Industry impact

Being able to track the vital statistics of the Community Services Industry is an essential policy tool for governments, non-profit organisations themselves, and those businesses and foundations that seek to support charitable causes. 

Are there too many or too few organisations delivering services or infrastructure now and for the future? Those interested in civil should understand the production of non-profit organisations relative to that produced by the State, business or family and the nature of volunteers in this production.



What is a community service organisation?

At the centre of all community service organisations is a vulnerable community in need of specialised services and supports.

These organisations come in variable legal forms, shapes and sizes, but they are always based around mission, means and values. 


What is a non-profit organisation?

According to Not-for-profit Law:

“In a 'non-profit/not-for-profit’ organisation, any profit made is used to further the aims of the organisation. That means all the profits are put back into the organisation to continue to pay for its activities and functions and to achieve its mission.”

What is a for-profit organisation?

According to Not-for-profit Law:

“In other words, a ‘for-profit’ organisation is set up to make a profit for the people who are members/owners of the organisation.”

What is social enterprise?

Faced with rapid changes to funding models, the Community Services Industry is learning to adapt their approach to supporting vulnerable people and communities.

The social enterprise model of delivering community services is growing in popularity because of its ability to be largely self-sustaining.

At times, social enterprises are also set-up as subsidiaries of non-profit organisations to behave as a feeder company. A feeder company is designed to transfer surplus funds to the parent company for its long-term sustainability.

According to Social Traders, because there is no legal structure called social enterprise, we can define social enterprise as an organisation that:

  • is driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic
  • derives most of their income from trade not donations, and use the majority of their profits towards their social mission.