charities need to be much more focused on how they can best deliver impact and work in a more networked way to do so, sharing power in new ways with others, including beneficiaries and communities. There is still a journey to go on to really understand the transformative power of digital and data, and make the most of it.”

So what?

There are several insights for us in this piece of research and it may be a helpful resource as we establish how we (SociaLink) fits into the sector.

  • Chances are the situation is the same here, certainly based on anecdotal information
    • Agencies that are able to provide outcomes evidence are more likely to be successful, particularly where they are relying on government funding

Silver Lining to Bay’s Ageing Baby Boomers

Older residents are contributing $2.5 billion a year to the Bay’s economy, with the amount expected to reach $7 billion by 2031.

The impact of the “silver economy” on the region’s economic wellbeing has been revealed in a report by SUPA-NZ researcher Carole Gordon of Tauranga.


Carole Gordon

Her report detailing the value of living longer has highlighted the growing importance that the over-50s were having on the city’s future, particularly the post-war baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964.

The report, the first of its kind, provided a platform for growing the silver economy in the Bay’s “super-ageing” districts.  Read the full report here. Silver Economy Report

Funded by the Western Bay councils through SmartGrowth, the report said Tauranga’s booming silver economy was projected to become bigger than the kiwifruit industry.

“This study reflects the reality of a new demographic era.”

Citing an international study, she said the days of easy growth in the world’s cities was over and the response to demographic shifts would influence their prosperity.

Indicators showed that people aged over 65 were expected to make up 73 per cent of all future population growth in the Western Bay of Plenty.

“There is an economic
imperative to optimise age-friendly environments because active ageing is vital for wellbeing and economic growth.”

Ms Gordon said Tauranga held 47 per cent of the Bay’s older people. The political discourse had to change from the now obsolete view of burgeoning costs of unproductive aged dependency.

“Increasing longevity is an unprecedented opportunity to optimise human capital and innovation.”

She said that many Bay people now lived in predominantly silver communities, with the Western Bay peppered with retirement villages. The proportions of older people were more than double the national average and already above Japan – the world’s oldest nation. Tauranga’s mature and older people was predicted to increase by 350 per cent to 2061.

Her financial conclusions used the framework applied to the Ministry of Social Development’s Business of Ageing report.

Greg Simmonds, the chief operating officer of economic development agency Priority One, said the silver economy report put the opportunities and challenges in a positive rather than negative way.

“It says there are massive opportunities.”

Mr Simmonds said it included retaining people in the labour market to avoid workforce shortages and to train others coming through. “They may not want to work full-time.”

Another area of growth was new products and services to meet the needs of the older demographic.

Tauranga and Western Bay Grey Power president Jennifer Custins welcomed the report. “I am one of the baby boomers.”

She said a lot of work was needed to make Tauranga an age-friendly city, ranging from big projects like access to the new civic amenities planned for the downtown, to little things like making sure parking meter instructions could be easily read by elderly.

“It goes from big things like accessing services to small things.”

A recent example was the new library at Greerton where the elderly and infirm returning heavy books now had to walk twice the distance from the Chadwick Rd carpark to access the main entrance.

“Examples like that make me nervous about what they will do with the inner city.”

Make-up of the $2.55 billion over-50s contribution to Bay economy in 2016
Consumer goods: $1.04 billion (2031- $3.34 billion)
Value of volunteer contribution: $0.8 billion (2031 – $1.78b)
Taxes paid: $0.37 billion (2031 – $0.88b)
Workforce incl self-employed: $0.34 billion (2031- $0.92b)

Median ages in the Western Bay, 2013
Tauranga: 40.1 years old (projected 51.5 years by 2033)
Western Bay District Council area: 45 years old
Katikati: 50 years old
Omokoroa: 53 years old

Mapping the Social Sector in the western Bay of Plenty

SociaLink is now proud to announce the launch of the  ‘Mapping the Social Sector’ project, which sets out to create an evidence base, or ‘map’, to help raise the profile of social services. The ’map’ will overlay the demography of the communities with the services that are being delivered and will link sector information with funders’ outcomes and priorities. SociaLink and SmartGrowth identified a need for better understanding of the sector, its organisations and their role some years ago.  They have been working with the sector to scope this project and to secure funding. Read more…

The project work consists of two phases. Firstly, to avoid asking for information already available, we will undertake desk top research to obtain publicly discoverable information from websites such as Charities Services.  Secondly, we will be meeting with social service organisations to raise awareness of SociaLink, develop relationships, collect information and verify the desktop information gathered in phase one. Answers to structured questions will be entered into an electronic inventory database by a qualified, trustworthy researcher.

Participation by social sector organisations is entirely voluntary, however the ‘map’ will be most comprehensive and valuable to the Social Sector if as many organisations as possible contribute. We will ensure ownership of the data stays with the organisation that provides it and have developed strict data management and security protocols to ensure the information is protected.

In terms of reporting, each participating organisation will receive a report on demographic data (e.g. number of households, income etc) in their service areas and how these align with funders and stakeholders priorities. This will assist with planning, funding applications and telling your organisation’s story. General reports will be produced and made available on SociaLink and other relevant websites. Tailored reports can be requested and SociaLink will report only aggregated and anonymous data.
SociaLink will continue to provide regular updates on the project and contact will be made with social sector organisations over the coming months to invite project participation.

FACT SHEET – Updated