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Gauging the State of the Not for Profit Sector


11 August 2015 at 11:20 am
Xavier Smerdon
The 2015 annual national survey of the Australian Not for Profit sector by Pro Bono Australia is set to provide crucial insights into the sector’s confidence level and its expectations for the future.

Xavier Smerdon | 11 August 2015 at 11:20 am


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Gauging the State of the Not for Profit Sector
11 August 2015 at 11:20 am

The 2015 annual national survey of the Australian Not for Profit Sector by Pro Bono Australia is set to provide crucial insights into the sector’s confidence level and its expectations for the future.

Pro Bono Australia is undertaking this latest online survey to gauge the State of the Not for Profit Sector for the fourth consecutive year.

"Through our broad and deep engagement with the sector we've observed, collected and dissected the major issues for discussion and issues for reform,” Pro Bono Australia Founder, Karen Mahlab said.

“This insight forms the basis of the questions we ask in the survey – so this is a prime opportunity for the sector, as a whole, to voice its wishes and concerns.

“This survey asks those who have a stake in the success of the sector a raft of questions, and will provide a solid evidence-base for how the sector sees current events and reform.

“This year we are including questions around the role of advocacy, funding arrangements, capacity building and competition and collaboration.”

The survey looks at past, present and future expectations and tracks sentiment around the constant change the sector faces such as adapting to new funding arrangements, considering its advocacy role and examining competition and collaboration as well as developing new and different ways of operating.

The 2013 pre-election survey by Pro Bono Australia found that Australian Not for Profits believed overwhelmingly that the reduction in Government red tape and compliance costs were the most important initiatives in developing the sector over the past three years.

Most significantly respondents reported a strong preference for the then newly established charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), when compared to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

That survey found that the establishment of the ACNC was important (81 per cent) along with the Office of the Not for Profit Sector (73 per cent). Sector support for the ACNC was just as strong in the 2014 survey.

“These survey results on the sector’s support for the ACNC have had a significant impact on the ongoing political debate about the future of the charity regulator and they have been quoted by all sides of politics, both inside and outside of Parliament,” Karen Mahlab said.

“The sector needs to continue to voice its concerns and aspirations to the widest of audiences. I urge you to take part in this survey opportunity.”

Survey collaborator, Les Hems, a Director within the Transaction Advisory Team of EY (Ernst & Young) said, “This survey will generate intelligence that will assist those that govern, lead and manage Not for Profit organisations who are increasingly seeking advice to help them adapt to the changing strategic and operational environment.”

Our major partners are EY and the Community Council for Australia, and the list of survey supporters so far reads like a who’s who of Australian social economy organisations and includes ACOSS, Volunteering Victoria, ACCSR, the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network and Charities Aid Foundation.

Results from the survey will provide the discussion framework for a National Press Club Event scheduled for October.

Take part in the survey HERE.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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