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NFP Innovation Index Survey Launches


Tuesday, 20th February 2018 at 8:24 am
Luke Michael, Journalist
Charities have been urged to embrace innovation as “the key to unlocking the most complex social issues”, with the launch of a nationwide innovation index survey for the not-for-profit sector.


Tuesday, 20th February 2018
at 8:24 am
Luke Michael, Journalist


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NFP Innovation Index Survey Launches
Tuesday, 20th February 2018 at 8:24 am

Charities have been urged to embrace innovation as “the key to unlocking the most complex social issues”, with the launch of a nationwide innovation index survey for the not-for-profit sector.

The GiveEasy Innovation Index 2018 survey, launched on Tuesday, has been developed by GiveEasy in partnership with Westpac, eWAY and the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW Business School.

Now in its fourth year, the index provides a year-on-year assessment to track and measure the innovation progress of the NFP sector.

Tony McGrath, the business leader of eWAY, said the research was crucial for empowering the NFP sector.

“Innovation is the key to unlocking the most complex social issues, to be innovative you have to engage with people authentically,” McGrath said.

“Along with our current NFP merchants, we are encouraging all charity employees and volunteers to join the survey, to enrich the insights from the data. The more diverse views we have contributing, the more relevant the results for the organisation and the sector as a whole.”

Jeremy Tobias, the CEO of GiveEasy, told Pro Bono News the index was “a forward-looking indicator of the innovation capacity of the NFP sector”.

“We produce an overarching report which measures the [sector’s] innovation capacity. Each organisation that completes the report gets their own scorecard, which is incredibly valuable for their management team,” Tobias said.

“It’s the only innovation index for the NFP sector in Australia and we can’t find another one in the world.”

Tobias said innovation was extremely important for the NFP sector.

“Like a number of other sectors, the NFP sector has been disrupted, whether it’s in fundraising or service delivery. So the sector is looking for alternative ways to complement what they’re doing at the moment,” he said.

“No matter if you’re small, medium or large, I think every NFP understands that innovation is important. Really this index is about starting the conversation or continuing the conversation, depending on where you are in your innovation journey.”

Last year’s GiveEasy Innovation Index reported a 9 per cent increase in innovation performance by Australian NFPs over the previous 12 months.  

Tobias said he hoped this trend would continue in 2018.

“Pleasingly last year the innovation score was 63.3 which was an increase. And pleasingly each of the eight vectors we used to measure the results was up from previous years. However this was coming off a relatively low base,” he said.

“So we’re looking forward to hopefully achieving a higher score this year.”

This year also sees the launch of an Innovation Ambassador program, which includes 10 charities of varying sizes and service models that have “added significant value” to innovation in the sector.

Last year’s leading innovator was Breast Cancer Network Australia, and the organisation’s director of programs and services, Kirsten Pilatti, said innovation was “essential to continuing to engage our community”.

“As cancer touches all ages and backgrounds, our solutions need to encompass all possibilities. The Innovation Index has given us a measurable outcome and shows our progress each year,” Pilatti said.

Sharon Watkins, Westpac’s national head of social sector, encouraged those involved in the giving sector to take the survey.

“Charities are at the forefront of solving the most complex social issues everyday, and innovation is the way to shift from traditional charity to highly effective change maker. That’s why we opened this research to all those involved in this vital sector,” Watkins said.

“Everyone can participate, from the leadership teams to employees and volunteers, to find ways to innovate their charity. We encourage employees working for charities at every level to be part of this research.”

Tobias said the 2018 index was different to previous iterations.

“We’ve actually added some new questions that measure the correlation between innovation and employee engagement. So that will be really interesting to report back on,” he said.

“And what we learnt last year is that organisations really wanted to continue the conversation beyond the innovation index, so we’re implementing some training sessions going forward after the index is launched.”

The survey is open from 20 February to 23 March and can be accessed here.  

The results of the index will be published in August 2018.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


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