JBWere has released The Cause Report: 20 years of (r)evolution in the not for profit sector, a comprehensive analysis of the not for profit (NFP) sector as a whole, and 26 individual charity subsections that comprise it.

According to the report, the total NFP sector comprises around 600,000 organisations, the majority (440,000 estimated by the Productivity Commission) of which are small, unincorporated, volunteer based and without legal status.

The report:

  • examines how the Australian NFP sector compares internationally
  • looks at how the NFP sector has changed over time
  • makes some predictions for the future of the NFP sector
  • analyses 26 individual NFP sectors such as education and research, aged care, hospitals and social services

Some key findings include:

  • while there have been some large changes in growth rates between different charity sectors over time, there hasn’t been much change in the organisations dominating the sector, suggesting the ability to innovate and grow is limited
  • the number of NFPs has grown substantially over time with Australia now having one organisation for every 422 people
  • funding growth for the sector has been strong, averaging 8.4% pa over the last 20 years

Author John McLeod ultimately concludes:

“Overall, for the NFP sector to remain as effective as possible and to maximise impact, it needs to continue to evolve and faster than in the past. Something has to change for continued sustainability and that involves a combination of where funding comes from and how it is used.”

To access the full report, please click here.