The Perceived Advantages of Contracting

The John Howard Society of Canada (1997) has outlined the advantages of contracting with non- profit agencies for the provision of services. Please note, however, that many of these advantages presume that contracting is a good thing and argue why it is better to contract with the voluntary sector over the for-profit sector.

In contributing to the partnership between government and non-profit, the major values of the voluntary sector are the following:

- community participation. Most local organizations involve volunteers in their governance and direct service. The volunteers learn about the overall integration of the justice and correctional system in all of its levels.

- knowledge and expertise. High professional standards in all its activities and services are promoted.

- common identification. The constituent parts are filled by people who value the opportunity to work in conjunction with people in other parts of the voluntary sector.

- internal communications. The voluntary sector has a good communications structure and a capacity to work well together on issues. In spite of its diversity, there is a high level of coherence in its positions and advice.

- community education. Publications, public seminars and meetings, both large and small, demonstrate the voluntary sector’s activity.

- diversity. The voluntary sector is made up of individuals who come from many parts of society and who bring with them very different experiences and expertise.

- service delivery expertise. The voluntary sector has developed expertise in the planning and delivery of a broad range of services and programs in the community.