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The ChangePath blog
Thinking about Australian charity

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ChangePath’s next phase

The next phase in ChangePath’s journey has begun with our new beta site. We’re proud to announce significant improvements to ChangePath – more charities, more information, and more functionality. You can help us by using the new site and letting us know your feedback.

You can visit the new site here.

New features on the site include:

  • Impact tracking – ChangePath now includes information on the outcomes that charities are creating. One of our most requested features, charities can now add what their outcomes are as well as how they track their impact.
  • 35,000+ charities – thanks to new algorithmic ratings, ChangePath has had a significant boost from 900 charities to over 35,000.
  • Charity login – charities can now create free ChangePath accounts that allow editing and adding new information to their ChangePath page (such as outcomes). Any edits that would affect the score for the organisation must be approved by a ChangePath staff member.
  • Better filters – thanks to the new programs data from CLASSIE, you can now filter charities by exactly what they do.
  • New information – ChangePath now includes quotes from privacy policies, data on programs, the management/team page for an organisation, and more.

With these new features comes a new design and new scoring badge for charities to proudly display their ChangePath rating. Importantly, the ChangePath scoring methodology has been updated, and scores are now given for three attributes:

  1. Transparency – whether the charity makes financial and organisational data easily available online (score out of 5)
  2. Financial sustainability – how the charity has managed its resources (score out of 5)
  3. Outcomes – whether the charity has provided information about its outcomes and how it measures them to ChangePath (seal, bronze to gold).
The new ChangePath scoring badges

Note that a charity’s rating is not affected by whether they have an account (beyond the fact that they can notify ChangePath more easily of errors).

Your help would be much appreciated. This is a new site, with new functionality. While we have done our best, it is very likely that there are still errors and bugs lurking in the site. Please let us know if you find any by using the “give feedback on beta” link on the right of the site pages or by using this link: beta feedback.

This new site would not be possible without our generous donors and supporters, as well as our volunteers. Thank you to you all.

Meet the ChangePath CEO

I am excited to join ChangePath and assist the organisation in its next stage of growth.

My experience is primarily in the not-for-profit sector. It is my passion! I actively volunteer, work and donate in the sector and understand the challenges and benefits for individuals engaging charities as well as not-for-profit organisations seeking volunteers and donors.

It is a very competitive market, with each charity essentially seeking the same two areas of support/engagement-volunteers and funds (donors, grants etc). The charity sector is continually growing in Australia, as we collectively aim to address social economic, racial and environmental issues in our country. In order to help those most vulnerable, isolated and those without a voice, there are over 54,000 registered charities with Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission and many more who aren’t currently registered for a variety of reasons.

As an individual donor, volunteer or business seeking ways to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility values, navigating the not-for-profit sector can be complex, confusing and even frustrating at times. It can be difficult to access essential information (e.g. Annual and Financial Reports) that may assist in choosing a not-for-profit to support.

ChangePath aims to empower donors, volunteers and businesses by creating on online platform and star rating system.

However, we recognise that with only 888 charities listed on our website, we have some work to do to ensure that ChangePath is relevant and engaging for the general public for many years to come. This includes:

  • Increasing the number of charities listed on ChangePath
  • Providing greater diversity in the charity causes featured on the site (e.g. animal welfare, humanitarian or environmental)
  • Reflect the changing landscape of volunteering, corporate volunteering and workplace giving
  • Assisting charities with lower star rating to obtain higher star rating

Providing greater diversity in the charity causes featured on the site (e.g. animal welfare, humanitarian or environmental) Reflect the changing landscape of volunteering, corporate volunteering and workplace giving Assisting charities with lower star rating to obtain higher star rating

In 2019, we envision a year of growth, innovation and creativity as we evaluate new ideas and partnerships that aim to empower the not-for-profit sector and individuals seeking volunteer opportunities, one off or ongoing donations.

This will include the development and implementation of communication and marketing plans, revising ChangePath’s Volunteer Strategy, developing a Strategic Plan, increasing resources and communication regarding the not-for-profit sector, increasing the number of charities listed on ChangePath and more!

However, we can’t achieve this without your support.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sam Thorp, Founder and previous CEO for his valued contribution as CEO for the past year. Sam’s forward thinking, vision and passion for the industry and understanding of the challenges facing the charity sector, has enabled him to found ChangePath and in doing so, he has assisted in empowering countless donors and volunteers to make an informed decision when choosing a charity to support, as well as encouraging charities in their process to become more transparent.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the Committee members for their skilled and valuable contribution as well as our new volunteer Casey, who has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to update financial reports and increasing the number of charities listed on ChangePath.

Most of all, I would like to sincerely thank our members, subscribers, donors and supporters.

Vicki Meyer
Chief Executive Officer

Where we’re headed next

We’ve just launched a series of huge changes to the ChangePath website, but we’re not ones to rest on our laurels. We’re already working on some big plans for the next iteration. Obviously, not all of these will come to fruition. In fact, judging by our last big update, there will be a lot of stuff left on the cutting room floor by the time we’re happy with it. But think of this as an indication of what we’re thinking about.

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Welcome to the next stage of ChangePath

Welcome to ChangePath, Australia’s only charity rating organisation. We’re launching a lot of big changes today (including, in a metatextual twist, the blog this is being written on), but before I outline those let’s talk about what ChangePath is.

ChangePath exists, at a basic level, to help Australian donors and charities find each other. We’re here to help people who want to donate, but aren’t sure who to.

Continue reading

Overview and rules

What this blog is

Welcome to the ChangePath blog, here to bring together interesting articles, ideas, and discussions about charity in Australia. This is a conversational blog, not a news service or series of media releases (you can find those in our media section). Rather, it will have a series of opinion pieces on a wide range of topics. While we will always endeavour to fact-check our articles and provide sources where possible, caveat lector [act_tooltip title=”(1)” content=”I was going to say caveat emptor but you’re not really buying anything, so caveat lector it is.”] The opinions expressed are those of the authors, not of ChangePath itself (unless we say otherwise). Hopefully this will keep it lively and entertaining.

Why start a blog?

  1. To share our thinking on Australian not-for-profits and to help people to understand the benefits and pitfalls of assessing charity.
  2. To create something interesting and valuable that encourages people to visit.
  3. To give you, the visitor, the ability to add to the ChangePath discussion.

On language

At ChangePath, you will find us using ‘not-for-profit’ and ‘charity’ somewhat interchangably. This is, technically, incorrect – charities are a subset of not-for-profits, but not all not-for-profits are charities. However, this distinction is one the general public aren’t generally aware of, so we’re quite lax about it as well. If we’re referring specifically to something relevant to charities but not other not-for-profits, we’ll flag it in the sentence.

Comments and moderation

As implied by that last point, comments will be enabled on the site. This is swimming against the tide of the internet at this point, but I’m of the opinion that there’s more to gain from hearing your opinion than there is to lose from opening the internet floodgates.

This does not, however, mean I’m naïve about the way the internet works. The comments on this site will be strictly and unapologetically moderated. All of the normal things (no racism, no sexism, no bullying, no general awfulness, etc) apply, plus a general overall requirement for broadly-defined civility. Of course, you’re entitled to disagree with the content of a post as much as you like, but if you don’t do it in a civil manner your comment won’t go anywhere. This is Australia, we don’t have a right to free speech [act_tooltip title='(2)’ content=’Well, kinda. See this article.’].

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