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‘Breakthrough’ study on Not-for-Profit workforce launched

Report will help get insights into practice, policy and funding.

The Australian Not-for-Profit Workforce Study, the largest on and for NFP organisations, employees and volunteers, has launched. It supports the sector and helps our communities by informing:

> NFP Practice: for enhanced leadership, capabilities and impact of NFP organisations,

> NFP Policy: for increased efficiency and sustainability of the NFP sector, and

> NFP Funding: for better investments in and conversion of NFP capacity building.

The national study is using state-of-the-art cloud technology to provide free, science-driven workforce analytics to all participating organisations and respondents, something never seen before in the sector.

“The Workforce Study addresses staff development, well-being, engagement, and productivity. It also charts the needs for developing critical knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in the NFP sector,” said study leader Dr Ramon Wenzel, from the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia.

With 1 million staff employed in the NFP sector and an additional 5 million volunteers across Australia, their health, engagement, and continuous learning are key for NFP organisations to survive and thrive.

Paul Murnane, Executive Chair of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, said that, “NFP organisations spent more than half of their expenses on staff, meaning employees and volunteers are simply irreplaceable. Investing in the sector’s people is the single biggest opportunity for greater impact“.

NFP organisations are under increasing pressure to deliver more, innovate, adapt and compete. The new study follows on from the pioneering research on the Social Return on Education Training that has shown that NFP organisations that focus on and develop their staff, do better. Now it is about the How to do it.

“Every day, all Australians benefit from the essential work of the NFP sector, but there is a distinct lack of attention and resources directed to these employees and volunteers. The study will bring more scientific rigour and practical evidence to the management of NFP organisations and people.” said Wenzel. A

Participating NFP organisations will receive their own free Workforce Analytics Dashboard: at-a-glance reporting to understand staff learning, engagement, well-being, and more than 30 key metrics that matter for people, performance, and purpose. NFP organisations can invite all their employees and volunteers to get immediate insights and compare their relative position to NFP sector benchmarks.

Participating NFP employees and volunteers will obtain a free Personal Analytics Report with insights and suggestions on their job satisfaction, work autonomy, professional development, well-being, and more.

Wenzel said, “Measurement is key to inform practice, policy, and funding so that NFP work can translate.”

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