Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

A place to discuss the issues relating to the proposed change in the national CTC’s structure.
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Simon L6
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Simon L6 » 18 Jan 2010, 9:38am

John Catt wrote:The change in the group structure was I believe introduced to facilitate the formation of new groups. I believe one of its aims was to avoid resentments over territorial claims.

Trying to deal with your points, one at a time.

Firstly, as I understand it there are no longer any District Associations, just groups, and to quote from the website
Since we started getting substantial funding from external bodies we have been able to divert more resources to support for CTC volunteers. Our Member group development officer’s post has become full time as has the Right to Ride Development post. (Both were previously required to carry out other duties as well as support for their networks.)
see http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=5365#eight.

With regard to the "expansion of the group network" charitable status might well provide additional funding from outside sources for the development of existing and new groups. Again to quote from the website (link as above)
In particular Member groups are strongly encouraged to take part in activity which promotes cycling to new participants in order to attract new people to their rides or to get resources for their volunteers.

Groups can be supported financially and with staff time to put on a wide range of events and activities for new cyclists. Staff funded by external funders have helped support Member activities such as the York Cycle Show, Birthday Rides, Challenge Rides, CTC local groups conference, Wales Festival of Cycling and the CTC Scotland Members’ gathering.

Member groups are strongly encouraged to contact national office to request any additional support that they would find useful, CTC now has 30 staff whose purpose is to support local cycling champions; we want to hear from you!


I'm not sure what you mean by "inter-group exchanges". I presume you mean people getting around to share best practice. Yes, where appropriate, if there is a group that believes it can learn from another, then I'd be happy to see resources used to facilitate this. It would be fully in line with both the existing charitable objectives of the Trust and of the CTC if it becomes a charity. I'm a great believer in test and learn. So trying it out a few times to see if it works and then either building on it or dumping it depending on results would be my favoured approach. I would also use this for testing any other proposals that members or groups that came up with that looked practical.

As to "'interference' for those who require promotion and central support" - no, I don't think this would work. Encouragement yes (but expecting some to ignore it).

We are dealing with volunteers who have a perfect right to tell National Office what to do with their "initiatives" if they so choose and walk away from the organisation .

Of course this doesn't mean that we can't encourage new and different groups in those areas where existing groups aren't particularly proactive. The cycle champions have been reaching out into communities where cycling is not exactly endemic.

By way of example in my locality Elizabeth Barner is working to this brief:
The CTC Cycling Champions Development Officer will work with 35 community groups over the four years of the project. The groups will come from communities typically under-represented amongst existing cyclists. Beneficiary groups might include women’s groups, disability organisations, and members ofblack and minority ethnic communities. The project will be based at York House, Granby Street, Leicester LE1 6FB in the Sustainable Transport Team of the City Council.


For an example of what is happening see http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/content/articles/2008/09/01/cycle_challenge_feature.shtml

The Bike Club initiative http://bikeclub.org.uk will hopefully seed new groups as well in due course.

As to "advice and resources for those less proud and keen to expand?" I believe National Office is very keen to support groups who want to be proactive.

John, I'm afraid that this is disappointing. History tells us that the removal of geographic boundaries was supposed to let new member groups flower wherever, but the level of support to new groups is derisory - and I remind you of the campaign run by the Chair against the resolution I proposed to the the Belfast AGM in 2008. If you have any doubts on this whatsoever please

- ask yourself why the pitiful subvention from central funds to member groups for 2009 has not yet been sent out
- ask yourself why updated membership records have not been sent out
- ask yourself why references to member groups in Newsnet are so few and far between
- ask yourself why Newsnet still has no regional input from member groups - which could have been done at next to no cost in 2006
- ask yourself why the contact details for member groups on the National Office website are out of date

the bit about member groups being strongly advised to involve themselves in charitable activity is disingenuous and patronisng, given that the 18p allowance is only sufficient for one letter to members every two years (and given Arvato's inability to collect e-mail addresses, letters would be the only way to get in touch with half of our members). And as for National Office wanting to support groups who want to be proactive - is there any evidence of this at all? And what is 'proactive' when it's at home? And, given the near complete neglect of member groups do you seriously think that putting all the money in one pot is going to make a difference, or is it going to make the kind of 'inventive budgeting' that allowed the expenses incurred on a government contract that carried on after funding was cut (and after NO forgot to send out the bill) to be re-labelled 'support for volunteers'?

I really do think that before channelling National Office stuff on to this forum a bit of research might be a good idea. Why not speak to CTC Peterborough to see how much support National Office gives to new groups? Why not read the Minority Report?

Oh - and District Associations are still with us.

JT
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby JT » 18 Jan 2010, 11:04am

Simon L6 wrote:I really do think that before channelling National Office stuff on to this forum a bit of research might be a good idea. Why not speak to CTC Peterborough to see how much support National Office gives to new groups? Why not read the Minority Report?

Oh - and District Associations are still with us.


I can tell you about CTC Peterborough to save you the trouble of asking. Some background first, which in my opinion says a lot about the attitude toward Member Groups.

A few years ago the secretary of Peterborough and South Lincs DA moved out of the area and "handed control" to another member. This guy hadn't really wanted to run the DA and in time group activity dwindled, AGM's weren't held and no reports were sent back to National Office. N/O's reaction was to downgrade the status of the DA to an Informal Group and allocate all 150 or so members to CTC Cambridge. No one was notified of this.

When I first thought of trying to re-start the group my time was limited and I didn't want to commit to re-starting a group for a small amount of potential members. I contacted the then Member Groups officer, explained the situation and asked how many members there were in the Peterborough area. That's all I wanted to know, the total number of members with Peterborough post codes. I was refused the information on as it infringed the Data Protection Act. No further offer of help was forthcoming and I gave up on the idea.

Now, I am in the process of starting up the group again, reborn as CTC Peterborough. To be fair to Adrian Lawson, the current Member Groups officer at N/O, he's been pretty helpful. He advised me of the process and emailed all Peterborough members with a note to contact me in support of the new group. I say all Peterborough members but they only had email addresses for around 50%. Adrian has also sent details of our inaugural meeting to be included in the next issue of Cycle - a requirement of starting a group.

That is the level of support received so far. I have not asked for anything else and currently have no need for anything else. Once we've formed a committee and established one or two group rides, I'd like to contact those local members without email addresses and also begin trying to recruit new faces. Both of those activities will cost a lot more than the 18p per member that I'll be able to claim so I'll be going cap in hand to N/O for some funds.

workhard

Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby workhard » 18 Jan 2010, 12:58pm

Citing the DPA as a reason is an utter red herring. DP usage is all about reasonable use and informed consent. A perfectly reasonable use of an individual's data, when that data has been supplied for the membership purposes of a club, is to allow the local organisers of that club to contact the member. How do I know? Because I do this stuff for a living. I'd wager the vast majority of people who join CTC half expect the local branch to contact them!

If any process which results in the local organiser having to go through an HQ to get HQ to invite local members to contact them in order to comply with DPA has been designed by someone with either a woeful lack of understanding of DPA, an extremely conservative interpretation of the 'rules', or an agenda. In my experience in the not-for-profit sector when this is done there are usually other motivations in play, generally around HQ protectionism and control of the member/supporter relationship, and DPA issues are the canard used to avoid addressing these. I've worked and/or volunteered for two household name international agencies both of whom used to adopt this tactic and deployed the canard regularly when approached by local contacts. After challenge from regional/local staff/volunteers both organisations changed their policies to allow direct contact by local staff/volunteers within an agreed annual communication plan and the DPA nonsense simply melted away. Funny that.

In this country DPA and H&S must be the two most overused excuses not to do something there has ever been.
Last edited by workhard on 18 Jan 2010, 3:14pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Simon L6
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Simon L6 » 18 Jan 2010, 1:24pm

the DPA has been used as an excuse for not supplying details of members to Member Groups within the last six months.

workhard

Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby workhard » 18 Jan 2010, 3:29pm

Simon L6 wrote:the DPA has been used as an excuse for not supplying details of members to Member Groups within the last six months.


That is bull excrement!

If this, which is the first hit on a Google search, is the current policy, which I doubt as it contains out of date statements relating to 3rd parties no longer retained as agents for the CTC, then someone somewhere may be vocalising from their exhaust pipe unless they want to pedantically argue that a member group is not entitled to the same access rights as an old stylee DA. In which case the policy needs to be updated to include reference to the new fangled Member Groups.

3.3 Data Processing
The Act sets out rules for the “processing” of data. Processing is defined as “obtaining, recording or holding information or data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the information or data”.

This definition therefore encompasses all of CTC’s operations and, more importantly, includes activities taking place outside of CTC headquarters. Processing of CTC data is carried out by companies operating on CTC’s behalf (such as the membership department) and by the CTC’s District Associations who are sent membership information to use for contacting members in their area. This Policy therefore applies to these bodies as well as to CTC headquarters.
My italics.

So the CTC appears to be potentially in breach of it's own DPA policy if it refused to give DA's email addresses and other details of new members! Doubly so if it is storing old out-of-date email addresses on record when people have advised new ones. (NB It does clearly state DA's cannot publish new member names and addresses )

Jimmy The Hand
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Jimmy The Hand » 18 Jan 2010, 4:31pm

manybikes wrote: Do MG/DAs know the procedures then? Do we know why only 48 claimed?
.

West Kent claimed last year for the first time, in previous years they felt they had enough reserves not to claim and allow other DA who were not so well off to claim

manybikes wrote: Our very long standing DA has not had its allocation for the last year........


I think you may find you have to claim it, it seems to be if you don't claim then it is assumed you don't want/need it, but someone will prove me wrong no doubt

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Si
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Si » 18 Jan 2010, 4:39pm

As I understand it, we had others sent to us without claiming - we then had to try to figure out why the CTC was sending us money as there appeared no explanation with it!

Jimmy The Hand
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Jimmy The Hand » 18 Jan 2010, 4:41pm

Simon L6 wrote:.......... We have a membership system that doesn't trouble to collect e-mail addresses.........


Is it they don't "trouble to collect" or is it that people, like me, don't give our email address out?

I am advertising to fill a job vacancy I have and out of 30 telephone enquiries only 4 were prepared to give an email to send the application pack to, the rest either didn't have one or prefered it sent by post!

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Simon L6
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Simon L6 » 18 Jan 2010, 5:25pm

Jimmy The Hand wrote:
Simon L6 wrote:.......... We have a membership system that doesn't trouble to collect e-mail addresses.........


Is it they don't "trouble to collect" or is it that people, like me, don't give our email address out?

I am advertising to fill a job vacancy I have and out of 30 telephone enquiries only 4 were prepared to give an email to send the application pack to, the rest either didn't have one or prefered it sent by post!

Jimmy - I genuinely think that it is the former rather than the latter - having watched the Arvato operation in action.

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Simon L6
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Simon L6 » 18 Jan 2010, 5:26pm

workhard wrote:
Simon L6 wrote:the DPA has been used as an excuse for not supplying details of members to Member Groups within the last six months.


That is bull excrement!

I think the word 'ordure' would be a tad more genteel......

Regulator
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Regulator » 18 Jan 2010, 6:57pm

John Catt wrote:
Trying to deal with your points, one at a time.

Firstly, as I understand it there are no longer any District Associations, just groups, and to quote from the website
Since we started getting substantial funding from external bodies we have been able to divert more resources to support for CTC volunteers. Our Member group development officer’s post has become full time as has the Right to Ride Development post. (Both were previously required to carry out other duties as well as support for their networks.)
see http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=5365#eight.



That would be the Right to Ride Development Officer who spent most of his time working on a conference that was nothing to do with Right to Ride (he was actually doing conference work for a cycling network of which CTC is a member), would it? :roll:

I'm sorry John, but selectively quoting from the CTC web-site isn't really useful unless you know what is actually going on... as you settle in to your Councillorship then you'll see that what is said and what actually happens are very often two completely different things. There are many fine words from Council and National Office - but far too little action, which is why members and Councillors are beginning to get ******off.

workhard

Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby workhard » 18 Jan 2010, 7:32pm

Simon L6 wrote:
workhard wrote:
Simon L6 wrote:the DPA has been used as an excuse for not supplying details of members to Member Groups within the last six months.


That is bull excrement!

I think the word 'ordure' would be a tad more genteel......


c'mon Simon you've met me, just because I've 'fessed up elsewhere to a love of opera and a weakness for dystopian Swedish detective novels doesn't not mean I am going to become genteel.

Surely armed with a current copy of the CTC DPA Policy a member group with some determination could start at the lowly operative and escalate the issue all the way to council to challenge this nonsense? Wish I had the time to help out myself, hmmmm, thinking cap on...

thirdcrank
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Feb 2010, 10:07am

I think it would be very interesting to have a general idea, at least, where the CTC Council anticipates future grants / contracts might originate.

In the present pre-election period, none of the political parties wants to be the one to break the really bad news or to be seen to be talking the economy down but this unreal situation cannot persist. It's not easy for ordinary people to get a feel of how things might be at a national level (although many are now feeling it at the personal level.) Different think tanks with grandiose titles make predictions from the left and right using numbers which were once only used to express distances in space travel. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/b ... 014187.ece

From all this we can at least appreciate that things are grim; belts will be tightened and all the rest of it. The main parties have said that some sectors will be protected: eg education, NHS. Even there I think most of us suspect that waiting lists will lengthen, projects will fall behind, and so on. Let's remember that no party has mentioned protecting transport or leisure, so the only heading where the promotion of cycling might be spared from cuts would be the health benefits.

I think one of the things that has surprised so many people has been the speed with which things turned sour. We've gone in pretty short order from the end of boom and bust to plain bust. Not all organisations react sufficiently quickly when things go wrong and they tend to be the ones that go to the wall. The tendency throughout our economy to dump managers in early middle age means that few decisionmakers have experience of dealing with earlier "downturns" and the last as severe as this was nearly 80 years ago. It seems to me that the whole not-for-profit sector tends to be rather slow compared with sharper rivals motivated only by the bottom line.

Regulator
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby Regulator » 5 Feb 2010, 10:42am

thirdcrank wrote:I think it would be very interesting to have a general idea, at least, where the CTC Council anticipates future grants / contracts might originate.

In the present pre-election period, none of the political parties wants to be the one to break the really bad news or to be seen to be talking the economy down but this unreal situation cannot persist. It's not easy for ordinary people to get a feel of how things might be at a national level (although many are now feeling it at the personal level.) Different think tanks with grandiose titles make predictions from the left and right using numbers which were once only used to express distances in space travel. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/b ... 014187.ece

From all this we can at least appreciate that things are grim; belts will be tightened and all the rest of it. The main parties have said that some sectors will be protected: eg education, NHS. Even there I think most of us suspect that waiting lists will lengthen, projects will fall behind, and so on. Let's remember that no party has mentioned protecting transport or leisure, so the only heading where the promotion of cycling might be spared from cuts would be the health benefits.

I think one of the things that has surprised so many people has been the speed with which things turned sour. We've gone in pretty short order from the end of boom and bust to plain bust. Not all organisations react sufficiently quickly when things go wrong and they tend to be the ones that go to the wall. The tendency throughout our economy to dump managers in early middle age means that few decisionmakers have experience of dealing with earlier "downturns" and the last as severe as this was nearly 80 years ago. It seems to me that the whole not-for-profit sector tends to be rather slow compared with sharper rivals motivated only by the bottom line.



The uplift for the NHS is only protected for the 2010/11 financial year. The NHS (for which I work at SHA level) has already been told that it must make 30% 'management cost' savings across the board. This is the basically the same message from all the parties.

First to go will be some of the discretionary spending, such as the 'Bike4Life' funding that was part of the Department of Health's 'Change4Life' programme. Guess which national cycling organisation has a contract that relies on 'Bike4Life' funding - and project staff on permanent, rather than fixed term, contracts?

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gaz
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Re: Fundraising, grants, contracts etc.

Postby gaz » 5 Feb 2010, 12:57pm

JT wrote:When I first thought of trying to re-start the group my time was limited and I didn't want to commit to re-starting a group for a small amount of potential members. I contacted the then Member Groups officer, explained the situation and asked how many members there were in the Peterborough area. That's all I wanted to know, the total number of members with Peterborough post codes. I was refused the information on as it infringed the Data Protection Act. No further offer of help was forthcoming and I gave up on the idea.


I can understand JT's frustration and agree that HO's dismissal of his enquiry was wrong.

workhard wrote:Citing the DPA as a reason is an utter red herring. DP usage is all about reasonable use and informed consent. A perfectly reasonable use of an individual's data, when that data has been supplied for the membership purposes of a club, is to allow the local organisers of that club to contact the member. How do I know? Because I do this stuff for a living. I'd wager the vast majority of people who join CTC half expect the local branch to contact them!

If any process which results in the local organiser having to go through an HQ to get HQ to invite local members to contact them in order to comply with DPA has been designed by someone with either a woeful lack of understanding of DPA, an extremely conservative interpretation of the 'rules', or an agenda.


However in terms of this being an extremely conservative interpretation of he 'rules' I'm not sure that it was. JT was approaching HO as a member, not an official. HO publish figures on national membership. So at what level should we stop disclosing data to avoid a DPA breach, county, borough, town, street, house?

I have some DP concerns with HO passing on member details to member groups. Firstly the accuracy of the information provided seems to be in doubt. Secondly how securely do member groups keep the info?

The forum admin have my email. They haven't passed it to HO. They've held it properly in accordance with the forum DP statement. Some of my local member groups have my e-mail. They haven't held it properly. A number of "notes to all group members" have gone out without using "blind copy" to conceal the e-mail addresses of the other recipients.

I'm sure hacking my local member group would be vastly simpler than hacking HO or Arvato. Any "breach" at member group level would be seen as a "breach" by HO.

Jimmy The Hand wrote:Is it they don't "trouble to collect" or is it that people, like me, don't give our email address out?


I've never given them mine. One advantage of this is that I am not bombarded by e-mails from local councillors seeking to influence my views on the club's future. :wink:

Simon L6 wrote:Jimmy - I genuinely think that it is the former rather than the latter - having watched the Arvato operation in action.


Given the report I know why you think that.
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