External Trends Impacting the NFP Sector in 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The year 2017 has begun in an environment of perplexed global sentiment. From Brexit to the election of President Trump, the last 9 months have been far from a smooth ride on the world stage, showing a trend towards growing isolationism and increasing uncertainty.

At the national level, for most advanced economies, this uncertainty has bred an increase in nationalism, and a move away from globalisation. In Australia, our response – in part fuelled by our strong work ethic and historic undercurrent – makes us all just want to ‘get on with it’ and get the job done.

For the not for profit sector, this means working hard at strategic initiatives, managing external risk, and taking bold initiatives to engage donors. Our conversations with the NFP sector at this time of year often involves developing strategic brand tracking to measure public engagement, or testing specific brand assets to develop powerful advertising campaigns.

Yet, before delving into the tools of marketing and communications, it is critical that NFPs grasp the trends and undercurrents taking place in the external environment, particularly those that impact donor giving. Here are three trends we feel are critical for the NFP sector to grapple with in 2017:

1. Charity saturation and the need for brand differentiation

According to JBWere’s Cause Report (2016), Australia has 56,894 NFP organisation, one NFP for every 422 individuals. The number of not for profit organisations has doubled every 20 years over the last 60 years – and despite cancelling and closure of some charities by the ACNC, there are still around 10 new charities established every business day.

2. Overall decline in public giving necessitating new fundraising initiatives

Charitable giving has been lower in Australia in 2016 than in years prior. The NAB Charitable Giving Index indicates that national giving is down, by a decrease of 0.3% growth in the 12 months leading up to Aug 2016. This compares to 5.1% growth a year earlier. While there has been resilience in the Australian economy during this time, consumers are more cautious than before, reflected by these figures.

3. Younger generations giving less and seeking experiential engagement

60% of Australian donors agree that charities will face a more difficult future as younger generations don’t seem to volunteer in an ongoing way or give as much as the generations before them (McCrindle Australian Communities Trends Report, 2016). NAB data shows that those aged 15 to 24 give just $135 on average, annually, to charities, compared to those over 65 who give $452 on average.


A number of these trends are explained by a rise in the cost of living across Australia. Take Sydney housing as a case example of the growing cost of living pressures. In 1975, Sydney house prices were just 5x average annual earnings. By 1995 they had risen to 6x average annual earnings, but today – when taking the average annual salary of $80,000 per year and the median house price of well over $1 million – the average house price is 13x the cost of an average annual full-time salary.

Australian donors are finding it more difficult to give, and to give regularly. As the traditional, dependable, regular donor shrinks as a proportion of all donors, new types of donors are emerging –brand responders and opportunity givers.


Brand responders and opportunity givers donate sporadically, in an ad-hoc way. These types of donors are still more likely to give to a single charity or cause than to multiple causes, and have a strong preference for a particularly cause or charity.

Through speaking with more than a dozen NFP experts, 54 donors face to face, and surveying 1,500 Australians, we have identified four key next steps for the charitable sector to take into account in 2017:

1. Develop Multi-Tiered Levels of Engagement

Donors want to be involved with charities, but on their own terms. Rather than fixed contracts, they desire flexible giving and varied involvement. The demand for personalisation is growing as donors expect charity engagement suited to their age and life stage.

2. Build Communities for Social Impact

Australian donors desire to be part of a community of activists that bring about social change. They want to be involved in something bigger than themselves, knowing that together they can make a difference. This is not just ‘clicktivism’, which is seen merely as a form of virtue signalling through web-based activist organisations. Globally, networks like Avaaz.org and Change.org have created opportunities for real-life engagement of social issues, facilitated first through online platforms.

3. Communicate Results in Real-Time

Donors want real-time results and transparent reporting of admin costs. Platforms such as GiveDirectly.org now enable donors to give directly to an individual living in extreme poverty via mobile giving. KIVA, a lending platform facilitating crowd-sourced micro loans across the globe, displays the giving of loans in real-time via an interactive world map. When donors have this type of visibility, trust and engagement follow.

4. Create Fun and Engaging Experiences

The donor of the future is looking for participation and memories created through experiences. Nearly half (46%) of 18-29 year-old Australian donors have volunteered for a charity (compared to 31% of 30+ donors), and they are looking to do so in new, fresh ways. This is not just contained to events and a physical presence at sporting events or music festivals. Many young donors (1 in 4 of those aged 18-29, compared to just 11% of 30+ year-old donors) prefer the creative challenge of conducting their own fundraising events, providing them with the opportunity to harness their unique gifts and talents for a great cause.

-Eliane Miles


For more information on Australian Donors, see the Australian Communities Trends Report Infographic.

Connect with us if you would like more information on environmental scanning for strategic forecasting.


Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways. Download Eliane's professional speaking pack here.

To inquire about Eliane presenting at your next event, please feel free to get in touch.

Growing number of Australians moving to New Zealand

Monday, August 15, 2016

They are calling it a slice of heaven on a budget, with a growing number of Australian families packing their bags for a better life in New Zealand.

For the first time in about a quarter of a century, we have more Australians headed to New Zealand than New Zealanders heading to Australia. We aren't talking about people as retirees or as young people, but in those middle years, those family years and those key employment years, they are the ones making the move across the Tasman and heading to New Zealand.

Most of them are ending up in the Kiwi Capitol, Wellington, where you get much more bang for your buck compared to the much more expensive Auckland.

IT Specialists are in hot demand in New Zealand, and dominate the highest paying jobs. A System’s Architect have a median salary of $125,000 per year. Although an Engineering Manager isn’t all that far behind at $105,000 per year. The lowest paying jobs see Caregivers average $32,000 per year, while an Assistant Store Manager brings in $35,000 per year.

Australians are making the move because of jobs, affordable housing and a better quality of life. For a country that for so long has been tagged as Australia’s little cousin, it appears New Zealand is all grown up.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


the changing face of deloitte sunburnt country media new york times holiday urban income friends lalor park australian social research going out innovative Geoff Brailey facts Wellington Wagga Wagga debt Generation X mccrindle tea rising house prices post rationalism Valentine’s Day Duchess of Cambridge ageing population rental stress rent baby shbc Tuesday Trend data news new office social change Australian Census hills shire work waverton financial fears paying to work alpha Education Future Forum staff social trends not for profit retirement public speaking local Northern Territory Australian Communities Trends conferences recap pharmacy perth ease of travel Financial Planning Association christianity socialising media activity Kiwi budget rich debate Mark McCrindle sports New South Wales life faux-ciliser infographic bureau supply and demand christmas focus groups suburbs work mates victoria university New Zealand Engineering Manager aged care puzzle Hornsby Shire Council Australian schools builders 1975 women entrepreneur visual online winter blues Australians economy social commentary thrive potts point apartment non profit transport workshop JOMO family community engagement generation PSI housing growth generation alpha FOMO shifts media commentary clothing students Financial Planning Association of Australia 40 million schools students Charlotte urban living index future proofing Research Executive internships collaborative ashley mckenzie housing affordability Love dessert gender Australian demographics teleworking weather australian communities trends report sun state cost of living household future-proof Canberra click relational society trends optimistic financial future financial neutral bay wealth and income distribution staying in average aussie annual income global generations norwest cultural diversity urban living demographics ageing group interactive social life meals trends of 2016 mythbusting pyrmont cancelling event generation Z tableau cold trends of 2017 aussie culture SMSF menai Western Australia vegemite McCrindle Speakers award rule keeper TDE anzac capital city Tasmania Real Estate population growth faux-cilise Gen X speakers Adelaide real repayments divorce environmental scanning innovation Merry Christmas sector wide home ownership future of work Financial Planning Week home contiki sentiments earnings rain forecast teacher survey darwin megatrends divorce rate SA brand experience 2012 local communities entertainment twentyseventeen CBD infographic wall mortgage global millionth dreaming Australian Home Kirsten Brewer panel education future report stay home DIY engagement overcast city Royals social lives GPO ACF jobs of the future FPA educated conference presentation research visualisation ideas office Queensland: QLD intern study social researchers ipswich education future of education Assistant Store Manager 1994 Channel 7 faux-cilising know the times social research personal growth responsive resilience research services politics 24 million group session NT Sydney keynote speaker mentor property market global financial crisis demographic transformations high density living sunny days property unemployment affordability snapshot school Northern Beaches 2020 conference speaker growing population cooking parents Australia Day 2017 government social enquiry media release balance affordable national crime rates business index litter presentation Crime Rates The Daily Edition toys australians staying home more demographer mccrindle research child care logan ethnography cancelling plans internet career language learning styles mother's day trends omnibus fresh culture baby name data visualisation blaxland digital participants holidays gen alpha narcissism Melbourne finance Christmas presents wealth distribution suburb learning wellbeing 2014 water households volunteers google for education daily commute goal HSC millennials sydney speaker demographic conference professional speaker future proof buildings ABS office space children low density results trend tuesday cars acf15 Tuesday Trends list shopping village teach young australians thought leadership survey design australia marrickville organisational culture cancel plans kate middleton February 16 Christmas lunch owning a home New Zeland define men Do It Yourself eliane consumerism royal influence social media selfie pharmacies high school trend in depth interviews easy rider social energy Christmas season relevant Australian Trends 2015 business education research Australian Bureau of Statistics Births bondi national private wealth ashley fell meetings EFF sector Australian communities office opening land of the middle class daily telegraph World Water Day economic hornsby entrepreneurs of today 2017 residents qualitative research home owner jobs urban taskforce motivate workforce organisations 2013 tuesday shopper's pick monarchy cartodb follow hobart graphs Australian Families huffington post Scouts marriage food Gen Y learn capital cities engage grandparents high density apartments employers careers travel video social impact technology case study coffee forum leader gold coast wealth and income Word Up royal baby data analyst online shopping workplace year 12 mobile eliane miles NSW professional Deaths educhat communication baby boom communities housing trends fears living workplace culture experience area mccrindle in the media The ABC of XYZ Netflix increasing densification Sydney travelling mining boom Northern beaches Event university degree moderators guide population insights schools Bathburst Christchurch crime millenials charity society education future leadership Queensland TAS google priorities stats Real Estate Institute of Victoria healthy future futurist ACT brisbane internship commute royal challenge outsourcing youth school students earning prince george curiosity property price networking crows nest etiquette high density South Australia Social Trend Northern Beaches Christian School learner WA mythbusters product investor year 7 collaboration optus my business awards brands house prices national wealth social commentator REIV Conference moreton bay young people emerging technologies event emerging trends sydney event weekly earnings publication social shifts 23 million suburban living sustainable generations families identity market research wedding sector wide study equip Aussies parenting slideshare community event world youth day father's day sydneycity teaching 1980 spend events australian communities forum summer visualisation researcher forecasting renter of the future salary poker master investment newspaper cloudy days manly education sector Caregiver personalities wage mover and shaker earn Wodonga cash celebration youth unemployment school satisfaction socialites woolworths 24,000,000 safe ACF 2016 Aussie research data gen z statistics optus future baby names customer change Myth generational trends DESTEL wealth authenticity dare to dream house price rise townhouses princess charlotte community investing states demographic trends skills program marketing hopes goals trends analyst greatness hello fresh REIV National Conference dream religion January 26th quote the australian dream storytelling keynote speaker middle class tattoos census Population Clock rise of local research entrepreneurial English not-for-profit brand System's Architect mateship analysis presentations work-life housing typical australian royal family Australian Dream aged care sydneysiders social analysis training public holiday baby boomers population map marriages NEETs renting offenders cost keynote "know the times" growth mccrindle financial independence small business insight communications friendship teachers IT Specialists couple geomapping emerging generations criminal 10 years VIC medicine wages communicate 1968 report lifestyle tv consumer names Generation Y poor focus group environment housing market house price baby name trends proactive Channel Seven leadership workshop baby name predictions happiness church professional development social issues employment plans wolloomooloo unaffordable Australia Day seasons in the media financial dreams domestic research pack vegetarian nfp long weekend world winter tea tertiary education resource Territory ultimo tips Res Vis social researcher easter student population milestone house 2016