Current Trends in Australian Nonprofit Policy

De Gruyter
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nonprofit Policy Forum, 2016, 7 (2), pp. 171 - 188
Issue Date:
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There has been a large growth in nonprofits in Australia over the past 30 years. This paper will chart some of the key current policy trends that have helped shape the sector. The huge investment in the nonprofit sector by government, particularly since the mid 1990’s coincided with a strong ideological shift to a neoliberal economic agenda. There was a concerted effort to bring nonprofits under the control of government policy. This has lead to greater competition among nonprofits, the growth of large charities at the expense of small local organisations, and a greater emphasis on adopting business models. Those nonprofit organisations that provide a community development role have been particularly under threat. However while much of the nonprofit world in Australia is increasingly driven by neoliberal, business oriented demands, another alternative phenomenon is emerging, particularly among young people and largely out of the gaze of public scrutiny. As fast as the state finds a way of controlling the productive energy of the nonprofit sector, the sector itself finds a way of curtailing that control, or of creating new ways of operating that go beyond existing structures and rules of operating.
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