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Karen's thoughts on the Social Economy

Taking the Temperature of the Sector

Thursday, 11th July 2013

As many of you will know Pro Bono Australia in partnership with the Community Council of Australia has been spearheading a pre Election survey to take the temperature of the community sector.

It is absolutely vital that the community’s voice is heard and its appetite for ongoing reform plus a picture of its vision for the future is seen – particularly when the implications of a coalition government coming into power dramatically changes the reform agenda for the sector and reverses many of the decisions and actions taken by the Labor Government to date.

The sector now has the chance to declare what direction it wants to go in.

The Fundraising Institute of Australia, Philanthropy Australia, ACOSS, Volunteering WA and VIC, Social Traders, and People with Disability Australia have all lent their support.

The Election survey asks general questions about the sectors perceived performance in the past, present and what it wants for the future.

It asks how the Government of the day should support a vibrant, efficient and effective Not for Profit sector.

It asks you to think about a range of initiatives over the next few years and how important these initiatives will be in developing a thriving Australian Not for Profit sector.

The survey also asks about the current reform process – which the Coalition has stated they will dismantle – in particular the ACNC which was established on the back of three significant inquiries dating back to 1995. Whilst reform is never straightforward nor ever perfect the phrase ‘don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good’ comes to mind.

So far the ACNC says it has engaged with more than 4000 key people in the charity sector during information and consultation sessions in 21 cities and regional centres across Australia since it opened its doors in December 2012. Some 618 charities have formally registered with the regulator. The ACNC is expected to release a six month Progress Report in July. Much work has been done and this survey gives the sector an opportunity to voice its appetite for ongoing reform.

We have over 1500 responses to our survey date – which is great – but we want more to make our voice heard above other interest groups’ concerns leading up to the Election – whenever that date is finalised.

When complete, the survey will be fed to each of the major political parties for comment.

We look forward to giving you the Election survey feedback via Les Hems, of the Tomorrow Institutes analysis. Many of you will know Les as the Director of Research at the UNSW Centre for Social Impact.

Click here to participate in the survey.

Onward! Karen 

Karen Mahlab AM is the Founder and CEO of Pro Bono Australia. In 2015 she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to the Not for Profit sector and philanthropic initiatives.
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