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PwC Australia’s 1st Annual Not-for-profit CEO Survey

Critical skills for the digital world

For many Not-for-profits (NFPs), COVID-19 and its economic impacts are a challenging time where survival is paramount. Before COVID-19, technological change was already reshaping the skills required for workers to thrive in a digital world. The greatest resource a NFP has is its people and its people typically include a wide and talented pool of volunteers. COVID-19 has accelerated the need to develop employees' capabilities so they can thrive in this new world.

As the country’s second largest employer, NFP leaders should be asking themselves some key questions in relation to upskilling, collaboration and growth. Our first annual Not-for-profit CEO Survey showcases that despite the deeply challenging current environment, upskilling for a digital world is an opportunity worth taking.

Download the key questions NFP business leaders should be asking

Around 1,500 CEOs across more than 80 territories contribute to PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey. Collectively, the responses provide unique insight into the thinking of chief executives. 

For the first time in Australia, CEOs of Not-for-profit organisations were asked to complete a condensed version of the survey focused on how their organisations were upskilling for a digital world in the context of COVID-19. 

As organisations continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, digital skills are more critical than ever. Explore the key findings below. 


77% of NFP organisations said that the need for digital upskilling of workers has become a higher priority in the context of COVID-19.

The future of work is already here. The degree to which NFPs can benefit from rapid technological change depends on the skills of the workforce and the ability to adapt to the digital world. 

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42% of NFPs are making no progress or not even considering collaborating with academic/government institutions on the skills needed for the future.

Across the NFP sector, there is a generosity to give and to share. An ecosystem of sharing digital upskilling and resources would highly benefit the sector.

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61% of NFPs say the greatest challenge faced in their upskilling efforts is a lack of resources to conduct the upskilling programs needed.

NFP organisations have always been smart about how they use resources, as these continue to become more scarce they’ve become smarter.

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The number of NFP CEOs who say digital upskilling of employees has become a higher priority in the context of COVID-19


The greatest challenge NFP organisations face in their upskilling efforts is a lack of resources to conduct upskilling programs

1st & 2nd

The top two outcomes from upskilling programs; stronger organisational culture and employee engagement and greater growth

3 in 4

NFP CEOs indicate they are starting to/making moderate progress in improving their workers’ and leaders’ knowledge of technology

Contact us

Rosalie Wilkie

Rosalie Wilkie

Partner, Social Impact, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 417 021 993

Jane Edwards

Jane Edwards

Director, Social Impact, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (3) 8603 5839

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