New initiative set to help Australia find solutions to our biggest social challenges

A new report from Social Ventures Australia (SVA) has been released today sharing frameworks that aim to help successful social initiatives achieve greater scale and broader impact. Alarming new trends such as heightened loneliness and psychological distress, revealed by the recent Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) report[1], spotlight a handful of the many challenges that Australia’s social sector is working to address and the need for pathways to help successful social initiatives have a positive impact on the lives of more Australians.

According to SVA CEO, Suzie Riddell, “When we are faced with large scale challenges as a society, we need to create large scale solutions. By designing these solutions for this large impact or taking the right existing initiatives and scaling them effectively, we can meet the needs of more people and see a more efficient investment of program funds.”

Bringing together insight from over 400 leaders driving social change, the Impact at Scale Report reveals the key enablers and barriers to achieving impact at scale. Almost four in five (78%) not-for-profit leaders revealed they do not have the funding required to achieve impact at scale and only one in four (25%) have the required resourcing to work towards achieving impact at scale. The report is part of a broader initiative by SVA to identify and overcome these challenges in the Australian context to achieve impact at scale.

“Australia is set to experience some huge opportunities for applying impact at scale. With major changes on the horizon for the NDIS and Workforce Australia, as well as the government’s commitment to universal childcare, now is the perfect time for us to rally as a social impact sector. By applying this expertise that enables large scale design, we can support these reforms and create lasting change for people who need support,” said Riddell.

“We do know though that achieving impact at scale is tough going. Many leaders in the sector are still working to understand the complexities of achieving this. It requires perseverance and problem-solving, a variety of perspectives and approaches and it is a collaborative effort. We created the Impact at Scale Report to contribute to the ongoing conversation and provide tangible examples and frameworks to aid these leaders in transforming promising ideas into widespread impact.”

One such example from the report is the Goodstart Early Learning case study. Dr Ros Baxter, CEO at Goodstart speaking to impact at scale said, “At Goodstart we know that every child should benefit from inclusive high quality early learning. We’ve used our commitment to inclusion and tackling vulnerability to demonstrate what works, and where changes of policy are needed to ensure children experiencing disadvantage aren’t missing out. By testing and learning from our network of 660 centres and driving change through advocacy and research we are driving impact at scale and better outcomes for all Australian children.”

The release of the report follows the SVA Impact at Scale Summit in September 2023, which brought together social sector, government, and social funding leaders with the aim of creating a solution to achieving impact at scale in Australia.

Access your copy of the Impact at Scale Report here.


For more information or an interview with CEO SVA, Suzie Riddell, please contact:

Shannon O’Mara

+61 407 770 994


About Social Ventures Australia (SVA)

SVA is Australia’s leading social innovation organisation. We help institutions think differently, we redesign systems, and work hand-in-hand with our partners and communities to take real action and make positive social change.

[1] The University of Melbourne, HILDA data shows psychological distress rising, loneliness highest amongst young people