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



1. What is RESET 2020?

RESET 2020 is an initiative of Benefolk, supported by the Equity Trustees Sector Capacity Building Fund and other social purpose sector leaders. It’s a project designed to support the social purpose sector through the current pandemic. As part of RESET 2020, Benefolk conducted two national research surveys that mapped the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on the social sector, and used the insights to create and share free resources and support. The first survey was conducted in May and enabled us to produce bi-weekly live and interactive Q&A sessions with prominent sector leaders. These live broadcasts and Q&A sessions featured 15 subject matter specialists across a broad range of topics from change and culture, communications and marketing, governance and strategy, fundraising and partnerships, technology and e-commerce – and can all be viewed here.

The second survey has just closed, and the insights will inform what further support will be made available in the next coming months.

2. What are the objectives of the Research Study?

  • To understand the current and immediate impacts for the social sector as a result of COVID-19 and its impact especially in terms of viability, staffing, ability to fulfill normal activities and mental health
  • To determine the immediate support and / or intervention requirements for these organisations (recognising it may be different depending on circumstances)
  • To understand anticipated impacts over the longer term and where support and interventions may need to change
  • To establish a baseline from which future research can be tracked
  • To determine what interventions and support have had a positive impact (provides learnings for the future)
  • To feed into the development of the ongoing program of live presentations by Benefolk to start to address the most important issues identified

3. Who is designing and managing the research project?

RESET 2020 is an initiative of Benefolk, with the support of Equity Trustees, and is a collaborative effort involving many of Benefolk’s specialist business members. One of the Foundation Members of Benefolk, is Survey Matters, who are a leading research agency in the social purpose sector. Founders Brenda Mainland and Rebecca Sullivan bring 30+ years market research experience to the project. Survey Matters is part of an internal Project Control Group overseeing the design and delivery of RESET 2020.

4. What are the phases of research?

Phase 1: The first phase started with a national survey launched in April 2020. This survey informed the first tranche of the program topics for the LIVE shows that aired soon after. The data from this phase is now available in our interactive data portal.

Phase 2: This phase contained a second survey that was conducted across September and October to monitor the ongoing and evolving impacts of COVID-19 on the social sector. The full dataset is now available in our interactive data portal. The insights from Phase 2 will inform the kind of support made available in the future.

Phase 3: As the impacts of COVID-19 continues to change, the study may be repeated again in 2021, to track evolving needs and determine what further support is required.

5. How will the findings be shared?

All collation and sharing of the interim and detailed findings, plus subsequent Interval Tracking, is managed by Benefolk, in consultation with Equity Trustees. We have decided to share the findings far and wide, for the benefit of the wider sector.

The findings from both surveys are available on our interactive data platform, and in downloadable reports.

6. What are the data privacy measures behind the research project?

Survey Matters are Company Partners of the Australian Marketing and Social Research Society (AMSRS), and bound by its standards and code of professional behaviour. Survey Matters complies with the National Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act). In addition to adhering to the Australian privacy laws and regulations, Survey Matters Privacy Policy also extends to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR).

Survey Matters uses an Australian-developed and hosted survey platform called SurveyManager to conduct quantitative surveys. Data collected through this instrument is stored securely in Australia and Survey Matters has the ability to de-identify any personal information that may be captured during the course of conducting a survey. This platform are also researchers, and their product is in use in many sensitive State and Federal Government departments including the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

7. Who is Benefolk?

Benefolk is an impact enterprise with a social mission and purpose of building the infrastructure for social changemakers to connect, collaborate and innovate. Benefolk consists of a growing national network of 50+ specialist consultants and businesses, working across 300 areas of specialisation. The Collective makes it easier for social changemakers to find trusted support and advice from pre-vetted specialists, and RESET 2020 delivers on the Collective’s mission to improve the wellbeing of all social changemakers by creating opportunities to access support and advice in an equitable way.

Read more about Benefolk here

8. Who is supporting the program?

RESET 2020 is generously supported by The Ruth Watchorn Estate, Theodotus John Sumner Charitable Trust, and the Charles & Jessie Strong Trust, through the Equity Trustees Sector Capacity Building Fund.

RESET 2020 is also supported by a growing group of outreach partners including Philanthropy Australia, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Centre for Social Impact, Social Ventures Australia, Community Council of Australia, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, Pro Bono Australia, Fundraising Institute of Australia, Australian Community Philanthropy, Social Change Central, Non Profit Alliance, StartSomeGood and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation


All enquiries about the initiative can be submitted here