RESET 2020 logo, free resources and advice to help the social sector
Free resources and advice to help the social sector

RESET 2020 – Supporting the social sector through COVID-19

The RESET 2020 project has been one of the social sector's most collaborative projects and demonstrated what we are capable of when we come together.

We extend our appreciation and gratitude to all who have been involved as funding partners, outreach partners, speakers, researchers, and the dedicated team behind the scenes. The work doesn't stop here, and we invite you to join us on the next steps.

What is RESET 2020?

In March 2020, as the potential impacts of COVID-19 began to unfold, Benefolk realised that it was likely to have a profound impact on the social sector.

We wanted to do something to ensure that the organisations that do so much to support our society had the support they needed to survive the pandemic.

Equity Trustees, through their Sector Capacity Building Fund, came on board, and together we developed RESET 2020. Very quickly, we had support from ACNC, Fundraising Institute Australia, Philanthropy Australia and many other peak bodies and sector leaders encouraging this response, which culminated in 25 outreach partners by November 2020. 

The Program involved a program of free resources and advice, delivered via live broadcasts. The topics for each session were informed by the insights from the RESET 2020 National Impact+Need Research Study, which revealed some of the impacts of COVID-19, and the changing needs of the social sector.

How can I use the data?

Data from phases 1 and 2 is available on the Seer platform, thanks to our partners Equity Trustees.

The portal is interactive, and can be segmented and personalised to display your areas of interest.

Choose to view the results from one or both phases – or compare the two for in-depth analysis.


What impact did RESET 2020 have?

The project exceeded everyone's expectations, and has been recognised as one of the most collaborative sector projects of 2020.

We are very proud to say the findings are still being shared in articles and at conferences, have been used widely, including:

  • In the Social Ventures Australia/Centre for Social Impact advocacy work 
  • By the Crisis Charities Council and shared widely by the Community Council of Australia 
  • By grantmakers to inform their grantmaking practice and policies
  • By many organisations to inform and advocate with internal and external stakeholders.

The findings have also been shared:

  • In media articles and interviews by more than 100+ media outlets across Australia
  • In webinars and conferences in 2020, 2021 and 2022 including Fundraising Institute of Australia, NSW Volunteering Conference, and the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand Conference.

The project also helped to put a spotlight on the wellbeing of the 1.2 million employees and 5 million volunteers in our sector, ensuring that the focus did not entirely go to beneficiaries. The project illustrated that we must continue to advocate for the wellbeing, sustainability and viability of our sector and its most precious resource, its people. The graphic below showing the pre-COVID and during-COVID rates of burnout will continue to be our north star as we continue to practise collaboration, provide new solutions and advocate for a wellbeing-led recovery.

With Equity Trustees' endorsement, we have since made the research study available to peak bodies and grantmakers who are seeking to have their own professionally run deep dive into the impacts and needs of their communities. So far, we have run a similar study for FRRR – the 'Heartbeat of Rural Australia' Research Study'  Read more here.

RESET 2020 Burnout Index How often did you feel

What is happening next?

The RESET 2020 project is evolving as follows:

  • Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub Development - We are currently working with partners to fund Stage 1 of a Wellbeing and Resilience Hub, addressing the gaps in support, advice and services available to social purpose organisations, 
  • Social Sector Wellbeing Advocacy - The RESET 2020 findings continue to be used by peak bodies to advocate for the sector and its people,
  • Social Sector Research Deep Dives - We have been able to look deeper at the impacts on rural and regional Australia, by providing the RESET 2020 team to run 'The Heartbeat of Rural Australia' research study for Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), and making our services availabe to peak bodies and grantmakers who require a deep dive to better understand their community's needs.
  • Collective Access - We worked with RESET 2020 partners and our specialist consultants to deliver The Social Sector Video Library with 100 new free videos providing support and advice for our sector. It launched in July 2022 and was funded by NSW Department of Communities and Justice..

We advance this work through Benefolk Foundation - and invite philanthropic, corporate and government partners to join us. Read more about the Foundation role/purpose here.

To be involved with our next steps, or to learn more, please reach out to Annette Herschtal, Manager, Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub, Benefolk Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“In times of rapid change, it is critical that we don’t make assumptions about what is happening on the ground. Grass-roots feedback that comes directly from community experience is so important in building insight and understanding.

The RESET 2020 Impact+Need Study was a great opportunity to hear the voices and experiences of smaller charities and NFPs as they adapted and responded to COVID-19.”



Benefolk Logo
Equity Trustees Logo

Supported by Equity Trustees through the Sector Capacity Building Fund


Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal logo
Philanthropy Australia logo
Fundraising Institute of Australia logo
Australian Community Philanthropy logo
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission logo
Social Change Central logo
Probono Australia logo
The NonProfit Alliance logo
Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation logo


"Thank you Benefolk (formerly The Xfactor Collective) and Equity Trustees for the opportunity to engage in these free programs. At a time when there is so much need, but uncertainty around philanthropy and how best to approach it, the practical insights shared by your exceptional panelists have been invaluable."

"The RESET 2020 program delivered by Benefolk (formerly The Xfactor Collective) is greatly needed by Australia’s for purpose sector. Indeed, we are fortunate that Julia Keady possesses understanding of all sides of the sector, together with the networks and passion to deliver what the sector is crying out for: access to best practice knowledge, creativity and resources. As a presenter the program was flawlessly run, with timely briefings, pre-prepared questions, seamless IT. But I’ve also listened in as a practitioner to sessions on ‘events in the Covid-19 world and others’."

"The RESET 2020 series was outstanding! Fabulous quality of speakers with such insight it was impossible not to get value from the time spent on line. In a time when webinars are so prolific it is essential to choose carefully and I am delighted I chose RESET 2020. I just wish there were more of these practical and informative sessions. Congratulations to Benefolk (formerly The Xfactor Collective) for such innovation and information. Nothing but the best."

“Many will ask themselves how they responded to the pandemic. RESET 2020 provided me as the Director and Founder of Real Time Learning with so much inspiration and encouragement in challenging times. Thank you to those funders that made this series possible. Each session provided valuable input that I was able to share with my team and apply in very meaningful ways. The word often used to describe such times was ‘unprecedented’. I liken these times to sailing a ship through unchartered waters. Leading in these times takes courage and can be lonely at times. Julia and her panels made a difference by helping participants see the challenges the pandemic posed as opportunities and I look forward to tuning in to upcoming sessions of RESET 2020!"