May 31, 2017
Contact: Nick Terrell
0487 388 763

Reconnected New South Wales - social capital conversations

The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP

Member for Fenner | Shadow Assistant Treasurer | Shadow Minister for Competition and Productivity | Shadow Minister for Charities and Not-for-Profits | Shadow Minister for Trade In Services

Reconnected Community Roundtable

Trades Hall Auditorium – Sydney, 19 May 2017


Working with other NFPs, organisations, and government

  • Identifying how similar NFPs can work together. For example, Men’s Sheds are working well together and sharing resources.
  • Higher levels of collaboration and idea sharing.
  • Looking to the NDIS for opportunities to work with them.
  • Input from other sectors – i.e. sharing economy, AirBnB, crowd funding, how could the principles of other sectors improve NFP sector outcomes.
  • Tap into corporate & company sectors – encourage corporate social responsibility as partnership with NFPs.
  • Publicise ideas and innovation – Shark Tank for charities, advertise and celebrate success stories.
  • Conferencing and collaborating at all levels (federal, state and regional) will generate more innovation and could help alleviate the burnout of workers (paid and unpaid) who keep small, lean organisations going.


Outreach and volunteers

  • Involve the community / neighbourhood in driving and informing capacity building.
  • Using social media effectively to reach new people and keep existing stakeholders engaged.
  • Keeping volunteers engaged and ensuring that they feel their time is valued.
  • Ensuring that volunteers are extracting value from their time with the NFP, i.e. up-skilling and training.
  • As society becomes more individualistic, NFPs need to be more creative and sensitive about reaching socially isolated groups and engaging them
  • Subsidise rents in key areas with transports and access to create hub / accelerator that allows collaboration and identity.
  • Boards need to be innovative and strategic and to support CEOs in this role and for CEOs to manage up and encourage boards to do so. CEOs are often paid to manage public funds without much space to be innovative, which requires time and resources.



  • Having greater confidence and security in sources of funding.
  • Funding models should encourage collaboration rather than competition.
  • Give NFPs access to grants for growth and funds for innovation (state and fed departments of industry) existing innovation grants that are restricted to commercial businesses
  • Government funds could be networked according to possible recipients rather than siloed by source department.
  • Funding processes currently stifle innovation – innovative pilots could be encouraged by the prospect of guaranteed ongoing funding if successful.


Service models

  • NFPs need to be more agile and responsive to change
  • Advocacy work of ACOSS and ACNC is a valuable resource for governance, case studies, and story sharing.
  • NFP sector needs better evaluation and measurement through agreed metrics of outcomes and resourcing for evaluation.
  • Diversity in the background (cultural and socio-economic) of board members is important.
  • Keeping branding and imagery both fresh and relevant.
  • Opportunities for NFPs to own more assets and be able to leverage these to grow (land, assets, buildings signed over to orgs)
  • Adapt legal models to be more applicable to current practice – i.e. allow commercial trading (CIC model in UK) and allow NFPs to attract private investment by providing returns.
  • ACNC to develop a peak body conference providing training and development for organisations with similar operating structures.
  • ACNC could support governance training; boards encouraged to self-evaluate; guidelines for NFPs on measuring social returns on investment (SRI)


Success in increasing social capital

  • Short term volunteering aimed at the corporate sector/tapping into their employee pool.
  • Drawing on the broader community that might be affected by the issue.
  • Cross-sector collaboration and drawing on the capacity of other organisations ‘the sum of separate parts is greater than the total’.
  • Engaging with schools and getting students involved in volunteering from a young age.
  • Increase the perceived value of Social Capital to allow better valuation of the return on investment (time and money

Some of the participants are pictured below, contacts for all of the organisations who registered an interest in this project can be found here.


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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.