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Pulse survey of the for-purpose sector in COVID-19

July 22nd, 2020

A new research survey to take the pulse of the for-purpose sector aims to provide insights into the effects of COVID-19 and prepare the sector for recovery.

The Centre for Social Impact launched the program – Pulse Of The For Purpose Sector Survey – this week and plans to run the program twice a year.

The national survey will canvas a diverse range of organisations, businesses and operations, ranging from aged care, wildlife rescue, museums, childcare and sporting organisations that make up the charity, not-for-profit and purpose sectors to create the first detailed national picture of what is going on during the pandemic.

Central to the approach will be ‘taking the pulse’ on financial, technological, adaptation functions, plus human capital as well as how organisations are faring in meeting their purpose.

CSI National Research Director Associate Professor Gemma Carey explained that the survey would go beyond a snapshot of the first wave of information that focussed on how the sector was dealing with the current health crisis and offer a broader scope.

“We want to make sure that we are capturing all the elements that are important to social inclusion,’’ she said.

The survey, which will close at the end of July, will be the basis of a December report that will also launch the second phase of the research project.

“This is such a rapidly changing environment,’’ Assoc Prof Carey said, “and there will be the opportunity for survey participants to reflect on the past six months. The survey contains lots of open-ended questions and there is space for the participants to tell their story.’’

The survey follows CSI and Social Ventures Australia’s report last month, Will Australian charities be COVID-19 casualties or partners in recovery? A financial health check, and their report released earlier this week, Partners in recovery: why charities need tailored support.

The For Purpose Sector survey is supported by the Ramsay Foundation.

“CSI stands ready to be a key player in supporting immediate relief efforts and arming the organisations and communities we serve with the knowledge and resources needed for a better, brighter future post-COVID-19,’’ Assoc Prof Carey said. “This will be the first time we’ve had a national longitudinal consistent dataset for the for-purpose sector that will enable us to achieve this.” 

The data will also be used to support on-going advocacy that can shape the policy environment for greater collaboration, funding and visibility among the nations for-purpose organisations. There will also be tailored deeper analysis on areas where CSI has established capability, including homelessness, aged care, disadvantage and the disability sector. Contributions from specific sub-sectors, such as philanthropy and social enterprise, will be integral to the research.

CSI chief executive Professor Kristy Muir said: “COVID-19 and its aftermath is a new chapter in history. With this important work, CSI will help the for-purpose sector to understand what is changing over time and to build back better for Australian society, for generations to come.”

CSI Pulse Survey - closes on 7 August.

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