We know that organisations with well-skilled leaders can better serve their communities. Yet, in the not-for-profit sector, 33% of executives have no access to a designated training budget.
Our partnerships with universities, education providers and funders provide professional development for staff and board members of charitable organisations to help them thrive and serve their communities better.
Partner with the Australian Scholarships Foundation to ensure Australian not-for-profits and charitable organisations are adequately supported, and to strengthen their capabilities and capacity for the future.
Over 11 percent of the Australian workforce is employed in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector. There is a pressing need to uplift the capabilities of sector leaders to help ensure these organisations remain sustainable to support their communities.
The Productivity Commission’s Research Report in 2010, Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector identified a major impediment for the long-term viability of Australian not-for-profits was a lack of critical knowledge, skills and abilities, with an emphasis on the leadership, management and governance capacity. Our focus is on building these skills and capabilities to support the sector.
Research by Learning for Purpose in 2015 found:
- Training NFP workers works – professional development activities addressing NFP governance, strategic leadership, and impact evaluation was found to have systematic, positive effects on those trained. They gain greater role clarity, competence knowledge and self-confidence that facilitate better decisions and behaviours at work.
- NFP organisations that systematically develop their people do better – data from hundreds of Australian NFP organisations shows that professional development of employees makes them more effective in their roles. This rise in competence and capability flows on to the creation of social impact.
- The lack of money and time prevent needed professional development opportunities – insufficient financial and structural support prevents the Australian NFP sector and its people from engaging with more professional development. Smaller NFP organisations appear particularly prone to financial challenges, while larger NFPs are challenged by time and support required to offer training. Thirty-three percent of NFP executives have no access to a designated training budget.
We facilitate funding for the provision of scholarships and mentoring opportunities to provide education, training and development to NFP boards, management and staff in key operational areas that drive improvements in organisational performance.
This contribution is imperative to help the sector build capability. A recent report by Social Ventures Australia and the Centre for Social Impact (2022) Paying what it takes: funding indirect cost to create long-term impact recognises underfunding of indirect costs leads to lower capability and effectiveness. The research shows not-for-profits universally under-invested into their core capability, with the corporate sector spending twice as much per employee on key capabilities such as training and development.
We collaborate on research to understand the key gaps in sector capability, to ensure the right professional development gaps are addressed. Read our latest research in partnership with McKinsey and Company which looks at the healthiest organisations across 4,500 staff surveyed, finding a pattern of three essential capabilities: talent growth, execution excellence, and system shaping.
We continue to increase the number of high-quality scholarships we offer not-for-profit leaders and board members across Australia, reaching regional, rural and remote areas. We have offered 4,516 scholarships valued at $13.9 million since 2009, in the areas of governance, leadership development, management, and other key skills including finance, outcomes measurement and design thinking.
Our scholar surveys repeatedly confirm the impact of their scholarship studies. Our research shows that 90 per cent of these NFP scholars would not have had the opportunity to study without a scholarship, yet 93 per cent noted improved job performance.
Our alumni are highly capable, experienced leaders and managers, committed to delivering their purpose and vision using resourceful and productive business methods.
Hear from our scholars on how these opportunities are helping them learn and thrive.
How can you help?
- Fund or co-fund a scholarship.
- Offer pro bono learning and development.
- Fund or collaborate on sector research that advances our purpose.
- Fund organisational overheads so we can advance our impact.
- Join our panel of scholarship assessors.
- Offer skilled volunteering.
- Become an advocate of the Australian Scholarships Foundation.
Partner with us to help not-for-profit leaders learn and thrive. Your support will help these charities and not-for-profits build capacity and deliver for their communities.
You can learn more about our education and funder partners here.
Contact us on 1300 248 675 or [email protected] to explore opportunities.