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Connecting Up has had another impressive year, and
it is my pleasure as the Chair of the Board to present
the 2015/2016 report. Connecting Up has listened
to its valued customers, and has delivered based on
feedback and new ideas. Similarly, customer and partner
relationships have been enriched in New Zealand.
Achievements for this year include:
• Improving the reach and capabilities of the
organisations with access to Connecting Up’s products
• Providing a greater range of product and service
• Increasing the depth of education with a focus on
technology to the sector
In addition to these great strategic achievements,
Connecting Up delivered yet another successful
technology conference, held in conjunction with the
inaugural Australian Not-For-Profit Technology Awards.
Combined, the Conference and Awards attracted 400
A lively conference was also held in New Zealand in April.
Many thanks to our New Zealand based board member
James Austin for his contributions, and reminding us of
the importance of technology education and the disparity
in knowledge of the use of IT in the sector. Some small
organisations have limited IT capacity, others have
one or two smart operators, and very few have a sound
technology plan. Our mission is to fill this gap.
I would like to thank Anne Gawen, CEO of Connecting Up,
for her tremendous leadership and horizon scanning,
which has seen Connecting Up enjoy another successful
year. Congratulations to the Connecting Up staff team
for their hard work and unwavering commitment to
the not-for-profit sector. Special mentions go to two of
Connecting Up’s longest serving staff members:
Rosalie Day and Josh Goodwin, who have both departed
Connecting Up to pursue new career opportunities and
life endeavors. Rosalie was with Connecting Up from
the very beginning and helped establish the CISSA
services directory (now SAcommunity), while Josh was
a most successful manager of Business and Partners for
Connecting Up for many years. We are sad to see Rosalie
and Josh leave, but wish them all the very best for the
future. Thank you to the tremendous support of Pankaj
Chhalotre, Executive Manager of Technology Projects and
Services, and Kate Preiss, Executive Manager of Programs
and Sector Development, who have jointly shared the role
of management of Business and Partners since Josh’s
Thank you once again to all of the Connecting Up Board
Members and their ongoing contributions, particularly
at conferences and major events, and their efforts to
circulate and remain in touch with those in the sector. Not
only is this welcoming to the sector but this also provides
insight and first-hand knowledge of sector issues. Andrew
Culley has shared invaluable business advice and input in
the role of treasurer, and Deputy Chair, Jane Brabham has
given wonderful uplift to the group.
We are privileged to be a part of the global network of
TechSoup, working towards the same common goal to
strengthen the not-for-profit sector. Connecting Up are
grateful to major partners TechSoup and Microsoft as
they continue to show confidence in us as their gateway.
Like all, we are challenged to mould our services
to consumer directed care, and will not waver from
our commitment to strengthen the truly invaluable
organisations that make up this great sector.
Sue Vardon AO, Chairperson
Sue Vardon AO
This past year has been exciting and challenging for the
not-for-profit sector globally. Connecting Up’s global
colleagues have reported significant changes around
giving, philanthropy and technology. Policy shifts,
reductions in revenue and the need for accountability are
all factors that have influenced the sector globally.
The term ‘the fourth technology revolution’, used to
describe the enormous changes we are experiencing
driven by technology is becoming much more prevalent.
The changes our world is experiencing are astounding,
and the consequences of these for the not-for-profit sector
cannot be underestimated. The impact of these changes
are highly visible in Australia and New Zealand as the
digital world is moving rapidly.
As a consequence of these changes, in Australia and
New Zealand Connecting Up are experiencing increasing
engagement with organisations, with an average of 220
Australian and 50 New Zealand organisations qualifying
each month for the programs and services offered by
Connecting Up and TechSoup New Zealand. The need for
Connecting Up and TechSoup New Zealand’s offerings
continue to grow. As such, a key goal of this past year has
been to increase available and relevant products, services
and education. Listed in this report is information on the
new products, services and education that Connecting
Up have developed together with Connecting Up’s valued
partners, as well as Connecting Up’s own initiatives.
Connecting Up have achieved much this year, yet there is
still more to provide in the coming years.
A brief overview of achievements this year include:
• Microsoft, Connecting Up’s largest donor partner,
launched Windows 10
• Connecting Up continued to deliver the #GivingTuesday
initiative in both Australia and New Zealand
• The Refurbished Technology for People with Disability
Pilot Program was launched
• The inaugural Australian Technology Awards took place at
the 2016 Connecting Up Conference, and the TechSoup New
Zealand Conference recorded its largest attendance in its
Another focus of Connecting Up this year was to ensure that
not-for-profit organisations have choice regarding their
technology needs including cloud technologies, hardware,
software, ICT services, education programs and directories.
Connecting Up is continually working with local, national
and international partners to provide products and services
at significantly reduced prices (or in many cases, no cost at
all). As such, Connecting Up would like to extend a warm
thank you to all of its major contributing Donations and
Discounts partners throughout 2015/16.
The Connecting Up staff are a vibrant, innovative team with
specialist skills. The Connecting Up staff team continue
to grow with many casual staff and ongoing roles being
developed and filled.
The Connecting Up Board is comprised of 10 highly skilled
professionals who are committed to helping grow the not-
for-profit sector in Australia and New Zealand. Connecting
Up would like to extend a special thank you to Sue Vardon
AO, for being an inspirational chairperson and and playing a
key leadership role for Connecting Up.
As CEO of Connecting Up, and having worked in the not-for-
profit sector for over 20 years, I feel proud of the difference
our sector makes. I am immensely proud of the work
undertaken by the sector to lay the foundation for a greater
community. Connecting Up is committed to supporting the
sector to fulfill its mission.
Anne Gawen, CEO
Interns & Volunteers
Chief Executive of various government departments for 23 years, including
CentreLink and the Department for Correctional Services
Sue Vardon AO
Head of Edge Labs, IAG Labs
Managing Partner, South Australia, Deloitte
Senior ICT Strategist, Government of South Australia
Fundraising Manager, National Foundation, New Zealand
CEO, Community Broad
Senior Manager of
Business Development Manager
More than 25 years leadership
rtments for 23 years, including
t of South Australia
ndation, New Zealand
CEO, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia
Senior Manager of Business Development, RAA
Business Development Manager, Management Consultancy International
More than 25 years leadership experience in information management
Connecting Up continues to assist Australian and New
Zealand not-for-profit organisations to reduce their
technology costs and improve their efficiency through the
adoption of improved systems. In 2015/16, the fair market
value of donated product acquired through Connecting
Up was $45,328,930 in Australia, and $12,431,930 in New
Zealand. This is a significant increase on 2014/15 and
continues increasing the yearly growth of this program.
Connecting Up is justifiably proud of the significant
difference this program makes to organisations in both
The 2015/16 Financial Year saw growth in the Donations
platform with new partners added to both the Australian
and New Zealand platforms. These included:
• Slack: a collaboration application for teams which
includes voice, video and instant messaging
• Go Daddy: an Internet domain registrar and web hosting
• Adobe: While an existing Donations partner, Creative
Cloud for individuals is now available to customers and
proving to be very popular
• Little Green Light: a cloud-based donation software/
not-for-profit CRM, which is an easy-to-use, affordable
donor management system with powerful constituent
• Autodesk: software used to design buildings,
infrastructure, products, entertainment content, and more
The Discounts Program has also undergone expansion in
both Australia and New Zealand, with new partners added
for both programs. New Discounts partners include::
• EMT Distribution: a specialist security supplier with
several offerings including document management and
• Acer: offering new computer hardware to supplement the
existing refurbished program for customers. Prices have
been confirmed by the vendor to be the best available in
Australia through any channel
• LiveTiles: is modern UI design software that lets
organisations build a fully functioning digital workplace over
SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure in minutes.
For the TechSoup New Zealand program, work is underway
to migrate these new Discount Program partners onto this
program. EMT Distribution will be launching in New Zealand
in the second quarter of 2016/17, while LiveTiles and Acer will
be available in New Zealand later in the year.
The year also saw the inception of a new services program,
where Connecting Up work through a services organisation
to allow customers to access installation, commissioning,
design and management support for their IT systems. This
program, in a 6-month pilot phase, went live at the end of the
year and it is hoped that this will be a success for both the
community, the partner and Connecting Up.
The Suppliers Directory which provides the community
with access to support and advice from ICT integrators and
vendors to assist their software and hardware choices, now
contains 422 companies offering services right across the ICT
spectrum. This directory offers great value to suppliers and
the NFP sector.
Fair Market Value
of donated product in 2015/16
was over $57 million in
Australia and New Zealand!
Refurbished Technology for People
with a Disability
In the 2016 Financial Year, Connecting Up extended its
refurbished technology offering to Australians living
with disability, with after sales support available to
facilitate the set-up and use of the technology.
Connecting Up has worked extensively with the
Australian disability sector to ascertain the needs
of people with disability, with access to high-quality
technology at low cost being strongly identified.
Access to services such as the refurbished technology
program is now more important than ever, with the
rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
empowering people with disability with choice and
control to allocate where their resources are spent.
Technology will be a significant enabler in the process of
choice and control. Prior to full project implementation,
Connecting Up will pilot the refurbished technology
program across South Australia and Victoria, partnering
with local disability focused organisations to help deliver
Connecting Up will also conduct a national survey of
accessibility software needs for people with a disability
to inform investigations into the provision of discounted
accessibility software options under this program.
Connecting Up Membership continued to grow this year
with increased interest and promotion boosting the
By the end of the financial year, total Premium
Membership had increased by 20% on the previous
Feedback from members has shown that new
membership tiers introduced in the previous financial
year, Free and Premium Membership, provided clarity
to new members joining Connecting Up.
By introducing membership tiers, membership benefits
were better promoted to Connecting Up’s customer
base. Membership prices and member benefits were
As a result, mentoring became a more popular
membership benefit, with a significant increase on
the number of continued membership renewals –
organisations being supported regularly with their
websites, digital marketing, and more.
Among mentored organisations, Pets4Life, a website
educating people on responsible pet ownership, was able
to use their mentoring and support to set key goals in
their growth. Using learnings from mentoring sessions,
Pets4Life successfully increased their monthly traffic from
150 visits per month to 1500 visits per month over the
course of the financial year.
The link between Premium Membership and other
Connecting Up programs has increased, with benefits
better promoted to Connecting Up’s entire audience.
Conference & Awards
The 2016 Connecting Up Conference was held at the Hawthorn
Arts Centre in Melbourne on the 18-20 May 2016.
This year’s theme was “Advance 2020: Connect. Innovate.
Change”, a positive movement forward to 2020 and beyond for
not-for-profit organisations and their use of technology. This
theme was carried out consistently throughout the sessions,
which were organised into Connect, Innovate and Change
While the offerings of masterclasses, a leadership decision
makers’ breakfast and a dinner as optional programs, in
addition to the main conference sessions, were continued from
previous years, the 2016 Connecting Up Conference brought
several innovations, including:
• A third masterclass which was offered as an optional
program, giving delegates the choice between digital
marketing, finance and technology
• The inaugural Australian Not-For-Profit Technology Awards,
aiming to recognise and celebrate the very best in technology
innovation from across the not-for-profit sector in Australia
• An interactive networking session, the World Café
Feedback on the conference was consistent with previous
conferences with many positive comments and high ratings.
Both keynote speakers, Mark McCrindle and Laura Walker
McDonald were particularly highly rated and a highlight for
majority of delegates.
There were a total of 331 registrations across all conference
programs, representing an increase from 2015. Some of the key
highlights of the event for delegates were:
• The content of the presentations, in particular the keynote
speakers and their delivery, were well received and considered
relevant to organisations
• The quality and practical style of the Masterclasses
• The Australian Not-For-Profit Technology Awards Dinner
New initiatives implemented for the 2016 conference included:
• Presentations delivered in specific formats to ensure
minimum issues affected presentation quality across all
Connecting Up Conference, 18-20 May 2016
Hawthorn Arts Centre, Melbourne
Australian Not-For-Profit Technology Awards
• Transition time was allowed during sessions to ease delegate
movement between rooms. The scheduling and timing of the
sessions was well appreciated by delegates.
• New networking opportunities were provided to delegates in
the form of the World Café activity, which was well received
• The chosen venue was dedicated to the Connecting Up
The inaugural Australian Not-For-Profit Technology Awards,
recognising the very best in technology innovation form across
the Australian not-for-profit sector, was held in conjunction
with this year’s Conference. Taking place on Thursday night (19
May) in the Main Hall of the historic Arts Centre, six categories
of winners were announced, with two commendation awards
also announced on the night. The judging panel consisted of:
• David Locke - Assistant Commissioner,
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
• Anna Howarth - Microsoft Philanthropies Manager,
• Brett Williamson OAM - Volunteering Australia, CEO
• David Spriggs - Infoxchange, CEO
Award winners included:
• Technology Volunteer of the Year
Daniel Billing (Indigenous Reading Project)
• Best Social Media Campaign of the Year
Motor Neurone Disease Australia Inc WINNER
• Using Technology to Connect to the Community,
Best Small/Medium Enterprise (SME)
• Not-For-Profit Technology Lifetime Service Award
Andre Foulon (Manjimup Family Centre)
• Using Technology to Connect to the Community,
Best Government Agency
Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Strategic Engagement
(Government of South Australia)
• Not-For-Profit Technology Innovator of the Year
The 2016 TechSoup New Zealand Conference was the third
New Zealand conference presented by Connecting Up
and TechSoup New Zealand. The conference was held in
Auckland on 11-12 April 2016.
It was the first New Zealand conference presented by
Connecting Up and TechSoup New Zealand to be held
over two days, with the inclusion of three Masterclasses.
The 2016 conference encompassed the theme of
‘Advance: 2020 – Connect. Innovate. Change’, a positive
movement forward to 2020 and beyond for not-for-profit
organisations and their use of technology.
Conference sessions were categorised into two streams
based on the conference theme, Connect and Innovate.
The event received solid feedback and ratings, in regards
to relevance and conference takeaways, particularly from
small not-for-profit organisations (1 to 15 employees).
As in 2015, TechSoup New Zealand (TSNZ) partnered
with the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) for
their annual conferences. The TechSoup New Zealand
Conference was held on 11-12 April, and the FINZ
Conference was held at the same venue on the following
days (13-15 April).
TechSoup New Zealand Conference
Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre
11-12 April 2016
The main conference had a total of 108 registrations, an
increase from 2015. Masterclasses were held for the first time
in New Zealand.
Some of the key highlights of the event for delegates were:
• The content of the presentations and their delivery, which
were well received and considered relevant
• The quality and practical style of the Masterclasses
Initiatives implemented for the 2016 conference included:
• Stronger staff presence, venue technical support and strict
presentation formats ensured minimum issues affected
presentation quality during the conference
• Transition time was implemented during sessions to ease
delegate movement between rooms. The scheduling and timing
of the sessions was well appreciated by delegates
• The conference program was more detailed than the previous
year and changes to sessions were easy to identify
Presentation Content Satisfaction
Feedback on the quality of the speakers and the content delivered was overwhelmingly positive, as indicated
by the post-conference feedback survey completed by attendees below (with 4 indicating a high level of satisfaction).
“Absolutely fantastic conference, I wanted more!
“Very well organised! Very interesting and
helpful! Thank you!”
“Another good conference. Look forward to
coming next year, plenty for me to be considering
back at the shop.”
Events & Training
Commencing in 2012 with the aim of increasing IT capacity
and knowledge across the not-for-profit sector in Australia
and New Zealand, the Connecting Up Events Program has
seen continual growth. From 5 webinars and 8 face-to-
face workshops run in 2011-2012 to 63 webinars, 4 online
courses and 13 face-to-face workshops this financial year.
The program has grown substantially over the past year,
with an increase of 24% in total registrations in FY 2015-
2016 in Australia.
A key focus this financial year was to gather more feedback
and to conduct more research than in previous years, to
ensure the Events Program met the sector’s needs. This saw
Connecting Up running successful webinars, workshops
and online courses throughout the financial year on many
different subjects including:
• Digital storytelling
• Social media
• Email marketing
• IT security
• Adobe products
• Public relations
• Cloud computing
The New Zealand Events Program has also been increasing in
popularity and size, with an increase of 11% in registrations
in FY 2015-2016. While most of the events run by Connecting
Up this year were shared between Australia and New Zealand,
several events were specifically aimed at the New Zealand
not-for-profit sector and its current needs and issues.
• The new Charity Reporting Requirements
• Information Security
The Events Program in both Australia and New Zealand is
promoted to a wide network of members. The program is
promoted through email newsletters, via the websites, social
media, at external events, and via direct customer phone
To ensure relevance of event material, Connecting Up has been
improving and diversifying its collection of feedback from
members and event participants regarding event/training
topics and relevance of the program to their current needs.
During FY 2015-2016, the Events Program has once again been
very well received by participants, with an average of 91% of
participants rating the events as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.
for events & training
for events & training
in New Zealand
SAcommunity – an overview
Connecting Up recognises that communities need reliable,
accessible and current community service information to
assist people in their daily life and allow them to provide
services to others. As such, Connecting Up has continued to
provide the SAcommunity directory service, a comprehensive
online community information service for South Australia.
This service comprises of approximately 14,000 up-to-date
directory entries providing information about government and
community organisations and services.
SAcommunity presents data from a user-centric perspective,
based on the way people seek, use and contribute information.
The service gathers and organises information that is dynamic,
fragmented and dispersed across multiple government and
organisational websites into one collaboratively editable
site. The directory offers a web presence for many small
but valuable organisations and services who may otherwise
struggle to be discovered, allowing them to concentrate their
resources into direct services for the community they assist.
Partners and stakeholders
Connecting Up would like to thank the South Australian
Government for their continued support for this well-utilised
service. The SAcommunity website received more than 1.2
million visits, over 2.1 million page views and reached over
770,000 users over the last 12 months. Connecting Up also
thanks our expansive stakeholder network of government
agencies, councils and libraries, service providers and the
public who work with us to promote, maintain and utilise
Connecting Up staff provide training and support to
SAcommunity’s contributing editors and participate in outreach
activities at the local government level. This year SAcommunity
focused on the Upper Spencer Gulf region to assist to connect
people to services via the directory in order to build community
capacity and resilience in response to recent economic and
and SA Community
Connecting Up is committed to open data and connecting
the community sector. Staff were involved in the GovHack
Unleashed Open Data competition, providing the
SAcommunity dataset and data mentorship to encourage
the creation of innovative new services for public benefit.
In addition, SAcommunity is working with Public Libraries
SA to make SAcommunity available through One Card,
South Australia’s networked library catalogue, over
the next financial year to enhance the use and access
to the directory by library patrons across the state.
SAcommunity communication channels, including the
creation of the SAcommunity film, newsletter, blog and
Twitter account with its over 6,800 followers, continues to
assist in strengthening community sector networks and
Connecting Up volunteers are critical to the continued
maintenance of the directories, they act as organisation
advocates whilst addressing social sector needs through
their work. The Connecting Up volunteer program in
return, provides valuable work experience to people who
are unemployed, underemployed or are undertaking
student placements. Volunteers gain beneficial knowledge
of the community service sector and skills to support their
future careers and job prospects.
A Global Network
Financial Health, year ended 30 June 2016
Fair Market Value of donated products in 2015/16
in Australia and New Zealand
In FY 2014, the TechSoup Global Network had total revenue of US$38.7 million, reinvested
in supporting local communities through TechSoup and our partner NGOs around the world.
*The FY2015 global network savings will be updated once released by TechSoup.
EARNED REVENUE U.S
EARNED REVENUE OUTSIDE OF U.S
Revenues from ordinary activities 4,760,529
Total comprehensive income for the year/(loss) $464,555
For more info go to www.connectingup.org