Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Report of Nonprofit e-Business in Australia 2011: Connecting Up

The nonprofit sector in Australia includes over 600,000 charity and non-profit organisations.There are estimated to be 60,000 economically significant nonprofits. Often overlooked this sector is actually one of the largest segments of our economy, contributing $43b to Australia’s GDP and employing 8.5% of paid workers, as well as an unpaid volunteer workforce providing a huge contribution to the economy estimated at over $14.6 billion of unpaid labour (2006-2007 ABS Satellite Accounts.)

A survey of 1,485 charities and nonprofit organisations was completed in October 2011. Digital Business insights has surveyed the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the nonprofit sector for the past 7 years. This major study of the charity and nonprofit sector confirms the trend of past years that the sector continues to be held back by a growing need for the “right” technology and training to maximise the use of that technology – in other words a critical need for ICT capacity development.
The main currents of the digital revolution – more communication, more collaboration and more integration, impact nonprofits just as much as businesses and households. Convergence between telecommunication and data is creating new opportunities for cost saving and improved communication though VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and unified communications. Low cost mobile devices offer new opportunities to manage service delivery more effectively. Cloud computing offers the potential for lower cost software services and new payment regimes. But VoIP, mobility and cloud computing all carry new issues and problems that need clarification and understanding through training.

The full report was released at the Connecting Up Conference on May 1 in Sydney
where international keynote speakers and local experts provided best practice insights to Australia's NFP sector building much needed capacity. Please share this research with your organisation and networks to raise the profile of the strengths and challenges facing the sector.

We invite you to join the conversation and partner with us to identify and implement solutions to improve NFP's digital literacy and harness the potential the digital economy offers. Please contact Kelly Hutchinson. If you have further examples or suggestions on how to harness potential for the sector you can also comment on our blog.