There is widespread concern about the long-term viability of not-for-profit organisations that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Not-for-profit orgnisations say the greatest impact of COVID-19 is the inability to provide their usual services to the community they serve.
The RESET 2020 National Impact+Need Research Study contains findings from a survey of 380 social purpose organisations.
The report reveals nearly two-thirds of respondents have seen a loss of revenue since March 2020 and 45 per cent are carrying operating reserves of six months or less.
Organisations have not been able to run fundraising events and many have experienced declining revenues from sponsorships, partnerships and general donations.
The study reveals nearly two in 10 respondents are already struggling to deliver services due to revenue loss or need immediate assistance to continue their operations.
Volunteers are a vital component for many not for profit operations, but 70 per cent have either stood down volunteers or reduced their hours due to COVID-19, impacting revenue and service delivery.
There is the potential that some organisations won't survive this, just as in business some businesses will not survive.Andrew Eales, Ballarat Foundation
Survey results show the uncertainty and change caused by COVID-19 is negatively impacting the mental health and well-being of staff and volunteers.
Ballarat Foundation chief executive Andrew Eales said the government did not appear to have a long-term plan to support the not-for-profit sector beyond JobKeeper and JobSeeker and this was a massive concern.
"From a not-for-profit point of view, there is the potential that some organisations won't survive this, just as some businesses will not survive," he said.
Mr Eales said the government should have a long-term strategy to support the not-for-profit sector, including funding to help them create a digital model and changes to make donating easier.
He said many services were not set up to provide services digitally or fundraise online and that was proving challenging during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think there are a lot of not-for-profits that really don't have a large number of employees or that can't afford to employ the level of expertise to understand digital platforms," Mr Eales said.
"I think that would be really valuable in supporting the sector to evolve post COVID."
Mr Eales said the government should also make the donating process simpler and easier for the community in regards to who is eligible for a tax concession.
"There is some further work government could do from a policy point of view to make that process simpler and encourage those who can give to give a little bit more during this time," he said.
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