Articles about governance in non-profit organisations.
The Journey To A Customer Driven Marketplace
Do you have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of Good Governance? Does your board and executive understand what it needs to do to win in the new customer driven marketplace? The strategic and organisational impacts and implications of the new customer-driven, competitive marketplace are profound. Never before and probably never again will the boards, chief executive officers and senior managers of Australian community businesses (NFPs) face such a cataclysmic shift in the way they need to think, behave and operate.
Welcoming and Initiating New Board Members
Board transitions are a great opportunity to renew and invigorate a board. New board members can bring enthusiasm, a fresh perspective and new ideas to the table. Yet joining a board can be a daunting experience and transitions are most successful when boards properly orientate their new directors to the cultures and practices of their organisation. The difficulties of attracting new board members has been widely written and spoken about in non-profit governance discourse but securing a desirable candidate is only the first step in the process of renewing a board’s membership.
What Makes a Great Company Secretary?
What Makes a Great Company Secretary? At one of our recent webinars on the Role of the Company Secretary, Kristy Huxtable, Head of Company Secretariat at Australian Retirement Trust, shared insights from her experiences in the role. We’ve gathered together some key points from the webinar into a brief article to assist those donning the Company Secretary hat. A boardroom can be an intimidating setting. For it to be less so, each person involved in an NFP’s management and its board should understand the intricacies of their given role.
Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Next Board Review
Five fatal flaws to avoid in your next board review: 1. A lack of purpose, rather than a lack of talent 1 Ask yourself, why are we doing a board review? If the answer is, we are required to do so under our board charter, then beware, you are missing a great opportunity. Boards are encouraged to stand back and reflect on where their organisation is on its journey of development and how the board is operating in this context.
Directors Duties – Understanding Core Business
Directors' duties, as prescribed by law, set the scene for how a board constructs and operationalises its governance model and structure, roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures and undertakes its work and activities. Beyond directors' duties, a shared understanding between directors of the key concepts underlying their organisations (and their practical application) provides for more effective agreement on how their board and organisation will be configured, thereby enabling fundamental governance principles and practices to be enacted.
How to Handle Conflicts of Interest On Your Not-for-profit Board
Conflicts of interest are likely to arise in any not-for-profit organisation. How you manage them can improve or damage your organisation’s reputation. A conflict of interest arises when the interests of a not-for-profit organisation’s leadership, or their friends or family, conflicts with the best interests of the organisation. The three prongs to handling conflicts of interest are: identifying them, putting steps in place to prevent them, and managing them well when they arise.
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.
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.