Recently I attended a breakfast hosted by Deloitte, titled “Vision, Budget, Sector Reforms”. The guest speaker was the Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison.
Unlike his colleagues Tony Abbot and Joe Hockey, the Minister was able to get his message across to the audience of about 70 leaders from the NFP sector in a clear and understandable way.
The Minister was asked by a member of the audience if he was in favour of the competitive scenarios expected due to the funding changes to many NFPs, such as the NDIS. As would be expected of a conservative politician, the Minster said he welcomed the competition as it would bring financial benefits to many social issues. He spoke about the healthy competition in the early childhood and care sector where there were private, public and NFP organisations all operating side by side. He mentioned that there must be money to be made in the sector as the property developer, Meriton was now incorporating day care centres into their building projects.
He did acknowledge that this new competitive environment would mean that many NFPs would need to think differently along the lines of a commercial “for-profit” organisation but this would have benefits in the future.
The take home message from the Minister was that the NFP sector needed to embrace innovation. While recognizing that some NFPs had already embraced the concept, he stressed the point that more was required.
This different way of thinking will be alien to many NFP leaders who for years have been used to bulk grant funding. Now funding will be more along the lines to which commercial “for-profits” are used to. It means that funding is no longer a given and that to be able to cope with the new uncertainty NFPs will need to be agile and flexible.
By Walter Edgar – Walter can help you, your colleagues and Board members with this transition in order that you stay relevant and achieve sustained success. He can be contacted here.