The Social and Economic Value of Country-based Community Service Organisations Research being undertaken by the University of South Australia in collaboration with Uniting Country SA and Centacare Catholic Country SA indicates that every dollar spent by Country domiciled Community Service organisations returns 2.3 times the dollar value into local communities. “Caring for Country People” is the driving force behind Uniting Country SA and its involvement in a research project called “The Social and Economic Value of Country-based Community Service Organisations”. The aim of this research was to determine the economic contribution that organisations based in the country are making in their local communities. This contribution occurs directly through their own purchasing and indirectly through the wages spent by people they employ, and suppliers they engage. The findings in this study suggest there are enormous social, civic and economic benefits of choosing to support country based non-government community service organisations and the significant role they play in underpinning and supporting local economies and vibrant communities. This research found that for every dollar spent, either directly or indirectly by country based non-government organisations a return of 2.3 times the dollar effect is felt by local communities which is a significant return on investment into their social and economic wellbeing. In addition, the findings show that this investment leads to increased volunteering in local communities. “Having our organisation based regionally not only provides valuable services to our clients, through our programs, but importantly, supports local communities through our spending.” Anthea Pavy CE, Uniting Country SA The research demonstrates the value that country based non-government community service organisations have to the country regions of South Australia. “In the current South Australian policy space of regional development, the value of social service provision is often overlooked as an economic contributor. What this research highlights, is that local service delivery has benefits that cut across both social and economic domains. It is an important factor to consider in discussions about developing regional South Australia.” Dr Jen Cleary, CEO Centacare Catholic Country SA Download the research here.