ACCESS Shared Services Model: Launching Development Phase

| Community, Governance, Opportunities
Shared Services Platform Co-operative

ACCESS is building collaboration and capacity in the nonprofit sector through the development of a shared services platform from which members can work together – smarter! 

Introducing ACCESS

The Allied Community and Co-operative Shared Services (ACCESS) is a shared service non-profit co-operative specifically formed to provide administrative back-office support for civil society organizations including co-ops, nonprofits, and charities across Alberta and British Columbia. ACCESS provides fractional staff to co-operatives and non-profits that fit their unique needs. It is an innovative, collaborative solution that fills service gaps and increases efficiencies,  allowing co-operatives and non-profits to focus on what they do best.

Background 

In May 2021, the Government of Alberta provided partial funds to Alberta Community Co-operative Association (ACCA) and its primary partner organizations: Volunteer Alberta (VA), The Consortium, Econocoop and the Association for Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA), to launch ACCESS. The primary outcome is to build equitable access to qualified, co-aligned professional service providers through strategic collaboration with regional, provincial & national partners.

The Steering Committee and Operational Team, which is comprised of provincial and national member-serving associations, are working to determine how to combine critical corporate, legal and operational resources and share back-office infrastructure.

What are Shared Services?

For this project, shared services are defined broadly as “the collaborative use of staff resources across traditional organizational boundaries”. While the concept of shared services is not new, it is enjoying a new lease of life as non-profit and co-op leaders grapple with organizational and budgetary pressures. 

A shared services delivery model helps minimize budgetary and capacity demands of full-time, technical, administrative tasks for its member organizations. Through sharing back-office administrative services, members of ACCESS can better achieve economies of scale, access to qualified and harmonious support and better-streamlined processes – ultimately relieving pressures on their efforts to deliver on their core missional objectives. 

Member Services 

Once operational, members of ACCESS’s affiliated Member-based Associations will obtain and only pay for services they use without the burden of additional membership fees or upfront service deposits. (Some exceptions may apply, for example, a retainer may be required for legal services) 

Shared services membership structure

Under Development

Currently, ACCESS is in a soft-launch phase, and the Operational Team is working through the delivery of the first three services. Legal, IT, and bookkeeping are available to a sample group that is helping refine service delivery. Once past developing the vital internal and external structures, additional services will be available to a larger group by Spring 2022, and efforts will continue to build from there. 

Shared Services Offerings Now Available through your Membership 

Regardless of size, all organizations need to assess the most efficient use of dollars spent. And, whether you are a long-time co-op member or just getting started, the BCCA/ACCA  team is actively looking for opportunities to provide the support, information and opportunities you need to succeed at any stage of your co-op journey. 

Legal, Consulting & Advocacy Services – Tailored to the specific and unique needs of co-ops and nonprofits
To help meet the increased demand ACCA and BCCA saw from co-ops and nonprofits seeking corporately aligned legal, consulting, and advocacy services –  the Community and Co-operative Counsel (CCC) was launched. To connect with the CCC, please call (587) 760-0369 or visit coopcounsel.ca.

BCCA’s Co-operative Deposit Pool – P6P –  is for members, by members.
BCCA members! Our newest service the Co-operative Deposit Pool – P6P-  enables your co-operative to take advantage of preferred banking arrangements through Vancity. Start saving today! 

Please Connect

Your insight and questions are important, and we are interested in hearing from you. To connect with the project director, Corinne Remple, please email access@acca.coop.