Australia has never kept track of its for-purpose sector on a national level, over time, and we want to understand the stressors, the impacts of policy changes, and the challenges for Australia's charities, not-for-profits, community groups, social enterprises, and for-purpose organisations.
The Centre for Social Impact has identified the need to take the ‘pulse’ of the sector to uncover how it is faring in a range of areas such as financial, technological, human capital, adaptation, and of course, meeting its purpose.
Launched in mid-2020, the Pulse of the For-Purpose Sector research program has multiple aims in the context of COVID-19:
This research program is the first time organisations (of all sizes), such as charities, philanthropic organisations, and for-profit industry with a social purpose, will be tracked over time in regards to changes in operating conditions, demand for services, and funding or grant making strategies.
The research team will be undertaking twice-yearly surveys with dynamic reporting and dissemination, and tailored deep dives on particular sub-sectors and issues where CSI has strong capability, such as homelessness, aged care, disadvantage and the disability sector, as well as organisational responses from sub-sectors, such as philanthropy and social enterprise.
The first major report was released in December 2020 as a result of more than 500 organisations responding to our Wave One Survey. From the survey results we discovered that 8 in 10 respondents reported an increase in demand for services and supports, and 77% of organisations indicated that the pandemic had put considerable strain on their financial operations.
Wave 2, released on 18 November 2021, found that operating conditions continue to be a significant source of strain across the sector this year as nearly 80% of service providers report struggling to meet requests for support.
Pulse of the For-Purpose Sector is supported by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropies, Zurich Financial Services Australia and the Z Zurich Foundation.