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6 November 2019 at 5:20 pm
Maggie Coggan
Global survey uncovers the impact of NFPs and a changing sector


Maggie Coggan | 6 November 2019 at 5:20 pm


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What’s your impact?
6 November 2019 at 5:20 pm

Global survey uncovers the impact of NFPs and a changing sector

The behaviours and characteristics of charities from Sydney to Taipei will be mapped out by researchers in a bid to understand the changing role of civil society groups globally. 

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will lead an Australian team to analyse the characteristics and behaviours of NFPs in Sydney. 

The same data will be collected by researchers in San Francisco, Seattle, Shenzhen, Taipei and Vienna to compare the impact charities are having on their communities as part of the Civic Life of Cities Lab (CLC) project, run by Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. 

The survey, which is the largest of its kind, will question charities about leadership, staffing, decision-making, collaboration, advocacy, funding, impact and performance, digital practices, and community integration.

UTS Associate Professor Danielle Logue said the survey would provide insight into the changing role of NFPs as political climates around the globe rapidly shifted. 

“The survey will help us understand the changing role of NFPs in providing civic capacity in cities, at a time when forms of advocacy and traditional democratic institutions are being challenged, and there is rising inequality,” Logue said.

The study will also provide information on how the sector is using tech to connect with the people they work with in new ways, and which organisations, or types of organisations, contribute heightened levels of civic capacity.

Insight into local experiences of global trends influencing the not-for-profit sector, such as social impact measurement and organisational transparency, will also be uncovered. 

CLC Lab originated from a Stanford University project which studied 200 NFPs from San Francisco over nearly two decades to see how and why charities do their work, the legal and cultural contexts in which they thrive, and how they engage with one another to achieve shared goals. 

The survey findings will be shared with funders, practitioners and sector intermediaries and be rolled out annually.   

More information on the project can be found here. 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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