Funded by the John T Reid Charitable Trusts, this project aimed to support small community service organisations to adapt to changes in the human services sector and continue to contribute to their local communities.

Small organisations have been traditionally recognised for their contribution to local communities. They are known for understanding local needs and the issues that impact on their clients, and are often able to collaborate with local networks to integrate services.

However, marketisation in the human services sector, with its emphasis on competition between providers, and the complexity of complying with funding requirements have seen many small organisations struggle to compete with large providers.

This project originated from the recognition of the value small organisations bring to the human service sector. It focuses on organisational support as a means of enabling them to adapt and thrive in this changing environment. In close consultation with four youth services providers, we have developed a set of tools and resources designed to assist small community service organisations.

The project includes:

  • practice guides and training to support capacity building in business skills, evaluation skills and service development
  • qualitative research, with case studies that examine the value that the four organisations add to their clients and local community.

This two-year project (2017–18) was made possible through funding received from the John T Reid Charitable Trusts.



The study developed a Capacity Building Online Hub


Zuleika Arashiro and Amanda Pagan 2018, Too valuable to lose: assessing the value of small community service organisations (PDF, 695 KB)

Tendering guide

Zuleika Arashiro and Amanda Pagan 2018, Tendering: practical insights from community organisations (PDF, 470 KB)