News + Media

Health crisis starting to bite across social purpose sector

May 15th, 2020

An increase in demand for services of Australian social purpose organisations has been off-set by the challenge of diminished revenue during the COVID-19 crisis, according to new data just released.

Preliminary insights from the RESET2020 National Support Program and Research Study reveals half of the organisations that have responded to the study have reported a loss of revenue, but they will be able to continue, at least for now. A further 44 per cent report some or significant increase in demand for their services.

But 11 per cent of respondents will need immediate help to keep operating, while at least a third of those organisations with less than $250,000 annual turnover have between only one and three months of reserves.

The early data reveals a picture of a sector that is struggling to balance the greater need for many of the services it provides with a revenue stream under pressure from the economic downturn. As the health crisis bites deeper into the nation’s economic wellbeing, social purpose staff are working longer hours while striving to keep donors, attract new supporters and partners, while keeping the public attention on the issues they support.

The Study, which is currently live and supported by Equity Trustees and the Sector Capacity Building Fund, will help provide the basis for six free advice sessions that will offer practical advice to the sector.

Julia Keady, CEO of the Xfactor Collective that is running the RESET2020 Program, said the live shows would be mixture of case studies and an interactive Q and A session.

“As a group of professionals across a wide range of disciplines, the members of the Collective wanted to offer practical support for the sector, especially as we know that many small organisations can’t normally access this kind of professional advice,’’ she said.

The first live show is entitled Events in this New World. It will feature events specialist Liliana Sanelli and communications specialist Julie Weldon plus an interview with Charlie Spendlove, head of Marketing and Communications for Guide Dogs, ACT, NSW, and Victoria.

Julia said the research will be repeated at intervals during the next 12 months. “The findings will be shared across the sector and will help to inform the sector’s future responses as the issues will no doubt evolve over time,’’ Julia said.

More information.

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