Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
Preventing and De-escalating NFP Dysfunction: The Role of the Chair
A recurring and often distressed request we hear from NFP chairs and board members is “how to prevent and de-escalate dysfunction”. If only a single answer was big enough to accommodate the range of human values, emotions and agendas one might see expressed by members of an NFP board!1 In this article I discuss some principles that might assist an NFP chair to help prevent dysfunction within the NFP. I do not pretend to have all the answers.
What is a Charitable Company in New Zealand?
A Charitable company is a private limited liability company registered under the Corporations Act and meeting the definition of a charitable entity. In New Zealand Aotearoa a charitable company has been registered as a charity on the Department of Internal Affairs Charities Register, and is eligible to receive a tax exemption. Charitable Company status is a good choice for group members who want to limit the liability of shareholders, retain flexible decision making, and have a trading purpose.
Who Regulates Not-for-Profit Organisations in New Zealand?
In recent years, not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand have seen several legislative changes that have had a big impact on the sector. For starters, organisational activities and community needs, along with board member responsibilities, risks, and legal obligations have all increased. While all not-for-profits are created to benefit the public and their members, not all of them need to register as a charity. The legal structure and status you choose as a non-profit will depend on whether or not the organisation has a charitable purpose and what activities you plan to conduct.
What are NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations)?
NGOs, or Non-Governmental Organisations play an important part in making services accessible to communities around the world. In 2019-2020, NGOs in Australia delivered 2,758 projects in 93 countries. Their work represents more than $1.27 Billion invested in international projects in 2019-2020 alone (ACFID, 2023). While each mandate can differ, NGOs all have a similar interest in developing social capacity in areas where governments may have little to no access or few resources to take action.
B Corps or B Corporations in Australia
B Corps are a special group of for-profit entities that prioritise the needs of workers, communities, the planet, and consumers, and take a socially responsible approach to their business. Australia and New Zealand are home to almost 10% of the world’s B Corps. In terms of legal status, B Corporations are not a specific category of entity per se, but even so, the industry has incorporated standards and best practices.
Strengthening Risk Management at the Board Table
I see lots of risk registers and risk related documents. Some are great and really help board members and executive teams identify, manage and report on the “effect of uncertainty on objectives” (as defined in AS ISO 31000:2018) but many could be strengthened. Ultimately, risk management is a strategic process – looking forward to explore what may happen in the future that will assist or hinder your organisation in achieving its purpose and goals.
What is a Social Enterprise?
In recent years, Australia has faced many social, economic, environmental challenges that have demanded innovative responses and the social enterprise has been one solution. There is a general lack of awareness and understanding of social enterprise. They are not always seen as legitimate businesses despite providing many benefits to the public and their members. A social enterprise is an organisation that operates somewhere between a traditional business model and a charity, raising questions about which governance model and legal structure should be used to manage its activities.
What Are Prescribed Bodies Corporates in Australia?
Prescribed Bodies Corporates (PBCs) represent Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) traditional owner groups. Also called Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate, their legal structure is different from other ATSI corporations. The PBC structure was introduced in 2015 in response to the government’s capacity-building program intended to strengthen Indigenous organisations. The goal was to create more economic benefits and sustainable land management among Indigenous communities in Australia. What are prescribed bodies corporate organisations (PBCs)?
What is board meeting software?
Board meeting software (also known as board portal software) is a specialised online application built for the specific purpose of improving an organisation’s governance and board meetings. This improvement is typically achieved through the software streamlining the administrative tasks a board of directors and their support staff must undertake. Board meeting software can also be used to improve many other types of meetings at the board and executive level, including committee meetings, advisory board meetings, executive team meetings, subcommittee meetings and board task force meetings.
What is a board portal?
A board portal is a secure piece of software, utilised by an organisation’s boards of directors, advisory board, committees, subcommittees, board task forces and their respective members or directors, to manage the ‘business’ of the board. Board portals offer a range of features that can vary depending on the vendor providing the portal service, that allow directors, executives, senior leadership teams, and others organisational leaders who report to the board to interact with and support its work.