Non-Profit Fact Sheets
What is a board?
“Board” is one of several names used to signify the group of people assigned the responsibility to govern an organisation, company or other similar entity. A board is a legal requirement of a number of different forms of for-profit and non-profit organisations. Your organisation’s board might be called the board of directors, board of trustees, committee, management committee, council, governing body, responsible entity, or one of a variety of other names, depending on your organisation’s legal form or constitutions.
What is a Director Identification Number?
The Australian Government is working to modernise the Australian Business Register. As part of this project, as of November 1st 2021, The Australian Government has introduced the Director Identification Number (DIN) system. What is a Director ID? A Director Identification Number is a unique number given to each company director (or each person who intends to become a company director) in Australia who has verified their identity with the Australian Business Registry Service (ABRS).
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 portalsoffer a range of features (depending on the vendor providing the portal service) that allow directors, executives, senior leadership teams, and others who report to the board to interact with or support the work of the board, to share information and efficiently collaborate with each other.
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.
What is board meeting software?
Board meeting software (also known as board portal software) is a specialised type of application built for the specific purpose of improving an organisations governance and board meetings. This improvement is typically achieved through the software streamlining the administrative tasks a board of directors and/or it’s support staff must undertake. Board meeting software can also be used to improve many other types of meetings at board and executive level in your organisation including: committee meetings, advisory board meetings, executive team meetings, subcommittee meetings and board task force meetings.
Who regulates the governance of Not-for-Profits in Australia?
The administration of NFPs is a complex business in Australia. Whether an organisation is regulated by a state-based or Commonwealth body will largely depend on its legal structure, but 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. Consequently, dozens of statutory bodies are involved in the regulation of the governance of NFPs across the country and it can be difficult to ensure your board is meeting all of its necessary requirements and importantly to know where to seek advice if something goes wrong.
What is Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status?
As with the term “charity”, “deductible gift recipient” is a specific legal status that can only be used to describe organisations specifically endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) (or named in tax law as a deductible gift recipient). Deductible gift recipient (DGR) status carries with it certain legal responsibilities and only certain types of entities qualify. Entities that are endorsed as a deductible gift recipient can receive income tax deductible donations.
What are the different legal structures of non-profit organisations in Australia?
When establishing a non-profit organisation, founders can choose from a large range of legal structures. An organisation’s legal structure will determine the types of activities it is legally able to carry out and which government bodies it is required to seek registration from or report to. In 2010 The Productivity Commission investigated the non-profit sector in The Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector. It considered the value of transitioning from the current legal structuring of non-profit organisations to a single legal form in order to prevent confusion between different forms and reduce the restrictive nature of some current forms.
What is an Organisation formed by Royal Charter or by Special Act of Parliament?
When establishing a non-profit organisation, founders can choose from a large range of legal forms. An organisation’s legal structure will determine the types of activities it is legally able to carry out and which government bodies it is required to seek registration from or report to. An organisation formed by royal charter or by special Act of parliament are two possible structures of a non-profit organisation. Find out more about the other types of legal structures here.
What is the difference between a not-for-profit and a non-profit organisation?
There is no difference between a non-profit organisation and a not-for-profit organisation. These two terms are simply different ways of describing the same type of entity. There are several more terms that are sometimes used to describe these types of organisations and the sector they constitute, these include: for-purpose, third sector, community business, civil society, non-governmental, social-benefit. The abbreviations for these terms are also used, including: NFPs (not-for-profits), NGOs (non-governmental organisations), NPOs (non-profit organisations), NPIs (non-profit institutes).