Tuesday, 16 April 2024
    Leadership in the charity sector

    Leadership in the charity sector


    Swinburne University has published its latest index of leadership in the charity sector authored by Samuel Wilson, Vladimir Demsar, Melissa Wheeler

    The report examines how Australians view the integrity, competence and contribution of charities.

    Charities are at the heart of social ecosystems and play a vital role in building and sustaining flourishing communities. Yet, charities face several interlocking challenges that have only become more complex in a post-pandemic environment – one that has also been impacted by natural disasters.

    In this context, charities are grappling with increased demand for services, financial sustainability, increasing job complexity, a declining volunteer workforce and the need to re-establish relationships with donors, all in the context of sustained impacts on the mental health, well-being and resilience of charity employees and leaders.

    Ultimately, addressing these challenges is the work of leadership, requiring charity leaders to jointly orchestrate and create the enabling conditions to address these issues while sustaining the community goodwill and the social license to operate that charities have historically enjoyed.

    What, then, is the current state of public perceptions of leadership in Australia’s charity sector? How does the charity sector compare to other institutions in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, and what are the types of things that charity leaders can do to sustain public trust and confidence in charities?

    This report has six sections.

    Section 1 provides a high-level summary of the Australian Leadership Index’s results for the charity sector.
    Section 2 provides an overview of how this study of Australian leadership was conducted.
    Section 3 presents detailed results of perceptions of charity sector integrity, competence, contribution, and leadership. This section also shows how charities perform on several consumer engagement metrics.
    Section 4 examines the drivers of leadership perceptions and donation intentions (integrity, competence and contribution) and offers insights into how charity leaders can improve public perceptions of charity integrity, competence, contribution, and leadership.
    Section 5 summarises the main findings of the report and points to shorter- and longer-term areas for development in order to sustain and foster the community’s trust in and support of the charity sector.
    Section 6 invites you to engage with the Australian Leadership Index.


    Leadership in the charity sector: how Australians view the integrity, competence and contribution of charities (APO)