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Sustainability Reporting in NPOs

Social AND Ecological? Sustainability Reporting in NPOs: Challenges, Hurdles, Potentials

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Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) play a central role in Austria. Due to the new sustainability reporting (SR) requirements of the EU taxonomy, many NPOs will have to submit sustainability reports from 2025, some mandatory, others through external pressure. This poses a challenge for them as they suffer from budget and time constraints. The aim of this project is to provide a joined-up thinking on sustainability, strategic direction and impact. Expectations of NPOs on social sustainability need to be linked to environmental expectations, which may reveal blind spots. Heterogeneous NPO governance structures pose additional hurdles.

A mixed-methods research design is applied. Based on literature research and processing of internal sec-ondary data, specific features of SR for NPOs will be elaborated first. Qualitative (action research) interviews with key persons of selected NPOs will provide valuable inputs from practice. The aim is to ascertain the status quo, motives, hurdles and potentials. While larger NPOs are mostly already taking first steps in the field of SR, others are still at the beginning. Therefore, an exchange between the organisations will be facilitated. In addition, stakeholder dialogues with advisory services, research and experts are to take place through an innovative event with a two-way flow of information that combines content-related impulses with networking and information gathering from the NPOs.

The final report will be composed of findings from interviews & event, their linkage with SR theory, NPO governance & impact analysis, general recommendations to NPOs for SR and policy recommendations if applicable. In order to generate long-term added value, special focus will be put on the development of improvement strategies. It is also intended to create a kind of recurring forum in which NPOs can ex-change and inform themselves about various aspects of SR in the future.

The project is funded by the climate research programme StartClim 2023.


Mag.rer.soc.oec. Eva More-Hollerweger

Eva More-Hollerweger

Senior Researcher, Chairperson of the NPO Institute (Association)
Responsibilities: Responsibilities: NPOs, Civil Society, Volunteering, Evaluations and Strategic Management.
Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Schöggl, B.Sc.

Stefan Schöggl

Responsibilities: Impact Analyses, SROI Analyses, Social Innovation, Thematic Areas: Education, Culture, Social-Ecological Sustainability