NFPs Must Adapt to Australia’s ‘New Normal’ - CBA Women in Focus Conference
24 August 2012 at 11:09 am
The Commonwealth Bank Women in Focus New Frontiers Conference has been told that Australia now has a ‘new normal’.
At the conference, attended by business women from a wide range of backgrounds, James McIntyre, Senior Economist, Global Markets at CommBank said, “We have to understand that things won’t go back to how they were. We have a ‘new normal’.
“It’s not that consumers aren’t spending – they are – they are just doing it differently. For example, people are spending more money on services rather than through traditional retail channels. Household spending was increasing faster than income but now it has come back in line.
“As a nation, we have much more work to do in incorporating families into the workplace – we have oversubscribed childcare and a crowded school system and this situation is only going to get worse as the children of the current baby boom start entering the school system in five years’ time.
“At the same time, the boom in the number of ageing people means there will be a spike in the need for healthcare professionals. Workplaces need to consider how to change their culture to accommodate the needs and preferences of an older work force, particularly as the pool of 15-19 year olds and 20 – 24 years olds is smaller than in previous years, so there will be fewer young people entering the workplace in the short to medium term.”
Melinda Cruz, CEO of The Miracle Babies Foundation, and a conference participant, commented, “It’s so important for NFPs to understand what the market is doing so we can anticipate what services will be required by the community in the future.
“By understanding the economic picture, there’s potential to better target your marketing and donor acquisition campaigns – if you provide aged care services and you are aware of trends in the ageing population, you can adjust your strategy and marketing plan accordingly.
“Personally I see the increase in the ageing population as a huge opportunity to tap into older people’s wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom. Integrating older people even as volunteers could improve your offering to your communities and enhance their lives too – for me, it’s a win-win and I will be definitely be considering how I can harness ‘grey power’ for our organisation.”
Cruz added, “I hadn’t given a lot of thought before to how trends in the market can affect our organisation but of course, as an NFP that provides support for the families of premature babies, we will have to be able to respond to the increasing numbers of babies and the increasing strain on the health system too.
“As community service providers, we NFPs have to keep tapping into the ‘new normal’, adjusting and adapting to ensure we continue to deliver services where and how they are needed, Cruz. said”
Miracle Babies Foundation is Australia’s leading organisation supporting premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals that care for them.
Follow Melinda’s tweets from the Women in Focus New Frontiers Conference – @melinda_cruz
Follow CommBank’s economic updates on Twitter – @CraigJamesOZ