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Colleges/sections discuss funding options.

NEW FUNDING proposals for colleges and sections were a major discussion topic at a college/section chairpersons' and treasurers' meeting last month. Almost all colleges/sections were represented at the day, including some new office holders who have yet to take up their positions.

The funding proposals follow work by a small group set up in 2002 to consider options to assist colleges and sections to grow and maintain their membership. Professional services manager Trevor Warr, speaking about the working party's recommendations, said colleges and sections had long expressed dissatisfaction at the level of support they received from NZNO. "Many have had to be self sufficient and undertake fundraising. All have had significant problems in maintaining annual membership levels and spend a lot of time and effort chasing the previous year's members to retain membership in the next year. This is wasted energy."

He pointed out that, while NZNO claimed to offer both industrial and professional services to its members, it was paradoxical to require members to pay an additional levy to belong to a professional interest section or college.

Recommendations from the working party include: NZNO putting in place a "self nomination" system for members to indicate on their application form which college/section(s) they wish to belong to; and NZNO maintaining college/section membership data on its membership database, just as it does for members in workplaces.

Last year colleges and sections considered four options on how to fund their activities. A clear majority favored option three. Under this proposal, colleges and sections would not charge any fee or levy to members to belong. In return, NZNO would meet core operational costs, with other costs (eg subscription to a journal, fees for attendance at seminars or workshops) being met through subscriptions, fundraising or sponsorship.

Business development manager Dragan Radic said that, although this proposal placed additional costs on NZNO (around $160,000 in addition to the support colleges/sections already received), the gains for colleges/sections in terms of streamlining their activities and avoiding the need for annual membership renewals justified extra expenditure. The new system would also enhance NZNO's professional credibility, encouraging greater member involvement in colleges and sections.

Although the board of directors was due to discuss the pros and cons of option three at its meeting late last month, the chairpersons and treasurers unanimously endorsed the option and passed a resolution calling for its implementation from April 1.

Also on the agenda was a presentation from Radic on helping colleges/sections prepare simple strategic or business plans. These would help colleges/sections become more result-focused, he said. NZNO accountant Brian Gillett offered guidelines to treasurers on the best ways to manage their accounts.

The day was a great networking opportunity, allowing college/section office holders the chance to exchange ideas, according to professional nursing adviser Margaret Cain. "Being able to get everyone there on the one day helps build relationships within NZNO and assists in raising awareness of how the organization operates," she said.
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Title Annotation:section news
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Mar 1, 2004
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