Non-Profits and Trademarks: The Power of the Brand
How significant is the good name, image and branding of your non-profit organisation? Can your organisation prevent others trading off of its reputation? For most not-for-profits (NFPs), their brand and associated reputation is their most important asset. As such, how can NFPs protect this valuable asset? The answer is simple: by registering a trademark_*. A Leading NFP NFPs, like other corporations, benefit from strong branding and trademark protection. For example, research by the Salvation Army reveals that their Red Shield logo is recognised by 92 per cent of the Australian public1.
Political Lobbying and Your Charitable Status
Almost a year to the day after the Word Investments case, the ATO has suffered another loss in the High Court of Australia. This time, in the case of Aid/Watch Incorporated v Commissioner of Taxation, the High Court found that Aid/Watch is a charitable institution despite the fact that its activities are mainly directed at influencing government decisions i.e., lobbying. The High Court’s decision is welcome news to the many not for profit organisations that lobby government as a means of achieving their charitable objectives.
NFP Crisis Management – Well Whadya Know
I was called in recently by a small not for profit CEO to help out with what we lawyers call some ‘crisis management’. The organization was being pursued by Fair Work Australia for some breaches of the new workplace laws. It was apparent to me that the problem arose not because they were trying to rip off their staff but its genesis lay in a simple malaise, ignorance – the CEO simply didn’t know about the particular law that they had breached.
Application of Federal Workplace Laws To Nonprofits
As a result of the referral of power by most States to the Commonwealth over industrial matters as of 1 January 2010, most not for profit organisations are now covered by Federal workplace laws. Until this referral took place, the assumption of many not for profit organisations is likely to have been that they were not covered by the Federal workplace laws because they were not “trading” or “constitutional” corporations.