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NDIS Rollout Too Short for Small Service NFPs


28 January 2016 at 8:35 am
Staff Reporter
Many small community based disability organisations offering high quality support networks to local families will struggle to reinvent themselves within the National Disability Insurance Scheme timeframe, writes Not for Profit marketing specialist Fran Connelley. Recent

Staff Reporter | 28 January 2016 at 8:35 am


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NDIS Rollout Too Short for Small Service NFPs
28 January 2016 at 8:35 am

Many small community based disability organisations offering high quality support networks to local families will struggle to reinvent themselves within the National Disability Insurance Scheme timeframe, writes Not for Profit marketing specialist Fran Connelley.

Recent media articles regarding cost blow-outs from the NDIS trial sites have once again bought the disability sector back into the spotlight, where it will likely stay for some time in the run up to the June 2016 national rollout of the NDIS.

Nearly one in five Australians (4.2 million) has a disability and 45 per cent of those live in poverty. In terms of quality of life for people with a disability, Australia sits last in OECD rankings on poverty for people with disabilities.

The current disability market is fragmented and inefficient with providers delivering homogenous, heavily funded services. Reform is long overdue. The average disability charity depends on government for up to 90 per cent of its total revenue. The flip side of that coin is that only one-third of providers have more than three month’s cash reserves.

The NDIS is a welcome innovation in social policy, however the speed with which it’s rolling out is creating massive market disruption and rapidly leading to increased market concentration. Many smaller providers, accustomed to block funding from government will struggle in the transition to a far more competitive, user-pays market for disability services.

The implications of this most significant reform in the history of Australian disability services cannot be underestimated. With the pricing constraints as they stand, larger providers are at a distinct advantage.

Smaller providers with traditional business models must be prepared to innovate, to partner with people with disabilities and create completely new services and new service models with the customer as the starting point for every decision.

A healthy disability market is one that offers people with disabilities and their families a distinct choice of services and providers. This requires a market comprising providers of all sizes, offering high quality support and a breadth of specialised niche services.

Unfortunately, many small community based organisations offering high quality support networks to local families will struggle to reinvent themselves within the NDIS timeframe.

This article draws from research with 15 disability CEOs and sector thought leaders in Australia and the UK which were conducted for my new book, How to Thrive under the NDIS. A Pathway to Sustainability for Service Providers.

About the author: Fran Connelley is a Not for Profit marketing specialist and Director of FC Marketing. Over the last 20 years, she has worked with many well-known organisations to help them build their brands and diversify their income. Connelley is the author of the eGuide, Managing your Non-Profit’s Annual Report. Her new book, How to Thrive under the NDIS – A Pathway to Sustainability for Service Providers, will be released late February.



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