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Modelling demonstrates charity sector hit hard by COVID-19

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) have released the latest in a series of reports into how the charity sector is being impacted by COVID-19. The report Taken for granted? Charities’ role in our economic recovery, calls for immediate action from policy makers.  

Key points include: 

  • Charities’ total economic contribution is equivalent to 8.5 per cent of Australia’s GDP, with the sector employing more than one in ten employees in Australia – 1.3 million people. That’s around the same number of people as retail trade. 
  • History demonstrates that charity revenues don’t recover from downturns the same way that business revenues do, and that many in the sector can’t easily access the resources they need to rebuild and transition to a new normal. 
  • The report models the impact of the revised JobKeeper arrangements on the financial viability of the charity sector and found that 44 per cent of charities would be making an operating loss in September 2021, compared to 83 per cent without JobKeeper, and that even with JobKeeper 8 per cent of charities would be at risk of being unviable, putting at risk more than 100,000 jobs by September 2020. 
  • SVA and CSI recommend an integrated package of six reforms to improve the resilience of the sector which include ensuring the financial viability of charities, building their capability to improve impact, and decreasing the demand for charity crisis services.  

Access the full report (pdf)