Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
What is the difference between a non-profit organisation and a charity?
In Australia: Despite its liberal colloquial use, the term “charity” actually has a very specific meaning in Australian law. Only some types of organisations are recognised as charities. Charities are a type of non-profit organisation. Not all non-profit organisations are charities but all charities must be not for profit. In order to be legally recognised as a charity, an organisation must meet a strict set of requirements and be endorsed by both the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and the Australian Taxation Office.
Cultural Intelligence (CQ) for Not-for-Profit Organisations
If your not-for-profit organisation serves a diverse community, has stakeholders (staff, volunteers, donors) who come from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background, or operates in multiple different locations, then cultural intelligence has a direct effect on the success of your programs and services. Culture refers to the total way of life of a group of people. It comprises everything that a group of people thinks, says, does and makes — deposit of knowledge, systems, beliefs, values, roles, art, habits, cuisines, symbols and attitudes.
An NFP Dispute: a Tale of Two Hugs
Summary This story concerns a cultural group that formed a church in a Melbourne suburb to promote their faith. During 2019 an “us and them” culture developed with a new church committee adopting an authoritarian populist governance style. I do not make judgment about that style but mention it to set the scene. I acted for certain members (the “accused” members) who faced accusations from the committee and the committee’s associates.
Evaluating the CEO: essentials for not-for-profit boards
Like any employee, your CEO needs a regular formal evaluation of their performance in the role. It holds the CEO accountable to their role, but also ensures that the board is actively meeting its duties to their organisation. The benefits of doing a proper CEO evaluation is invaluable. Growth Evaluations provide a CEO with an overview of their efforts. It helps them understand their strengths and weaknesses and gives them direction for areas where they can continue developing professionally.
Good Governance in remote Australia – it’s closer than you think
There are remote areas all over Australia, across Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and NSW; but the Northern Territory classifies as entirely remote and very remote1. The population of the Territory is small, at around 240,000 people – that’s about the size of Wollongong. There are many highly skilled and experienced board members and potential board members in the Northern Territory. However, the small population and high transience of skilled professionals means that ensuring there is the right mix of skill sets (finance, legal, leadership, marketing, fundraising,) as well as member representation, local level knowledge, content expertise and regular board renewal – it’s a really big ask for many boards.
Keeping Charity and NFP Governance Front of Mind: The Pre- and Post-Merger Quandary
With an increasing number of charities and not-for-profit organisations considering mergers and acquisitions, it is important for directors and management to keep governance front of mind. When governance is strong, it can keep your organisation grounded through the changes and uncertainty that will inevitably arise during merger and acquisition activity. However, with the myriad of factors at play during a transaction and the increased pressures on directors and management, it can be easy for governance considerations to take a back seat or become about ensuring baseline compliance.
Reversing the Onus of Proof: a Proactive Response to Preventing Abuse Within NFPs
Legislation that creates a statutory duty of care is likely to have an important impact on the governance culture of not-for-profit organisations involved in caring and supervising children, but it also presents some challenges if that culture is to change. Background Changes to the law are appearing throughout Australia to create a statutory duty of care for organisations involved with caring and supervising children1. The changes mean that a child abuse survivor does not need to prove that the relevant organisation has a duty of care; instead, the organisation must be able to prove that it took reasonable precautions to avoid liability.
Unlocking the Power of Strategic Thinking and Planning
How do you think and plan strategically to address complex missions while balancing resource and workforce constraints? It’s an important question for the non-profit, philanthropy and social enterprise sector. Being strategic appears to be critical if organisations wish to be sustainable and improve employee and client outcomes, yet many non-profit leaders and staff frequently say that they can’t find the time to think or plan strategically. Clever organisations are overcoming this problem by instilling strategic thinking within their organisational culture.
Developing Deeper and More Strategic Partnerships with Business: A Framework for Moving Forward
Corporations are now interested in social sector partnerships for much more strategic reasons than they have been in the past. How can NFP CEOs take advantage of this trend? For years NFPs have been partnering with corporations, tapping into resources via their philanthropic and social responsibility agendas. However, we are now seeing the emergence of strategic relationships driven by the pressure on companies to find new sources of shareholder value, and this presents game-changing opportunities for NFPs.
The Fundamentals of Good Governance, Post-Hayne
The recent Hayne Royal Commission highlighted some failures in governance in the banking and financial services industry and considered whether banks and financial services organisations had lived up to community expectations. Not-for-profit and for-purpose organisations have much to learn from the recent Royal Commission, as community expectations are crucial to their purpose and their viability. In essence, the Hayne Royal Commission advocates a focus on and a sharpening of good governance fundamentals: governing for purpose, role clarity, improved capability and the importance of culture.