Volunteers and fundraisers key to community outcomes: Giving Australia report

Volunteers play a critical role in the success of a nonprofit organisation (NPO) and are its most valuable resource, according to the latest data coming out of Giving Australia 2016. The study also shows that dedicated fundraisers, either paid or volunteer, are a second vital asset for NPOs to do their work in the community.

Released today at the end Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week and just before tomorrow’s annual #GivingTuesday, Giving and volunteering: the nonprofit perspective represents the most extensive research undertaken thus far to uncover how NPOs drive support to their cause by engaging the community, business and philanthropic foundations.

Giving Australia 2016 project director and Director of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), Associate Professor Wendy Scaife said that 94% of NPOs have volunteers and cite ‘giving back to society’ and ‘wanting to be part of something that creates impact’ as their volunteers’ prime motivator.

“Nonprofit organisations are showing their appreciation for their volunteers and are investing more time and energy into recruiting them,” Professor Scaife said. “They’re definitely realising that their organisation’s impact hinges significantly on the attitudes and commitment of their volunteers; the report shows that half have a dedicated volunteer manager and three-quarters have some sort of volunteer recognition in place, a marked increase from 54% in 2005.”

The report also uncovers the main ways NPOs are attracting donors and the emerging role of new technologies on NPOs’ fundraising capability.

“Another key takeaway from the data is that NPOs are becoming more attuned to donors’ expectations and are actively seeking ways to better understand what’s influencing donors’ decisions,” Professor Scaife said. “In particular, we’re seeing a shift in the way NPOs report on their fundraising activities. We know donors are becoming more outcomes orientated (Giving Australia 2016 report – Individual giving and volunteering) and NPOs are increasingly answering their expectations by reporting more about the impact their donation is having.”

The full report can be freely downloaded via the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership research projects website, along with previous Giving Australia 2016 reports.

A free webinar detailing the key insights from the report will be held today, Monday 27 November at 11am (AEST). Register to attend

Associate Professor Wendy Scaife is available for interviews. Contact the Centre for further information on 07 3138 1020 or email acpns@qut.edu.au

Don’t miss next week’s free webinar: Fundraising – Is YOUR nonprofit keeping up-to-date? 27 Nov

FREE WEBINAR: Attracting support for YOUR nonprofit – the stats you need to know!


Is your organisation keeping up-to-date with donors’ expectations? What are the most common fundraising activities nonprofits are employing? And what is the most important resource for nonprofits, small and large? These are just some of the questions we’ll be answering at next week’s webinar, held in celebration of Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week and #GivingTuesday.  

Delving into data coming out of Giving Australia*, our largest national analysis of giving and volunteering undertaken in Australia, you’ll hear from nonprofits on the retro and radical ways they’re driving support to their organisations. What works best? And what do YOU need to know to guide your fundraising in 2018?


  • the main ways nonprofits are attracting donors
  • what part volunteers play in nonprofits’ success
  • the role of community business partnerships
  • where nonprofits stand with new technologies
  • what you need to know to guide your fundraising in 2018

Monday 27 November, 2017 | 11:00am sharp – 11:45pm (AEST)
Can’t attend in real time? You should still register; all registrants will receive a recording of the webinar.


Giving Australia lead researcher, Associate Professor Wendy Scaife, Director, The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, QUT

with response to the research by a senior fundraiser and input from the Department of Social Services and the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.

We would love to hear from you! Forward your questions to acpns@qut.edu.au ahead of time and we will endeavour to answer them live at the webinar.



ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast – Key take-aways on Millennials

Snack-sized and good for you

What are some of the take-aways from this morning’s breakfast? Well, mainly that fundraisers shouldn’t be thinking of Millennials as an unattainable demographic. They’re really not that different to other generations.

  • They have similar motivations and behaviours – differences are due to life stage and capacity to give
  • They’re not being approached in traditional ways – fundraisers need to go where they are
  • They want hands-on engagement
  • Millennial employees desire purpose, feedback and flexibility
  • They give to causes not organisations
  • Nonprofits need to articulate their mission and communicate their impact – don’t underestimate the importance of your website
  • Collective giving can be an effective way for Millennials to fundraise
  • Millennials aren’t waiting to give – they want to give while accumulating funds
  • Have you considered a Millennial on your Board?

ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast – Oh what a day!

The Broncos Leagues Club played host to this morning’s ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast and what a morning it was! 

The breakfast brought together three Millennials, from academia, fundraising and philanthropy to share their experiences with engaging Millennials.

Marie Balczun, Senior Research Assistant at ACPNS presented some key data from Giving Australia 2016 including millennials’ lack of differences with non-Millennials in terms of motivations and cause areas for giving and volunteering. She explained how the differences that do exist are much more to do with age, life stage and capacity to give and volunteer than some fundamental difference with this generation. She also showed how traditional methods of fundraising are not reaching Millennials and the importance of online giving in the future. “Online giving is not going away and it is no longer a Millennial specific issue. Our data showed that non-Millennials were actually more likely to give via mobile devices than Millennials when they gave via the organisation’s website.” She highlighted that organisations need to give opportunities for Millennials to participate in ways that appeal to them – giving online, supporting on social media and providing time-specific volunteering opportunities. “Millennials can be very loyal but this is to a cause, not an organisation”, she said.

Queensland young fundraiser of the year, Will Kirsop, highlighted the importance of thinking about Millennials as employees, not just donors. “Millennial employees are looking for purpose in their work, flexibility feedback.” In terms of donors, Will stressed that “you need to communicate the impact of your work, target your message and innovate to deepen your relationships with Millennials”.

Finally, Prue Pateras of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation discussed the role of peers and collective giving for high-net-worth Millennials. “Impact investing and collective giving are becoming increasingly important and relevant to many givers, millennials included. Millennials are expecting more from charities and want to see them stepping away from reliance on single funding streams and becoming more innovative and creative in the way they engage funders.”

View Marie Balczun’s the Giving Australia 2016 slide presentation

View Will Kirsop’s slide presentation

View Prue Pateras’ slide presentation

Download the Giving Australia reports and factsheets

Stay tuned for some more key takeaways from the breakfast!