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Not for Profits will play a significant role in Australia’s growth areas

The prosperity and growth of the Not for Profit sector is an important enabler for Australia’s prosperity

28 March 2014: The Not for Profit sector will need to play a vital role in maximising Australia’s future growth opportunities, as highlighted in new research from Deloitte, Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave.This identifies 25 sectoral hotspots, the ‘Deloitte Growth 25’ (DG25), with the biggest potential to lift Australia’s growth trajectory over the next 20 years.  

“Not for Profit organisations operate across many sectors in our community” said Chris Campbell, Partner, Not for Profit Sector Leader at Deloitte.  “For Australia to take advantage of the future growth opportunities, the Not for Profit sector will need to play a significant role in their own right and in combination with government and corporate enterprises.”

Gaile Pearce, Deloitte Private Partner, observed that: “Many of my Not for Profit clients and others are embracing change, in order to be more competitive and to look for future opportunities that might not previously have been considered.

“Many are already reviewing their strategies in increasingly innovative ways in preparation for the opportunities that will arise over the next five to ten years. In order to move closer to prosperity and achieving their mission, Not For Profits will need to consider the primary levers in their organisation such as their service offerings, resources, opportunity (market needs) and what competitive or structural advantages they may have.

“Those ready to embrace change and understand where the next growth waves could be coming from are likely to be better positioned for future prosperity.”

The Deloitte Growth 25 provide some interesting and potentially significant opportunities for many in the Not for Profit sector who have a desire for increased financial sustainability, who seek to grow their capacity to act and who continue to strive to meet the ever increasing needs of the community often with limited resources.

The above future waves are interlinked. Some examples of areas where many in the Not for Profit sector already play a vital role and will be critically important in fuelling the growth opportunities, include:

 •    Aged Care/Retirement Living/Community Care/Health – the largest megatrend affecting Australia in coming decades will be an ageing population.  This will generate a host of almost recession-proof domestic Growth Pockets. The Not for Profit sector has a critical role to play across these sectors and must remain focussed on tackling the immediate challenges of ongoing reform.  Organisations will face difficulties along the way and there will be many challenges to overcome in order to be in a position to help drive growth and meet the evolving needs of the community.  Those that can remain at the forefront of change and opportunity by focusing on rapidly growing health sub-markets across the nation, particularly among older Australians, will be in demand.

•    Education – many of the waves will face shortages of appropriately skilled workers (e.g. Agribusiness, Tourism) which create an opportunity for all kinds of education providers, who will also need to navigate the growth of globally mobile students, the need to reskill an ageing workforce and increasing demand for flexible modes of education delivery.  Education will be an enabler of productivity and growth for virtually every part of the Australian economy, but not without its challenges including the risk of not embracing enabling technologies fast enough and retaining top performers in Australia.

•    Information & Communications Technologies (ICT) – almost all breakout growth options will require an active ICT role as an enabler of that growth.  This is particularly relevant to the Not for Profit sector where there is an increasing appreciation of the importance of systems that work for you, not against you and the power of digital. Increasing requirements for Not for Profits to better measure the impacts of their activities on people, communities and environments, will bring heavy reliance on these advancing technologies.  But are enough organisations in the sector moving fast enough to embrace the growth opportunities?

•    Medical Research – many Not for Profits are at the forefront of funding, organising, performing, advancing and supporting medical research.   Is there room for greater collaboration between sectors to ensure that Not for Profits, including service providers and health advocacy organisations, play a key role in the potential growth and global success of this sector?

•    Financing the future – as governments struggle to fund rising health care costs, a role will emerge for private funding through innovative financial products such as social impact bonds and corporate investment in programs that prevent future health issues.  Something that many in the sector are already familiar with.

•    Private Schooling – Alison Brown, Deloitte Private Partner, said “Many of my Private School clients are well positioned to meet the growing demand for private schooling, driven by a forecast growth in wealthy families, both in Australia and in Asia.” The collision of swelling student numbers and a willingness to pay more to achieve better results, points to great growth ahead for this Not for Profit sector.  But how agile is the private schooling sector?  How easy will it be for private schools to grow?

•    Disaster Management & Preparedness – responding to disasters is very often the domain of iconic as well as niche Not for Profits who have expertise that could be further utilised to assist nationally and internationally to help communities and governments better prepare for disasters.  Exploring alternative ways of sharing this expertise will not only help to prevent disasters, therefore saving lives and dollars going forward but it may also create alternative revenue streams for the Not for Profits.

•    Wealth management – as the world gets richer and older we are likely to see an emergence of private and public ancillary funds, private foundations and an increase in philanthropy generally.  Not for Profits need to understand what motivates these donors and be innovative to successfully attract this vitally important support.  

Ms Pearce has observed a number of increasing trends across the Not for Profit sector including organisations seeking alternative revenue streams in order to achieve increased financial sustainability. The willingness of the sector to embrace ICT and digital solutions to engage their members and compete for donations is also on the increase.

Other trends that Deloitte has observed in recent years across the Not for Profit sector include:

 •increased government outsourcing to a sector who in many areas can provide a better quality service than their government counterparts, therefore further increasing the economic importance of the Not for Profit sector;

•shifts towards ‘customer centred funding models’ which are forcing many Not for Profit providers to completely review their business model, compelling them to become more competitive and more agile; and

•an inflow of commercially trained professionals and Board members who seek to establish best practice processes, risk frameworks and governance structures to fully support the operations of the organisation.

•An increasing role of Private Foundations and Corporations forming alliances with Not for Profit organisations.

Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave is the third edition of Deloitte’s Building the Lucky Country series, which focuses on business imperatives for a prosperous Australia.  A draft version of the full report was debated by a group of business and political leaders in February 2014 and the final report reflects their feedback.

A companion media release considers the national impacts of the DG25.  

NB: See our media releases and research at

Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March 2014 

Media contact:

Jane Kneebone
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: +61 3 9671 7389
Mobile: +61 416 148 845

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