Paying what it takes: Funding indirect costs to create long-term impact

Status: Completed March 2022

Authors: Jo Taylor, Jack Heath, Suzie Ridell, Professor Kristy Muir, Genevieve Timmons, Sean Barrett

Paying what it takes is a landmark research report collaboratively produced by the Centre for Social Impact, Philanthropy Australia and Social Ventures Australia.

Taking a look at the fraught state of capacity funding in the not-for-profit sector, the research found that not-for-profit organisations are under-investing in critical capabilities, due to a belief that funders will not cover the full cost of impact. This is then creating a ‘cycle of starvation’ whereby funders have an inaccurate expectation of the costs necessary to achieve and assess social impact in the sector.

The research calls for a shared approach from NFP organisations, philanthropy, government, the public and the media to fund the full cost to build a more resilient for-purpose sector and to achieve real, lasting impact on social issues.

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