Good data and information about activity undertaken by community and voluntary organisations is important to help the government with its planning, decision-making and resource allocation. The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) has a strong focus on research to obtain this knowledge, and is working with others in a number of areas.
On this page:
Facts about the sub-sectors of the community and voluntary sector
The community sector includes 11 distinctly different sub-sectors that are diverse in terms of size, number of organisations, income sources, contribution to GDP and reliance on volunteers.
The sub-sectors are:
- Business and professional associations and unions
- Culture, sports and recreation
- Development and housing
- Education and research
- Grantmaking, fundraising, and volunteerism promotion
- Law, advocacy and politics
- Social services
Data shown on the web page (linked below) is drawn from Statistics NZ's NZ Non-Profit Institutions Satellite Account: 2004 and the How Do New Zealanders Give? report, which was sourced from Nielsen Media Research Panorama (Jan-Dec 2007 database)/Nick Jones & Associates Consumer who Cares service.
How New Zealanders give
Since June 2008, we've been publishing research on New Zealanders' generosity and their contributions of time, money and goods.
Study of the New Zealand non-profit sector
This four-year project, which is now completed, has helped provide a clear picture of the nature and extent of non-profit sector activity within New Zealand.
Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) produced a "non-profit institutions satellite account" providing a view of the size and economic value of non-profit institutions.
Qualitative and quantitative data was provided to Johns Hopkins University Centre for Civil Society Studies, USA, to compare New Zealand to other countries.
Volunteering research (including Māori and Pacific Peoples cultural obligations)
Community and Voluntary Sector Research Forum
The Community and Voluntary Sector Research Forum is hosted every three months for people who are working to increase the pool of information about the voluntary sector. Attendees at the forums include people who are doing research, or research-related projects, and people who promote or fund research.
The forums are run by the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa (ANGOA) and the OCVS.
Regional Funders Forums
The OCVS, Philanthropy New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs collaboratively organised 12 regional funders forums in 2007. The forums enabled funders to share information and good practice on grantmaking and hear from international experts such as Anne Burleigh of the UK's Northern Rock Foundation and Sherri Torjman from Canada’s Caledon Institute of Social Policy.
Private philanthropists, corporates, government grantmakers and representatives from various trusts who fund activities in certain regions attended the forums. Funders were enthusiastic about the value of the networking opportunity and the importance of knowing what others fund and why (or why not). Discussions at the forums also explored opportunities for collaboration and future information sharing.
As part of the preparation for the forums, the OCVS published a series of regional snapshots highlighting key data from sources such as The Social Report, Funding Information Service and the NZ Census, and summarising Community Outcomes identified through various long term council planning processes. These snapshots are now publicly available free to anyone who has an interest in learning more about a specific region.
The regional snapshots are available online. They focus on Wellington, Upper South Island, Otago/Southland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Manawatu/Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Mid/South Canterbury Auckland and Northland.
In 2008, Courtney Bourns, Director of Programs from the Washington-based Grantmakers for Effective Organisations (GEO) presented around the country as part of the second series of regional funders forums. Funders heard about GEO’s Change Agent project and learnt how grantmakers can be more responsive to grantseekers. They came together to share knowledge and experience, learn from innovative examples and look at opportunities to improve practices. GEO is highly regarded for its action learning approach, leadership development and commitment to supporting not-for-profits to be effective organisations.
Secondments to and from the community sector
Exchanges of staff (known as secondments) can help share knowledge and expertise between sectors and organisations.
In 2005, OCVS convened several meetings to discuss issues and barriers related to secondments between the community sector and government. Participants included representatives from the Pacific Trust Christchurch. Funding Information Service, Philanthropy NZ, Plunket, Dept Internal Affairs, State Services Commission, Salvation Army, Victoria University and Tenths Trust.
Since then, staff in the OCVS have completed secondments to Te Reo Marama, and Changemakers Refugee Forum, while the OCVS and others have continued to explore ways to move forward on a larger scale.