Not for Profits Have Never Felt Poorer – Forum
Wednesday, 8th April 2015 at 3:57 pm
Despite the Australian Not for Profit sector seeing a rise in turnover of 40 per cent in the last six years to above $107 billion and the value of assets being held reaching $175 billion, the sector has never felt poorer, according to a new report.
The Community Council for Australia (CCA) launched the report, “Owning Our Future: Better Using Our Assets” at a forum of Not for Profit sector leaders in Canberra.
In collaboration with PwC Australia, Community Sector Banking, Equity Trustees, Social Ventures Australia and Origin Foundation, the CCA surveyed more than 100 people, most of them CEOs of Chairs of Not for Profit organisations
CEO of CCA, David Crosbie said Federal Government funding cuts, regulations and State Government policies and regulations were undoing the work of the booming NFP sector.
“Right now the outlook in the sector itself is alarming,” Crosbie said.
“Despite all this [increase in turnover and the level of assets], the sector has simply never felt poorer. The needs of communities and the expectations of funders have dramatically risen.
“Many Not for Profits now have less real money to use in their budgets than they did before. Increases in philanthropy and Government funding are stalling. Funding indecision has created a thick fog around many Not for Profits.”
CEO of World Vision and Chair of the CCA, Reverend Tim Costello warned that there was virtually no collective forward planning in the sector.
“It is critical we start to decide on what kind of communities we actually want to live in and be part of,” Costello said.
“What people forget is that Not for Profits have become a massive employer in Australia, employing over one million Australian employees. This is about finding ways of making the best contributions for Australia in 2020.”
CCA hosted around 60 leaders of the Not for Profit sector in Canberra while launching the report.
Corsbie said the event would be used to help CCA set its agenda for the future and would guide it in the way it advocates for the Not for Profit sector.
“Make no mistake, this forum is one of the most important agenda setting events for the Not for Profit sector and for charities. The uncertainty around the sector has meant a real lack of planning,” he said.
“That needs to change. The fact is in many communities, charities and Not for Profits offer employment and provide programs/services that are helping hold communities together.
“Without question, Australia needs a strong economy but obviously not for the economy’s sake.
“We need a strong economy to have an inclusive Australia where children can realise their potential, where everybody can participate in society and achieve their goals. We want a smart, educated, connected, healthy society. If we just focus on the economy, that won’t happen.”
The full report can be viewed here.