Close this search box.
Opinion Governance Funding Finance nonprofit

Opinion: Budget Hints at Future Not-for-Profit Help

3 min read

Whilst at first glance of the 2023-2024 budget, it is easy to assume that not-for-profits have been forgotten, and the bulk of measures and funding provided directly to individuals. But, if you take a closer look, it’s clear that the Albanese Government is reaching out to the purpose community to partner with them, and we must be ready.

With a recorded surplus of $4 billion dollars, and the Labor government delivering the first budget in the black since 2008 –  there is indeed some wiggle room, and funds available for towards the end of the year upon Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook or MYEFO as it is also known.

So what did the budget bring for us?

Entrenched community disadvantage will see an investment of close to $200 million over the next six years, with place-based approaches, engaging with the not-for-profit sector, and promoting social impact investment are key focuses.

This will include $11.6 million over three years, for a Social Enterprise Development Initiative, providing grants, online education and mentoring to eligible organisations, so the industry can build the capability to access capital and support improved social outcomes.

A whole-of-government framework to address community disadvantage is a beacon of hope for our sector.  It is the first time in at least eight years that community disadvantage has been focused on, in any real way.  The government will also provide $8.7 million over 4 years from 2023–24 (and $2.2 million per year ongoing) to support the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee. These sorts of moves make it obvious that Labor is listening – but are we all ready?

In the lead-up to budget 2023-24, Fifty Acres has ushered their clients through Parliament doors which have been closed (or at least barely open) for quite some time.  The advisors and Ministers we have met with have been engaged, eager to help, and most importantly, not afraid to talk to their colleagues. Colleagues who have led us all the way to the Prime Minister’s office.

Whether we only have this government for another three years, another term or two, opportunity awaits, and engagement is not patient. So how do you prepare for MYEFO and the 2024 budget?

Consider the government a long-term relationship, you cannot attend one meeting and leave for a couple of years, assuming they will reengage upon your return. Consistency is key. To maintain a strong relationship, your contact must be strategic and regular.

Whether it’s sending new research, a funding approach, or hosting a briefing inside the walls of Parliament House – you must keep in touch. Fifty Acres has had significant impacts working with clients over a number of years, through a continual lobbying effort, which doesn’t let up.  When this is coupled with strategic media outreach to amplify government engagement – results are even stronger.

Get your government engagement strategy in order like never before.  Know who your targets are, what will get their attention, and who their allies are.  Having a strategic approach is the quickest way to ensure your engagement is efficient and ultimately attracts attention.

And finally, you must do your research, and most importantly – your sums.  The government may have funds to allocate this and next year, but it is limited, so receiving it will not be an easy get. You must show them how your program or initiative will deliver a return on investment. How will it save money? How will it take this country forward, and which members of the community will it benefit? What is the economic impact if the government doesn’t take action?

There is no doubt the not-for-profit sector is being listened to for the first time in many years, but your messages must be clear, consistently communicated and meet the objectives of current government policy.

If you need help securing an audience with a Minister’s office – we are here with contacts on speed dial, willing and ready.

+ posts

With over 20 years’ experience in communications, political advisory roles and journalism, Jo Scard is one of Australia’s foremost strategic advisors to corporates, government and not-for-profits.

Jo is a respected former journalist in the UK and Australia working with ITV, Associated Press, Seven Network, SBS, ABC and Fairfax. She has spent over a decade advising corporates and not-for-profits at CEO and board level across strategic communications, government relations and public relations, and co-authored the best-selling book The working mother’s survival guide.

Fifty Acres was established in 2010. We work with government agencies, national organisations, not-for-profits and corporates providing strategic communications, media training, government, marketing and public relations services. The agency has become a market leader in strategic communications and represents some of Australia’s premier brands and not-for-profits – spending 10% of our time on pro bono projects.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Next Up