Managing in a Downturn: Impact of Economic Downturn in NFP Organisations

Managing in a Downturn was the first comprehensive research project to assess the effect of the economic downturn on Australian charities and nonprofit organisations.

It assessed the projected increases and decreases in fundraising and other income streams resulting from the economic downturn, with the aim of helping policymakers and charities make informed decisions in response to the economic downturn.

The first report, Managing in a Downturn, was based on a survey conducted during April and May 2009, focusing on the perceptions of not-for-profits (NFPs) across Australia of the impact of the economic downturn on their income and expenditure. Early indications were that charities were anticipating a drop in their donations and had begun to reduce the number of services offered.

A second survey was conducted in September 2009, and the findings made into a report titled Managing for Recovery. This report revealed that in the face of the worldwide financial crisis, Australian charities generally expected a positive year ahead. In response to the economic climate, 85 per cent of Australian not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) were changing their focus from cost cutting to generating revenue growth over the next twelve months.

The second survey provided an opportunity for the NFP sector to see how they have fared since the initial impact of the economic downturn and to get a snapshot on what their future outlook was likely to be for the next 12 months.