CVSS embraces corporate foundations
The Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), the national coordinating body for non-governmental organisations involved in social development, is to accept corporate foundations as fully fledged members.
According to Chairman of the CVSS Saffrey Brown, the decision was taken at a special meeting recently, where the corporate foundations agreed to be members of the CVSS.
Brown pointed out that as the umbrella organisation, the CVSS was well-suited to bring together the key players in the voluntary sector and to lobby for things that members required.
"There is strength in numbers, and housing the corporate foundations under the CVSS umbrella can only strengthen the voluntary sector," she said.
The CVSS chair elaborated that the inclusion of corporate foundations as members would allow a further bridging of communication between grant-giving foundations and organisations within the voluntary sector.
It is anticipated that some 10 to 15 foundations will join the CVSS initially, with the intention of increasing the numbers. The CVSS currently comprises approximately 100 members, which work in areas such as gender, communities, health, and youth.
Meanwhile, new sector chair for the foundations and Chief Executive Officer of the GraceKennedy Foundation Caroline Mahfood commended the decision by the CVSS to include corporate foundations.
She disclosed that corporate foundations have long desired to establish a more formal group, but the drawback was that the administrative costs were prohibitive.
"CVSS will be able to provide this along with so much more. I think there will be multiple benefits, the main ones being networking opportunities, partnerships, advocacy, assistance with grant proposals, training, and the ability to provide a voice to strengthen the non-profit sector," she said.
Mahfood noted that the cost to join CVSS was very reasonable, particularly for the services that it offered, which were beneficial. She said that corporate foundations were very different from other types of foundations and that the CVSS was designed to specifically meet those needs.