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Discussing The Size of the Third Sector

18 November 2002 at 12:11 pm
Staff Reporter
As the Australian Bureau of Statistics responds to the demand for better data on the Third Sector and all its parts, it's time to discuss just how big the Not for Profit world is here.

Staff Reporter | 18 November 2002 at 12:11 pm


Discussing The Size of the Third Sector
18 November 2002 at 12:11 pm

As the Australian Bureau of Statistics responds to the demand for better data on the Third Sector and all its parts, it’s time to discuss just how big the Not for Profit world is here.

In the late 1990’s, the ABS assisted the Sydney University of Technology prepare data for inclusion in the Johns Hopkins University coordinated Comparative Nonprofit Project. Their own data was published in Australia in Dimensions of Australia’s Third Sector in 2000.

Since then more extensive official statistics on the size, importance and diversity of Australia’s Not for Profit sector are gradually becoming available.

So in yet another collaboration the ABS has joined together with the UTS and the Queensland University of Technology’s Centre of Philanthropy to offer FREE lectures in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in December to discuss the range of statistical information and identity priorities for future research.

The 2 half-day seminars in each city (9.00am start and then a 1.00pm repeat) will look at a wide variety of research data on the Sector much of which has already been reported in past issues of our Pro Bono Australia e-Newsletter.

Here are the topics:

Non Profit Institutions Satellite Account: Australia’s national accounts are a comprehensive set of economic data and includes statistics such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A Nonprofit Institutions (NPIs) satellite account provides a means by which economic aspects of NPIs can be drawn out and analysed separately within the structure of the main national accounts. This means that the NPIs contribution to the major national accounting aggregate such as GDP and the value of volunteers to production and services can be measured. This material will be released on 28 November 2002.

Community Services: This study is drawn from a survey of employment government, for-profit and non-profit organisations involved in the provision of community services. It presents statistics on expenditure of organisations on community service activities and also data by different industries within this area.

Sports Industry: A sports industry survey was conducted by the ABS in respect of 2000-01. The output includes details of the income, expenses and employment of organisations involved in horse and dog racing, health/fitness centres and gymnasia, sporting venues, administration organisations, and sporting clubs and teams for for-profit, not-for-profit and government organisations.

Volunteering: The volunteering study collected data on rates of participation in voluntary work, characteristics of people who volunteer, the types of organisations they work for, and the activities they undertake.
Information on whether people made monetary donations to organisations was also collected.

Generosity of Australian Business: This study collected information on ‘business giving’ which includes donations, sponsorships and business to community projects. It segments each type of giving by industry sub-group.

Gift Deduction in the Taxation Statistics: This study examines deductible gifts through personal income tax returns over a twenty-year period. The Speaker: is Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes, from QUT.

What does it all Mean and Where to from Here? What contribution does this information make to the development of the Australian Third Sector and what are the gaps in the data that need to be filled. The Speaker is Mark Lyons, from UTS.

The seminars are in Melbourne on December 12th, in Sydney December 13th and in Brisbane December 16th. An RSVP is essential for the Free Seminar.
If you would like an electronic information and RSVP sheet send us an email to

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