Centre for Social Impact YEAR IN REVIEW 2020

Welcome to CSI's 2020 Year in Review. Despite it being a challenging year, we've had some high points! Read on to learn about just some of our national highlights this year...

We educated future social impact leaders:

National postgraduate degree enrolments were up 8% to 910, postgraduate enrolments dropped by 14% to 753 - an incredible outcome given the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the absence of international students. We also saw hundreds of people complete our 2-day Outcomes Measurement Workshops and Governance for Social Impact courses.

We provided multiple scholarships for our education programs, thanks to our generous donors.

We are leaders in building knowledge and influencing policy:

  • We launched impact2020 and our COVID-19 fact sheets
  • We completed the Social Progress Index (SPI) for Australia, launched it at Parliament House and provided expert comment on the Australian ranking of the Global SPI
  • We partnered with Social Ventures Australia to produce a series of reports looking at the impact of the pandemic on the financial health of Australia’s charities. The first report was a huge success, resulting in a parliamentary reference and discussion by Shadow Minister for Charities, Andrew Leigh MP; Channel 10 coverage on The Project; and was used in numerous budget submissions and advocacy work across the sector.
  • We launched the Pulse of the For-Purpose Sector & Build Back Better Research Program and have secured nearly $1m in external funding from philanthropic and industry partners (more below).
  • The CSI Swinburne Social Startup Studio launched free clinics for Victorian social enterprises, national workshops and and a suite of resources to support the social enterprise sector following the devastating impacts of the Victorian bushfires and COVID-19.
  • We provided a comprehensive response to the Federal Budget 2020 with an emphasis on how the key changes will have an impact on different social issue areas.
  • We launched the 2020 Digital Inclusion Index and were called upon by Telstra to host the launch webinar that featured Telstra CEO Andy Penn. We saw more than 700 registrations to this webinar.
  • Our CEO joined the National Charities Crisis Cabinet.

Our research is well funded and rigorous:

CSI had a record-breaking Q2 and Q3 in 2020 for research income. By the end of Q3, we had 68 refereed articles published, with 50% achieving publication in A/A* ranked journals from the Australian Dean’s Business Council list. Our average research Impact Factor was over 2.

We established the Pulse of the For-Purpose Sector & Build Back Better National Research Program:

The first wave of the longitudinal Pulse of the For-Purpose Sector survey was launched with an extensive email marketing campaign, alongside a campaign across social channels and media, with strategic support from major stakeholders. We received over 500 responses. We also began our series of cross-institutional deep dives, including:

  • 'Moving the conversation forward: A decade of reform recommendations for the community services sector' (funded by CSIA);
  • “Charities as Partners in Recovery” series (in partnership with SVA);
  • “Ending Homelessness in Australia: Opportunities for Building Back Better from COVID-19” (with multiple industry partners);
  • “Reconciliation during COVID-19: Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together and Caring for Everything”; and
  • “Capturing and leveraging learnings from service innovation during COVID-19".
  • We launched the social enterprise deep dive report.
  • We are about to begin a new deep dive into mental health.

We were agile and adaptive and we did an epic communications pivot: aka impact2020!

We quickly understood that the pandemic effects were going to be long lasting and that they were going to impact our marketing and communications efforts for the rest of the year. Through the first daily impact2020 webinar series, launched in April, we featured 70+ innovative researchers, educators and thought leaders from within the CSI network, across six weeks - finishing with an in-depth discussion on the future of education with renowned leaders, David Gonski AC, Professor Peter Shergold AC, and Professor Kristy Muir.

We reached more than 8,000 people during the first series and the impact2020 website has received 20,000 unique visitors to date this year.

Because of the success of impact2020 series one we launched series two, which featured another wave of (monthly) webinars where we connect with impact partners from across sectors. We recorded all 47 webinars throughout 2020 and have made them available online. To date they have been viewed more than 15,000 times!

Danjoo Koorliny: Walking Together Towards 2029 and beyond

Danjoo Koorliny is a large-scale, long-term, systems-change project designed and led by Aboriginal leaders to help us all walk together towards 2029 (200 years of colonisation in Perth) and beyond.

The leaders of Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together are Dr Noel Nannup OAM, Dr Richard Walley OAM, Professor Emeritus Colleen Hayward AM and Carol Innes have invited, and will continue to invite, many others to join this journey. Last year they hosted - with support from the Centre for Social Impact UWA the inaugural Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Social Impact Festival, bringing us together to see what has shifted in the last year and to set our focus for the year(s) ahead, towards 2029.

We Amplified Social Impact!

A major component of Amplify Social Impact was completed and launched: the Australian Social Progress Index. This was launched to great acclaim at Australian Parliament House with Adam Bandt MP (Greens), Andrew Leigh MP (Labor) and Dave Sharma MP (Liberal) members hosting the event as Parliamentary Friends of Social Sciences.

We reached new audiences:

  • To date, CSI has received more than 1,200 media mentions which have a combined total estimated reach of 652 million up from 68 million people throughout 2019.
  • We achieved a 34% increase in reach of our website audience compared to 2019 (which was up 23% on 2018), 85,000 people visited the CSI website during the months of Jan-Oct and an additional 20,000 people have visited the impact2020 website and 6,000 have visited the Amplify website.
  • We continued to tell the stories of our amazing students, scholarship recipients, staff, partners and network, with a focus on their social impact initiatives and impact in Australia and internationally. We also featured student videos and case studies to highlight the student experience and how our alumni are changing the world.

Thanks to our team - across Australia

We have an outstanding team of talented, dedicated, and incredibly hard-working people who live CSI's values every day in their work and life. We thank each and every one of them.

From all of us at CSI, we're hoping for a much, much better 2021.

Wishing all our friends, partners, students, alumni and colleagues a safe and happy holiday season!