The CSI Social Economy Survey

Invitation to participate in research: Annual insights from Australia's not-for-profit and social impact organisations

You are invited to play a pivotal role in new research into the nation’s social economy. Led by the Centre for Social Impact, this longitudinal study will investigate the challenges, opportunities and changing needs of Australia’s not-for-profit and for-purpose organisations.

The three-year project aims to provide policymakers and sector leaders with critical data to inform decision-making, facilitate the development of effective strategies and attract sustainable investment in the for-purpose sector.

Commencing in early 2024, we are calling on CEOs and senior leaders from for-purpose organisations across the nation to participate in a 30-minute survey.

Join us as a key participant in our collective endeavor to shape the future of Australia's social economy, positioning it as a dynamic contributor to sustainable development. Your involvement is not just a survey response; it's a crucial step towards a more informed and impactful social economy.

Take the survey

What's involved in the research project?

The Centre for Social Impact is recruiting a representative set of approximately 200 organisations who would be willing to complete a short survey once each year for 3 years.

The survey will provide us with insights into some of the most critical areas impacting social economy organisations, including;

  1. Measuring impact and demonstrating evidence of outcomes
  2. Navigating legal frameworks and adapting to changing regulations for social economy organisations
  3. Analysis of emerging sources of funding and finance for the social economy
  4. Exploring patterns of collaboration and partnerships within the sector and beyond

The CSI Social Economy survey;

  • protects the anonymity of survey participants,
  • will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete, and
  • can be completed online or, if it is more convenient, a member of the research team can contact you and administer the survey over the telephone or via Microsoft Teams.

Why should I take part? What are the benefits to my organisation?

Participating organisations gain exclusive access to pre-release workshops, where the research team will present the initial findings for review and discussion. This creates an opportunity for review and discussion, giving you a head start before the finalisation and public launch of the report.

Engaging in the CSI Social Economy Survey offers a chance to anonymously share your organisation’s insights and experience, contributing valuable data to comprehensive research on the sector. Moreover, participating organisations hold the unique privilege of nominating topics for consideration in future survey rounds.

Your organisation's involvement is a proactive step towards influencing the narrative, fostering growth, and contributing to the positive evolution of Australia’s social economy.

Who is eligible to take part?

You are eligible to participate in this research if you are a CEO or senior manager, you are 18 or over, and your organisation meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Your organisation is a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation
  2. Your organisation is a social enterprise
  3. Your organisation is a philanthropic or grant-making organisation that funds for-purpose activity
  4. Your organisation is a co-operative or mutual.

The terms ‘for-purpose sector’ and ‘social economy’ refer to those organisations that are engaged in economic, social, and environmental activities to serve the collective and/or general interest. If your role aligns with these criteria, we welcome your valuable input into this research.

Take the survey

Why the social economy matters

Social economy organisations play a vital role in fostering inclusive growth, addressing social issues, and empowering communities. They also offer innovative solutions, create quality jobs, promote social cohesion, and drive sustainable development. But perhaps most importantly, by prioritising social impact over profit, social economy organisations contribute significantly to building resilient and more equitable societies.

Australia's social economy is a crucial contributor to economic and social development. The rapidly expanding sector currently employs over 1.4milllion people and generates $190billion in revenue, as detailed in the 2023 Australian Charities Report. Despite its significant impact, the social economy remains inadequately understood, both within Australia and on a global scale. To bridge this gap, that’s why the Centre for Social Impact is undertaking this longitudinal research to build our understanding of the Australian for-purpose sector.

Take part in the CSI Social Economy Survey

If you would like to take part in this research, please click the link below to get started. Alternatively, you can contact the research team by emailing us at and we'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

The CSI Social Economy Report is a national collaborative effort involving all members of the Centre for Social Impact: UNSW, Swinburne University of Technology, the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Flinders University.

Take the survey

Can you help us share the survey? We've put together a communication pack to make it easy for our supporters to help spread the word.

Download Participant Information Statement