Red tape stifling NFP sector

Policy, regulation and funding have been identified as the biggest negative impacts on the Australian not-for-profit (NFP) sector.

Findings from the Pro Bono Australia State of the Sector Survey 2014 identified federal government policy and regulation and funding as having the biggest negative impact on performance over the last 12 months, with these issues likely to be further exacerbated over the course of the next year at both a federal and state level.

High levels of uncertainty over these issues are impacting on the ability to manage and make strategic decisions, the survey found. However, specific components of the regulatory and policy framework were cited as having a positive impact. They include:

  • A report-once and use many times reporting framework
  • A one-stop online information source for NFP organisations
  • The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • Charitable status and eligibility through the ACNC national register for charities, community organisations and NFP organisations

Eighty two per cent of respondents stated the ACNC as important or extremely important for developing a thriving Australian NFP sector, with a strong preference for ACNC regulation rather than co-regulation, self-regulation or regulation through the Australian Tax Office.

The survey also identified a mechanism to expand and strengthen partnerships between business and NFP organisations and a social finance task force to develop a strategy to increase the capital available to the NFP sector as key priorities for government.

For a full copy of the report, please click here