Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Our newest edition of 'Changing Ireland' is currently rolling through the presses in Offaly. If you want to see it before anyone else, check it out here.

The front cover tells the story of drastic cuts hitting communities across Ireland and what the Community Sector is saying and doing about it.
There are also features on 'Enabling Dissent', the rise of volunteering, and advice for community workers dealing with families of prisoners.
Plus news on:
- the introduction of standards for Community Development Work.
- the establishment by local volunteers and workers of a national body to represent projects in Ireland's poorest parts.
- Fine Gael's new policy that would see most community groups become part of the local authority structure.
Plus reviews of new books on changing the world and on how more equal societies are better for everyone.
Finally, the latest on Horace - our agony uncle - he has temporarily given up giving advice to pursue a legal claim against An Bord Snip for stealing all his ideas...

Friday, August 14, 2009


Every tabloid magazine in the known universe has published articles this year about “getting through” the downturn/depression. Here are our ideas for non-profit organisations.
More ideas welcome. Please leave your comments/suggestions below:

1) Instead of paying an organisation for providing a trainer for a day, barter with them and offer a day’s training (in something your group/staff/volunteers are expert in) by way of payment.
2) If you’re with the ESB, change electricity supplier and save 10% - 13% per annum.
3) If you’re renting a premises, you can and should negotiate a reduction in rent with your landlord.
4) Remember email is free. It wasn’t around a bit over a decade ago.
5) You can text for free via the internet (eg Very handy for getting a message out to a group of people.
6) If you need to print something, you’ll save anything up to 20% by going green. ‘Changing Ireland’ changed over to vegetable inks and recycled paper last Autumn.
7) Bye-bye to paying people mad money to put a few pages of a website together for your organisation. There are companies nowadays offering ready-to-go websites (the layout is pre-set, you just add in your content) for a tenner a year and upwards. Tip – There are free websites too, but they’re a bit of hassle and very basic. Alternatively, set up a blog (a form of mini-website). It’s totally free and much easier than you think.
8) Seek out volunteers to do jobs. You need to support volunteers properly, for it to be beneficial for everyone. Log onto or have a think with your colleagues and make a few calls.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rural Link sees Bord Snip proposals as “sinister”

Irish Rural Link (IRL) has published a 27-page critique of Bord Snip’s “sinister” proposals.
The 300-member organisation says one of the report’s main weaknesses is that it “hides the fact that cuts across a number of departments may impact on the same individual.”
Two-thirds of Ireland’s poor live in rural Ireland.
IRL said Bord Snip showed “disregard” for community groups, adding that “the lack of consideration for the community and voluntary element of work countering social exclusion is one of the most sinister underlying themes.”
It drew attention to “ignorance” in the report where it seeks to disband the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. As IRL point out, 40% of the population live in rural areas.
“The Report (also) fails to acknowledge that community and voluntary organisations deliver essential social services in areas such as education, mental health, disabilities and welfare for very vulnerable people,” say the Westmeath-based organisation.
In dissecting the report, IRL cross-tabulate the cuts proposed to various lines of Government spending. One of the most alarming threats to rural communities is to the Rural Transport Programme.
IRL’s board is seeking a meeting with the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance as soon as possible.
To download the report, visit: