‘There was too much administration but not enough impact’

Improvements planned for CBF
Community Broadcasting Foundation Executive Director Ian Stanistreet outlined some significant changes proposed for the CBF at the SCMA Conference in Wagga Wagga.
In the first public presentation of the foundation’s response to last year’s review, Stanistreet told delegates that a new model has been developed by the CBF Board. The proposals are now open for consultation within the sector, and final decisions will be made later this year.
“After 30 years of operation it was time to put the ruler over the organization… the current structure had developed over 3 decades,” said Stanistreet. Last year’s review was the first step in renewal, then there was a consultation process about the report, followed by CBF Board consideration. The change process is now in its final consultation stage and after that changes will begin to take place if there is board agreement.
The current structure of the organization developed over time and had become “overly complex” with “unintended barriers,” because of the way grants committees were structured.
The current structure was “unresponsive to technical and audience changes” and the changes in the sector itself, according to Stanistreet.
One of the goals of the proposed changes is to “increase and diversify fundraising,” as the organization moves solely from the administration and distribution of government funding to a more active fundraising role.
The key benefits offered by the proposed model are:

  • Making CBF processes more straight-forward for applicants
  • Helping the sector respond to a rapidly changing media environment
  • Encouraging more grassroots involvement in the grant assessment processes
  • Ensuring the CBF Board and advisory committees are appropriately skilled

The CBF says the proposed model is “fair and strategic, and it will benefit all CBF grant applicants and the development of the sector as a whole. “
The organization proposes to consolidate its processes and reduce the number of grant categories from 36 to 3 main areas: content grants, development grants and sector investment grants, as a new way of allocating funding.
Advisory committees will reduce from 9 to 3, and there will be a new assessor pool and more peer assessment of grant proposals, to the put the focus on “the core business, content production.”
The proposed restructure will not be without controversy, as it may be viewed as contentious by some sectors of the community broadcasting constituency, and it may not be seen as politically acceptable to some stakeholders.

The CBF is seeking comment on the proposed changes by 23 July.

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