September 05, 2017
Contact: Nick Terrell
0487 388 763

Reconnected South Australia - 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


Social capital conversations – North Adelaide Community Centre

On 29 August 2017, around 100 South Australian charities joined Labor's Amanda Rishworth, Tony Zappia, Don Farrell, Penny Wong and Andrew Leigh.

The small group conversations generated dozens of ideas and observations, some of which are set out below. Please note that this list does not reflect Labor policy, but the ideas that were proposed by the charities and not-for-profits in attendance.


Engaging and enlisting volunteers

  • Volunteers will stay and contribute if they have meaningful work that relates to their skills, goals and interests.
  • Young people are responding to one-off and short term campaigns through platforms like Facebook rather than aligning themselves with single organisations
  • First find out what your community wants and what your community values, then make sure you can show people how their involvement relates to those wants and values.
  • Engage with service recipients – gain better understanding of their needs and also encourage them to volunteer.
  • Look for opportunities to facilitate micro-volunteering – one-off or short term projects which introduce people to your organisation and bring people one step closer to ongoing involvement. Or one-off projects that provide an opportunity to develop or demonstrate a particular skill (ie event management, website management, publicity etc.).


Community networks

  • Community planning needs to provide spaces for community – ie facilitating a hub location with meeting spaces and services geared to sharing and collective purpose. Local councils / governments could assist by making under-utilised space available at a nominal or subsidised rent
  • Government or a peak body could provide a grant finder that centralises grants from all levels of government and private philanthropy.
  • NFPs with similar objectives and needs should partner to reduce the amount of competition for funding and volunteers and make joint grant applications (led by Volunteering SA or Pro Bono Australia?)
  • At an individual level – create a register of in-kind offers and needs – ie space available, skills needed - a mix of Givit and LinkedIn
  • The objectives of NFPs could be connected with school curriculums or programs to build civic value and social consciousness (course credit / required ‘unit’)



  • Develop unified police clearance process so that people do not have to get a difference check for different roles – needs to be portable across states and systems.
  • PM&C office to oversee volunteering / NFP sector – volunteering sector has value of $270 billion but there is only $5.7 million provided in Commonwealth support for infrastructure.


New directions

  • Use online tools and networks to drive people to face to face activities, events or opportunities. Also to reach potential clients and expand the impact of the organisation (ie the Shelter SA’s Pickle phone app, which directs young people struggling with finances, family or somewhere to sleep to the nearest youth worker or support service).
  • Establish volunteer orientation and retention programs, provide a value for volunteers to enlist by providing training
  • People step up when they see need – show need
  • Identify volunteering opportunities which family members could share and pitch volunteer asks accordingly
  • Collective or shared boards specialising in NFP governance


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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.