The Blueprint Expert Reference Group (BERG)

Not-for-profit Sector Development Blueprint

In the 2022-23 October Budget the Government announced the measure Development of the Not-for-profit (NFP) Sector Development Blueprint (the NFP Blueprint) and doubling philanthropic giving by 2030. To deliver the measure:

  • the Department of Social Services (the department) is working with the Community Services Advisory Group (CSAG) to develop the NFP Blueprint.
  • the Productivity Commission will review the current framework to incentivise philanthropy in the not-for-profit sector.

The NFP Blueprint is to provide a roadmap for Government reforms and sector led initiatives that will provide NFP and charity sector organisations with sustainable solutions and business models. The Blueprint will include options for reform to strengthen social capital and to build a vibrant sector.

The NFP Blueprint is intended to be a visionary document to ensure the NFP and charity sector is ‘future ready’ and to enable the sector to set its own direction to support Australians in need now and in the future.

Terms of Reference

The BERG Terms of Reference were approved in May 2023. Slight revisions made to membership and timeframe was approved by the group on 18 September 2023.

BERG Members

  • Matt Gardiner, CEO, 54 reasons
  • Dr Cassandra Goldie AO, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service
  • Kasy Chambers, Executive Director, Anglicare Australia
  • Catherine Liddle, CEO, SNAICC – National Voice for our Children
  • Mark Pearce, CEO, Volunteering Australia
  • Mary Ann Baquero Geronimo*, CEO, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia
  • Toby oConnor, CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia
  • Jeff Smith, CEO, Disability Advocacy Network Australia
  • Ian Hamm, Chair of the Board of Directors, First Nations Foundation
  • Chris D’Souza**, A/g Group Manager, Department of Social Services

* Formerly Mohammad Al-Khafaji, for period December 2022 to September 2023.
** Formerly Karen Pickering, for the period December 2022 to March 2023.

Expert advisers to BERG:  

  • Professor Jo Barraket AM, Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne
  • Professor David Gilchrist, Director of the Centre for Public Value at the University of Western Australia


Communique for past meetings are below:

BERG consultation

BERG is consulting with the sector and the public to help inform the priority areas for reform. The consultation process is also a chance for individuals and other organisations to engage with the Blueprint development.

BERG and CSAG members developed a NFP Sector Development Blueprint Issues Paper (Blueprint Issues Paper), which was used in consultations with the sector in 2023. Further targeted consultations will be scheduled in 2024 before the NFP Blueprint is finalised.

The Blueprint Issues Paper is available for reference on DSS Engage. The Expert Advisors are reviewing responses received during the 2023 consultations and a synthesis is being prepared to help shape the final NFP Blueprint before it is submitted to the Government. The synthesis and responses (where consent was given) will be published on DSS Engage soon.

Review of philanthropy

The Productivity Commission will deliver an inquiry into philanthropy by May 2024. The Inquiry will help us understand:

  • trends in philanthropic giving in Australia
  • the underlying drivers of these trends
  • opportunities and obstacles to increasing such giving.

The Productivity Commission's draft report is available to review here.

Sector grant funding reforms

In addition to the NFP Blueprint, CSAG has been identified as the key consultation mechanism for the election commitment to a Stronger, more diverse and independent community sector to influence broader grant funding reforms across the Commonwealth and consider options for greater innovation.

Find out more about Community Services Advisory Group

BERG contact details

Contact for more information on the Blueprint.

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