The Centre for Social Impact welcomes the federal Government’s call for submissions to strengthen the community sector
The Centre for Social Impact welcomes the news that the federal Government is seeking ways to create a stronger, more diverse and independent community sector.
Announced today by the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Minister for Social Services, the federal Government is now inviting submissions for improved approaches to community sector grant funding.
In an effort to support and strengthen the sustainability of the social sector during a time when it faces significant challenges, it is critical that we find ways to ensure the sustainable delivery of vital services to those most in need.
, Acting CEO at the Centre for Social Impact says, “This announcement comes at an important time for the community sector. Underinvestment and inflexible contracting processes results in organisations unable to deliver outcomes for the individuals, families and communities they exist to serve.”
“Any initiative that supports longer-term planning and better service provision is welcome and we look forward to actively engaging with this dialogue and leveraging our expertise to support its success”.
The will run from 12 September 2023 – 7 November 2023, in which time the Department of Social Services is inviting community sector organisations, advocacy organisations, experts, providers, employee representative bodies, and people both currently accessing and not able to access community services, to provide feedback on 5 focus areas:
- Giving the sector the voice and respect it deserves through a meaningful working partnership
- Providing grants that reflect the real cost of delivering quality services
- Providing longer grant agreement terms
- Ensuring grant funding flows to a greater diversity of community sector organisations (CSOs)
- Partnering with trusted community organisations with strong local links.
These focus areas are unpacked in detail in the recently released . It aims to reflect what the Department has already heard from community sector organisations about the current challenges, including limitations of grants funding and processes to meet growing and changing community needs.
Paying What it Takes: Funding Indirect Costs to Create Long-Term Impact
It found that indirect costs – such as IT, finance and human resources – comprised an average 33% of the total cost of running a not-for-profit enterprise, but philanthropic and government funding agreements typically account for indirect costs of only 10-20%.
“When we released the Pay What it Takes report in 2022, the goal was to draw attention to the starvation cycle faced by Australian charities, and open the doors to productive dialogue between funders and charities about the true cost of impact,” says Dr McKee.
“We want to express our support to Minister Rishworth and the federal Government for taking this meaningful step towards a more sustainable, and therefore more impactful, community sector.”
The submissions will explore alternative methods to provide grants that reflect the real cost of delivering quality services, providing longer agreement terms, ensuring funding flows to a greater diversity of organisations with strong local links.