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The Australian Communities Forum was held on Thursday 13th October 2016. This forum is the nation’s one day event focused on delivering the social trends transforming Australian communities and how organisations can best engage in these changing times.

Held since 2012, this annual event provides compelling case studies, the latest research, practical workshops and importantly, great networking over morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

Held at the iconic Customs House at Circular Quay, Sydney, and commencing with a launch of the 2016 Australian Communities Report, this event equipped leaders in community engagement with the latest insights into 21st Century Australian Communities.

The results of our annual longitudinal study, which analyses the effectiveness, engagement and awareness of the Not for Profit sector, were presented at the Australian Communities Forum, Sydney on October 13.

The Australian Community Trends Report delivers a clear analysis of the social context in which the Not for Profit sector is operating, and shows that Australians are a generous bunch, with four in five Australian givers (80%) giving financially to charitable organisations.

When it comes to motivation to give money to or volunteer with a charitable organisation, children and health are the top causes. Australian charitable givers are most likely to be highly motivated to give money to or volunteer for children’s charities (47%) followed by medical and cancer research organisations (46%) and animal welfare and wildlife support groups (44%). Compared to our 2015 research findings, children’s charities have overtaken health and disaster relief as the highest giving priorities in 2016.

The key decision drivers for Australian charitable givers are knowledge and trust of the organisation, which is the most significant influence on Australian givers getting involved with a charitable organisation. Almost seven in 10 Australian givers (68%) indicated that this is extremely or very significant as a motivation for getting involved. Australians are also highly motivated by organisations that make the world a better place for the less fortunate (54%) and also by their own knowledge of a need (52%).

The most important communication channels in helping Australian charitable givers to engage with causes, Not for Profit organisations and charitable organisations is through word of mouth by way of friends or family members. This was listed as the most influential channel through which Australian givers hear about and engage with charitable organisations, with 39% of Australian givers considering this to be extremely or very important. This validates the ingrained Aussie “scepticism” and our need to hear information from someone we trust in order to fully trust the information we are receiving.

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Australian Communities Forum ACF16 2016

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    Presentation Transcript
    1. WELCOME To the Australian communities forum 2016 #ACF16


    3. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples” Mother Teresa

    4. Household income by quintile

    5. Household wealth by quintile

    6. Household wealth by quintile


    8. MEthodology • National survey of 1,510 Australians • Charity supporter survey of 2,688 supporters • Not-for-profit staff survey of 875 staff




    12. THE Long-term engagement challenge Australians are twice as likely to…

    13. TOP 7 CAUSES % of Australians highly motivated by this cause Q. Which of the following areas of need would you be highly motivated to give money to, or to volunteer for an organisation associated with this area?

    14. The 5 charity essentials % who say this is extremely / very important Q. How important is it to you that a charitable organisation provides you with the following information?

    15. Changes & challenges in the external environment % who say this is extremely / very important

    16. Communication channels % who say this is extremely / very important Q. How important are the following communication channels in helping you engage with causes, not-for-profit organisations, and charitable organisations?

    17. Advertising Q. What do you think will be the biggest advertising and fundraising channels for community and charitable organisations in a decade (2026)?

    18. Charities are increasingly getting it right Water level = % too much - % too little Q. Thinking about the main charitable organisation that you have supported or do financially support, please rate the following on whether it is too little, too much or just right.

    19. NET PROMOTER SCORE Q. On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely would you be to recommend your organisation to friends and acquaintances looking for a charity to support?

    20. Content on website

    21. NET CULTURE SCORE Q. On a scale from 0-10, how likely is it that you would recommend your organisation as a place to work to a friend or contact?

    22. Qualitative insights

    23. Focus groups • 6 x Focus Groups in Sydney and Melbourne • Participants had given to a charitable organisation in the past 6 months • Aged 19-26 years • Aged 27-40 years • Aged 41-60 years

    24. Expert interviews • 14 x 15-20min phone interviews • Experts were involved in the Not for Profit Sector • Expert Roles included Chief Executive Officer’s General Manager of Sector Engagement Executive Manager of Marketing and Fundraising • Expert Insights

    25. Blockers & enablers to CHARITABLE giving

    26. Blockers & enablers Oversaturation of charities Doubting how much gets through Already give to people in need Role of government funding Personal connection Show impact of individual gift Stories of change/impact Frontline participation Donation requests intrusive Rising costs, variable income Set amounts/ongoing contracts Complex giving process Tech-enabled communications Values alignment ‘One-click’ giving Micro-giving, small steps

    27. Doubting how much gets through Need for charities to communicate the amount and impact of donations. I think a lot of them boil down to how much of my money is being used to do good stuff?

    28. Set amounts/ongoing contracts Need to create flexible options for people to engage with and donate to organisations. I was ready to give him money. And he would only take a monthly donation. I would have given him $100 but it was the inflexibility.

    29. ‘one-click’ giving Need to develop simple, efficient ways for people to donate to organisations. It’s easy. If they have links through PayPal I am more likely to donate. So making it easy with two clicks…

    30. Frontline participation Need for organisations to find opportunities for Australians to practically engage and partner with their organisation. Young people want to raise funds in a way that is not a passive one-way transaction they want to get involved they want to do something; they want it to be based around an activity that excites them.

    31. Next steps for charities

    32. Multi-tiered levels of engagement Develop levels of engagement that allow people to engage with charitable organisations in an appropriate way to their age and stage of life. Raise awareness about the charity instead of focussing only on monetary supports, offer options to help support the organisation in other ways…

    33. Community building Develop ways for donors to feel a sense of community around their engagement with a charitable organisation. Look at things like the fun run or colour run, people are getting involved for the community factor.

    34. Effective communication of results Need for charities to communicate the impact of donations. Perhaps if they could tell you how they spend the money – see you got a bit of bang for your buck, can give you a good feeling, might make you give to the charity on a regular basis.

    35. Fun & engaging experiences Develop a fun and meaningful donation experience Having events so you can link it with an experience. I think that is important. I tend to give more if I can link it with an experience.


    37. QUOTE “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” -Norman MacEwan

    38. INTRODUCTION • To remain relevant, be aware of changes in the marketplace. • In the midst of this change, trust and relevance is essential.

    39. IN AUSTRALIA TODAY We are living in times of increased polarisation in Australia. Societal gaps are emerging.

    40. IN AUSTRALIA TODAY Support is more readily directed to organisations that: • Cater to my self interest • Reflect my world view • Express interest in me as a supporter

    41. THE SECTOR AT WORK Every day, we need to be reminded that this sector has 2 key customers: • Beneficiaries (clients / partners) • Supporters (donors / funders)

    42. KEY ISSUES What are 5 key issues that emerge from the survey for organisations?

    43. KEY ISSUES • Align governance, strategy and resources • Define position in market • Communicate your compelling proposition • Engage with community • Lead your community

    44. THANK YOU!