This begins a several part series.
The CVO Network in Haifa, Israel is an innovative approach to leveraging the limited resources that exist in the NGO sector. CVO succeeds in providing services to NGO's that are often not in a financial or resource-rich position to provide these services for themselves. CVO, by aggregating individual NGO's within its umbrella of organizations is able to actively support the growth and development of individual NGO's and their members. By doing so, CVO provides benefits to the individual NGO's as well as to the municipality of Haifa and funders that support these individual NGO's. CVO lessens the financial burden on funders who need to support the individual NGO's as well as on the NGO's themselves.
CVO is a voluntary affiliation of individual organizations into a network. The individual organizations retain their own legal and organizational entity. However, they participate together with other organizations in the Haifa area to engage in specific activities. In carrying out these activities, the individual organizational members of CVO work collaboratively together to develop and implement new approaches to their work.
This article will explain how CVO succeeds in doing this. This article will explain the details of how CVO operates as a network. It is hoped that other sectors of NGO's defined by geography or professional orientation can profit by the example of CVO.
Brief History and Purpose of CVO.
CVO was founded in 1983 by several well-established organizations. It was originally operated by volunteers. The second phase of CVO began when CVO started hiring staff. The Director of CVO is Yael Abada.
The purpose of CVO is to coordinate between organizations working in similar or parallel fields and in developing thinking and activities among these organizations. CVO focuses on community organizing, developing collaborations and arranging forums. It is especially interested in professional training. Overall, CVO seeks to promote community and civil society.
Value Provided by CVO
CVO provides value to its member organizations, to individuals who are a part of these member organizations and to itself as a network. By virtue of these efforts, it enables its member organizations to provide enhanced value to the surrounding community.
There are many ways that CVO provides value to its member organizations. There are many things that small organizations cannot do on their own. CVO identifies common issues that most organizations are interested in. Examples of this are lobbying and working on employment issues for people with special needs. CVO works on issues that single organizations cannot work on by themselves. According to CVO Director, Yael Abada, "Even organizations have little knowledge about rights and services they can get around issues of employment." CVO helps provide a fuller picture on these topics.
CVO collects and provides data for the benefit of its member organizations. CVO provides workshops and training in specific skills that benefit member organizations and individual members of these organizations. Smaller organizations do not usually have the time or money to obtain training. CVO has also provided a consultant to these organizations.
CVO helps individuals develop competencies in areas of value to their own organizations. Training is provided in specific skill areas such as project development, public relations, communications, facilitation and how to be a team leader. CVO tries ot instill a willingness in its members to share with others and to take responsibility to do things.
Interacting with others, making connections and building relationships is important to the members of CVO. CVO meets the need of people to feel more connected. Members develop social connections and become friends. This increases the job satisfaction of members of the individual NGO's. They continue to grow and learn. One assumes that this helps the individual NGO's retain their staff.
In the next post, we will begin to look at how CVO operates in order to attain these accomplishments.