Articles written By Better Boards
Better Boards connects the leaders of Australasian non-profit organisations to the knowledge and networks necessary to grow and develop their leadership skills and build a strong governance framework for their organisation.
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.
How are non profits regulated in Australia?
When it comes to Australia’s non profits and their regulation, it is critical to know which organisations to turn to. The administration of not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) is a complex business. Whether an organisation is regulated by a state-based or Commonwealth body will largely depend on its legal structure. Certain organisations may face additional regulation based on their activities, for example, if they are a charity or part of a highly regulated sector such as aged care.
What is a Charitable Trust?
When establishing a non-profit organisation, founders can choose from a large range of legal forms, including registering a charitable trust. Your organisation’s legal structure will determine the types of activities you can legally carry out and which law you will need to comply with. In this case, your organisation must follow the rules set out in the Charitable Trust Act. Find out more about other types of legal structures by reading our legal structure factsheet.
What is an Organisation formed by Royal Charter or by Special Act of Parliament?
Organisations formed by Royal Charter or by Special Act of Parliament are some of Australia’s oldest and largest non-profits. In the past, organisations formed by Royal Charter were administered by the Prime Minister’s Office, but it now “avoid[s] recommendation of such nonprofit forms.”1 New organisations adopting this structure are now rarely established. The status does, however, have historical significance. An organisation formed by a Special Act of Parliament, on the other hand, is a designation bestowed on entities making a significant contribution in their field, such as universities.
What are the different legal structures of non-profit organisations in Australia?
There are many different non-profit structures that organisations use in Australia. Among them are unincorporated associations, incorporated associations, companies limited by guarantee, cooperatives, charitable trusts, organisations formed by Royal Charter or by Special Act of Parliament, and Indigenous corporations. The Australian government uses not-for-profit and non-profit interchangeably to describe organisations and the sector, along with other terms such as voluntary organisations (VOs) and non-government organisations (NGOs). Third Sector non-profit organisations share similar characteristics: they are non-governmental, they are value-driven rather than profit-driven, and they reinvest financial surpluses to further their objectives.
What is the difference between a charity and not for profit organisation?
In Australia, there is a clear difference between a charity and not for profit organisation. 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. 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 and qualify for charitable tax exemption status.
A meeting agenda is a document that provides a high level outline of the topics that are going to be discussed at a specific meeting. Ideally the Agenda is prepared and distributed in advance of the meeting to ensure that all attendees are able to come to the meeting prepared and aware of the topics that will be discussed. The agenda provides a roadmap for the meeting, helping to keep the discussion on track and ensuring that all important topics are covered.
An in-camera meeting or session is a meeting (or a part of a meeting) of an organisation’s board of directors that specifically excludes others such as executives or staff. The term “in camera” is Latin for “in a chamber” or “in private,” and these meetings provide the board with the opportunity to discuss sensitive or confidential matters, such as potential conflicts, legal issues, or sensitive financial information. Boards of not-for-profit organisations deliberate on a range of issues, from the mundane to highly sensitive and contentious matters.
Governance is how organisations are run by their board. It refers to the systems, structures, processes, and practices through which organisations are directed and controlled by their board of directors. It encompasses a variety of areas including decision-making, policy setting, risk, assurance and strategic allocation of resources to achieve the organisation’s objectives effectively. Good governance is essential for the success of an organisations and ensuring it flourishes in the future. It ensures that an organisation operates transparently, accountably, and in the best interests of their stakeholders.