ALSO has fended off its solvency woes with a resolution to access money from the Members Resolution Fund (MRF) to pay ALSO Foundation and Care’s immediate debts passed by members.
The Committee Resolution was passed after a postal vote process and means $209,177 will be transferred from the MRF to pay Care and Foundation’s immediate debts; a loan of $79,397 from Care to Foundation will be reclassified as expenditure; and $87,000 will be released to Care to keep it trading for the next nine months.
All four opposing motions put forward were voted down.
A no-confidence vote directed at the current ALSO Care Committee, for allowing $200,000 to be moved from the MRF to Foundation without members’ authority, was narrowly defeated.
ALSO Foundation CEO Crusader Hillis said the only way both organisations could survive was with the full support of the community and ALSO membership.
“The last few months have been very stressful,” Hillis told the Star Observer.
“A vote of approval from the membership is good … we can now bring people back together and develop a shared purpose of what the organisations are capable of doing, stop practices of the past, and learn to do things properly in future. “It’ll be our first order of business to attract new members to the committee so, at the AGM, there’s some excitement and real community desire to get involved and support the continuance of the organisation.”
Hillis said both Care and the Foundation would look at ways to generate income and both would be restructured.
Care will become almost entirely volunteer-run, while Foundation will remain in its Bourke St offices, reduce staff costs, move to a part-time CEO, and increase its volunteer base.
Unless funding is forthcoming, Hillis said Care has enough money to operate on a budget of $115,000 per year for around nine months before members would have to vote for more funds to be accessed from the MRF to keep the organisation afloat.
The Foundation has around 10 months to hit its income targets or risk folding.
The cash transfer will leave a severely depleted MRF just under $100,000. At June 30 2010, the fund sat at over $590,000.The All So Fabulous opportunity shop, once part of Care, will move to Foundation’s remit as a profitable enterprise. Hillis said, although the shop has consistently lost money in the last few years, there are plans to cut paid staff and move to volunteer staffing.
Moves to generate more income from the ALSO Directory, including developing the service online and entering into more formal agreements with community organisations sharing office space will also be considered.
Hillis said emphasis would be put on seeking funding from both federal and state governments for future projects.
ALSO Care founding member Geoff Richards labelled the result disheartening and said the decision would spell the end of the road for Care.
“In the end they’ll draw out all the funds and there’ll be nothing left,” Richards told the Star Observer.
“It’s certainly inappropriate the way they’ve been … juggling the money.”