Recovering from the Pandemic: The Society’s Overall Financial Sustainability

After careful budgeting, the Society is projected to deliver a small $0.1 million surplus net operating budget in 2023 (excluding profit or loss on sale of properties, asset revaluations, Job Keeper, and Job Saver), assuming there are no further lockdowns or other restrictions. This will help ease the burden of the previous deficits, and ensure we move towards our goal of achieving financial sustainability. Overall, we are in a good position, as long as we continue to manage the budget carefully.

The last couple of years have, however, been challenging for the Society, especially due to the impact of lockdowns and restrictions associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our shops were closed for long periods of time affecting our key income stream, and we were unable to fundraise in our usual ways. At the same time, some areas saw an increased demand for services and support because of the impact of the pandemic on already disadvantaged and marginalised peoples.

In the 2022 financial year, the Society budgeted for a small net deficit of $0.2 million and performed well for the months when we were not impacted by pandemic lockdowns. Lockdowns in NSW kept most of our shops and Container Deposit Scheme sites closed for up to three and a half months and the Society ultimately suffered a loss of revenue of $20 million.  The latest forecast projects an operating deficit of $13.5m, including SVDP Housing, which represents a significant loss. Such losses were unfortunately a standard occurrence across the non-profit sector during this period and we are not unique.

‘Enterprise Sustainability’ is one of the priorities of the Society’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. Following the unavoidable losses over recent financial years, it’s important to ensure we have the means to continue to fulfill our mission and deliver the services and assistance people experiencing disadvantage need. Continued prudent financial management will be essential to our long-term viability.

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