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

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