Supporters often felt that the conditions attached to funding detracted from attempts to attain the desired outcomes: reducing freedom and flexibility to respond to the needs or costing time and energy that could be better spent supporting the community. Unintended negative consequences were also noted. With funders and supporters, in most cases, wanting to achieve the same ends—sustainable and meaningful positive outcomes for communities—the conditions seemed to create a barrier to the shared vision and add a burden to those supporting in the community.
Having targets attached to funding is not a problem. The problem is, when you are accountable to government, the way you behave has to be different because it is more bureaucratic. Before we received any funding we were able to go forth and do what needed to be done, how we saw it needed doing. But after receiving funding we were put into partnerships we wouldn't necessarily have chosen and at no time were we the lead agency. The belief we held that we should be in communities, through outreach, providing a service that suits the residents. This approach wasn't approved of or supported. We had to report to these other agencies ... forced partnerships where there wasn't true a collaboration because we had different ideas and beliefs about the work we were all doing. Anon – Victoria
The policy and accounting requirements, the guidelines relating to donated funds, it all impacts sustainability. The outcomes would have been exactly what the funding intended but we had to change what we were doing to fit the requirements, and it also created divisions and ructions within the group. The funding body, they don't see what that looks like in terms of consequences in real communities and real people. Every time people get offside it damages relationships in the community. Someone will say, "I've had a blue with so and so and I'm not helping anymore." It is often due to outside influences and it didn't need to happen. It is nearly always about decision making. Fiona Leadbeater – Volunteer, Kinglake Ranges
Earmarked funds. One particular fund will only want to pay for insulation but by the time the funding comes through I have seven houses needing sheet-rocking... By the time we got the funding released for demos, it was thirteen months. Thirteen months ago we had a lot of demos but now it is not relevant, the money would be better spent on a rebuild... Mike Hoffman – Yellow Boots, Staten Island