July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20

FINANCE FOR THE FIELD
Coproduction: Partnering With Nonprofit
Organizations to Deliver Services
By John L. Crompton, Ph.D.
T
he central principle of coproduction is that individuals or community
groups participate jointly with a public agency in the
production of park and recreation services from which they or
their families are the direct beneficiaries. Typically, a nonprofit
community group and an agency sign a formal agreement to pool their
complementary resources to deliver the desired service.
Coproduction offers a
vehicle for minimizing
the impact of budget
cuts on service delivery.
Most frequently, the arrangement
takes the form of an agency providing
a facility, equipment or a financial
subsidy, while the group's
resources are mobilized to produce
the programmatic element. Typical
coproducing organizations include
athletic clubs (e.g., Little League, soccer,
softball), performing and cultural
arts groups, senior citizen clubs, and
neighborhood associations.
The negative impact of the pandemic
on sales and property taxes, which
constitute the major revenue sources
for most local governments, inevitably
means many park and recreation
agencies are facing major reductions
in their budgets that are likely to extend
throughout the next few years.
The Benefits of
Coproduction
Coproduction offers a vehicle for
20 Parks & Recreation | JULY 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
minimizing the impact of budget
cuts on service delivery by developing
strategies for transitioning the
programming element of these services
to the groups that benefit from
them. In my own city, Little League,
a number of adult and youth soccer
clubs, swim teams, and youth sport
traveling teams organize their programs,
while the city provides and
schedules facilities for them. In the
arts field, the city provides a small
amount of annual financial assistance,
but the arts groups take responsibility
for constructing their
facilities and their programming.
However, there are other services in
which the programming remains the
city's responsibility (e.g., youth and
adult softball, youth basketball, youth
football, youth volleyball, adult kickball,
and adult tennis). The annual net
cost to the city of directly delivering
these programs equates to the cost of
employing about five police officers.
If the city's general fund requires
trade-offs between these programs or
reducing the number of police officers,
it seems unlikely these programs
will survive. Removing these subsidies
from the general fund by transitioning
responsibility for programming to
community groups, as they do in the
other programs, provides a financial
pathway for them to survive and thrive.
While cost reductions may be
the stimulus for more intentionally
embracing coproduction partnerships,
there are five other associated
benefits that resonate with a
park and recreation agency's mission:
rebuilding an ethos; building
empathy for government and the
agency's mission; enhanced responsiveness;
use of citizens' talents; and
enhanced opportunities to socialize.
It is often suggested that selfreliance
is an American ethos - part
of our country's heritage, cultural
tradition and personality. President
Ronald Reagan alluded to this,
saying, " We have let government
take away many things we once
considered were really ours to do
voluntarily out of the goodness of
our hearts and a sense of community
pride and neighborliness. " From this
perspective, it might be argued that
the 'municipalization' of programs
represents a threat to the country's
character, and coproduction restores
voluntary action to its rightful place
in the American ethos.
Coproduction has the potential
to counter
the distrust,
civic
life.
and indifference that pervades
contemporary
The
engagement of participant groups
may cement personal relationships
with staff; give the group members
a heightened appreciation
for
the
quality of the services offered and the
effort invested by employees; lead to a
greater awareness of the content, costs
and limited capacity of an agency's
service; increase group members' selfconfidence
in becoming involved with
apathy

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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