Media Release: Invest in not-for-profits, invest for good

The Community Council for Australia (CCA) welcomes the Senate Economics Committee report: ‘Investing in good: the development of a capital market for the not-for-profit sector in Australia’ tabled in the Parliament today. 

CEO of CCA David Crosbie said, ‘this report is about creating additional investment in not-for-profits, charities and communities.  We are talking about sports groups, arts and cultural groups, welfare, health, church groups, housing, employment and education.  This sector employs over 900.000 people (second only to retailing), contributes over $43 billion to our economy (8% of Australia’s GDP), and makes an invaluable contribution to our community life.  How we fund and support this sector should be one of the highest priorities for all governments.’

The key recommendation from the Senate Report is to establish a Social Finance Taskforce to act as a catalyst in developing a capital market for not-for-profit organisations and to establish new policies that support increased investment in the sector.  The report notes that it will take the efforts of all sectors – public, private and not-for-profits to bring about sustainable change.  The report calls for a strengthening of relationships between the not-for-profit and investment sectors, the promotion of social investment products through intermediaries, and education campaigns to raise awareness of the opportunities and benefits of new social investment for all sectors.

CCA has been actively working with many stakeholders from the sector during the Senate Inquiry and has identified strong support for the establishment of a high level Taskforce to provide policy direction and raise the profile of social investment options in Australia.  A similar approach has had a positive impact in the UK, Israel and Canada.

‘Social impact investing and using various financial market mechanisms to boost access to capital for NFPs is a global trend which Australia has yet to fully embrace.  Without new finance options, it is unlikely the NFP sector will be able to maintain the growth rates of over 7% it has experienced in the last decade,’ said Mr Crosbie.

CCA calls on governments to build on their existing commitments to NFP sector reform and implement the report’s recommendations, including fully resourcing a new Taskforce.

‘We desperately need fresh thinking to understand the sector’s needs and develop new income streams that enable not-for-profit organisations to do more of what they do best – build flourishing communities.  The Senate is to be commended for providing a watershed report in developing new capital markets for the not-for-profit sector.  Now we have to act on its recommendations,’ CEO David Crosbie said.

Contact:        David Crosbie (CEO)                   0419 624420