nfp dashboard

For the first time, the results from the annual survey of the NFP sector conducted by the AICD can be analysed by geographic location, sub-sector of operations and/or level of income.

The interesting information helps to more accurately reflect the complexity of issues affecting organisations within the sector and to paint a more nuanced picture of how they are coping with today’s challenges. Last year, there were 1,978 respondents to the survey.

Five findings from the dashboard:

  • Board response to COVID: Fifty-one per cent of all respondents answered their board’s response to COVID-19 via updates from the executive and only 33 per cent were actively involved in operations.  However, the reality was vastly different among directors from the culture, arts, recreation, and sports sub-sector, with 61 per cent involved in operations and only 29 per cent kept updated via the executive leadership team.
  • Organisations merging or winding up: The study noted that merger activity was the lowest in the 12 years of the study and that only 18 per cent of respondents believed their board would discuss merging with another organisation in the next 12 months. However, this number was much higher from respondents in the social services sub-sector (32 per cent) and housing and development (29 per cent).
  • Post COVID-19 impacts and opportunity: Forty-nine per cent of survey respondents believed a post-COVID environment would increase opportunities available to their organisation, compared to 11 per cent who believed it would reduce opportunities available. This sentiment was lowest among Tasmanian-based respondents, with only 33 per cent believing opportunities would increase, and 23 per cent believing a post-COVID-19 environment would decrease their organisation’s opportunities.
  • Organisation's effectiveness at achieving their purpose: Seventy-seven per cent of all respondents believed their organisation was ‘mostly’ or ‘highly effective’ in achieving its purpose. For respondents with organisational income under $250 million, this number was 60 per cent and for respondents with incomes between $250 million to less than $1 million, this number was 64 per cent.
  • Profitability last financial year: Overall, 58 per cent of respondents told us their organisation made a profit in the previous financial year. By sub-sector, this result was highest among those in the social services sector (66 per cent). Diving deeper to a geographical level, only 46 per cent of social services respondents’ in Western Australia made a profit, compared with 79 per cent in South Australia, despite the same number of respondents from each state. 

In launching this dashboard, AICD NFP Sector Leader Phil Butler said: “One of the greatest challenges during the 12 years the AICD has conducted this research is conveying the complexity of the not-for-profit sector. The issues affecting directors are often remarkably different, depending on levels of income, sector of operation and geographical location.

“By presenting the results from our survey in this new interactive way, people can now interact with the data and see distinctive differences for themselves.

The data contained in the dashboard may also be of interest for those who are not as aware of the NFP sector. For example, the differences in director remuneration across sub-sectors or in the amount of time spent in governing organisations may be of interest to a range of stakeholders.