03.09.2020Not-for-Profit Advocacy Program

As the second wave of infection in Melbourne and Victoria continues to expose societal fault lines, we must not allow COVID-19 to deepen class divides and entrench disadvantage across the city. Melbourne should aspire to be a more collaborative, compassionate and inclusive city as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

This was the key takeaway from the NfP Taskforce Steering Committee meeting held on 14 August. Chaired by the CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Vic), Scott Chapman, the Steering Committee discussed the ongoing impact the crisis was having on the local community and how Committee for Melbourne could assist.

Distinct gaps in work, health and wealth have become increasingly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Steering Committee – represented by NFP and private sector members – believe that greater private sector involvement in delivering positive social outcomes will be essential on our road to recovery.

With governments in significant debt, NfP organisations fighting to sustain themselves, and acute social problems to address, support and collaboration between the private sector – particularly big business and NfPs will be pivotal. More than ever, Melbourne needs businesses to make serious efforts in blending profit and purpose.

The timing for this advocacy agenda is right. Social factors are on the minds of business leaders and institutional investors. Some leaders have increased their environmental, social, and governance commitments in the wake of the pandemic, believing it is even more important than ever. Ideas of inclusive growth, citizenship and social impact – all important and growing in importance prior to COVID-19 – now take on new meaning.

Furthermore, Australian governments are beginning to recognise the value of having private capital involved in solving complex social issues. The recent decision by Australia’s states and territories to sign the social impact investing agreement, pledging to work with the Morrison Government on developing Australia’s social impact investing market, is testament to this. Private investment is clearly needed to tackle social problems where existing policy interventions and service delivery have not achieved desired outcomes.

The Committee looks forward to working with its members to establish a vision statement, guiding principles and advocacy program to encourage further engagement of the NFP sector with the private sector.

For more information on the NFP Taskforce, please contact the Committee’s Policy and Research Officer, Brett Van Duppen.

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