NFP Confidence Up Despite Staffing Issues - Survey
27 October 2011 at 10:01 am
Above: A Jan Juc patrolling member assists an injured nipper during the Surf Education Program
Photographer: Andrew Mather for Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club – Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Australia License
Some 85% of Australian Not for Profit organisations are confident that they will achieve their goals over the next 12 months despite a difficult year, and attracting skilled staff remains a major issue, according to the inaugural Westpac Community Confidence Index.
The Westpac research found that overall sentiment in the NFP sector is positive, with 47% of NFPs stating that they experienced an increase in overall income in the past 6 months, and even more are expecting a revenue increase over the next 12 months.
The survey found that there are however some concerns in the sector, with 7% not confident they can achieve their goals next year – mainly for financial reasons – and one third of NFPs say that their organisation does not attract enough skilled staff which puts a strain on already stretched resources.
The survey found that the main concern in the Not for Profit sector is around finding skilled staff – one-third of respondents said they were struggling with this. On the up-side, the sector is positive about retaining staff, with 73% saying they are confident on this front.
On top of that, the survey found that 82% are actively exploring additional sources of income and 1 in 4 NFPs are considering partnering or merging for growth. A minority of NFPs (17%) consider that their industry is saturated with many organisations delivering a similar function.
The survey says most consider that the number of NFPs in their industry is about right (53%) or has scope for further growth (31%). Organisations with a higher turnover (Commercial and Top Tier) were more likely to feel saturation was a problem, whereas Community Groups were more likely to feel there were not enough organisations doing what they do.
The ‘new world’ issue of how to embrace social media was highlighted with many indicating they do not have the expertise and time to tackle this issue.
The Confidence Survey results, released this week, examine the strengths and confidence sentiments of the Not for Profit community sector, taking in feelings around financial security, workplace operations and future prospects, as well as highlighting the challenges and opportunities the sector is facing.
The Index has been commissioned by Westpac Social Sector Banking in partnership with Our Community.
Nearly 1000 NFP organisations participated in the inaugural study, which is expected to be repeated every six months.
On a national basis, the survey found that WA Not for Profits achieved the highest overall Index score, and also led the field in income trends and expectations, as well as confidence in achieving their goals.
While WA had an overall index score of 126 (where 100 is the baseline), Victoria, Queensland and South Australia all scored below 100.
The most confident organisations in the community sector are those that fall into the professional/trade associations category, with an overall score of 140.2, followed by the hospitals/health segment on 132.4, and social services on 120.2.
The culture and recreation segment had the lowest index score, on 64.4.
Download the full report here [PDF] – www.ourcommunity.com.au/files/CCI2011.pdf