Non-Profit Fact Sheets
What are NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations)?
NGOs, or Non-Governmental Organisations play an important part in making services accessible to communities around the world. In 2019-2020, NGOs in Australia delivered 2,758 projects in 93 countries. Their work represents more than $1.27 Billion invested in international projects in 2019-2020 alone (ACFID, 2023). While each mandate can differ, NGOs all have a similar interest in developing social capacity in areas where governments may have little to no access or few resources to take action.
B Corps or B Corporations in Australia
B Corps are a special group of for-profit entities that prioritise the needs of workers, communities, the planet, and consumers, and take a socially responsible approach to their business. Australia and New Zealand are home to almost 10% of the world’s B Corps. In terms of legal status, B Corporations are not a specific category of entity per se, but even so, the industry has incorporated standards and best practices.
What is a Social Enterprise?
In recent years, Australia has faced many social, economic, environmental challenges that have demanded innovative responses and the social enterprise has been one solution. There is a general lack of awareness and understanding of social enterprise. They are not always seen as legitimate businesses despite providing many benefits to the public and their members. A social enterprise is an organisation that operates somewhere between a traditional business model and a charity, raising questions about which governance model and legal structure should be used to manage its activities.
What Are Prescribed Bodies Corporates in Australia?
Prescribed Bodies Corporates (PBCs) represent Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) traditional owner groups. Also called Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate, their legal structure is different from other ATSI corporations. The PBC structure was introduced in 2015 in response to the government’s capacity-building program intended to strengthen Indigenous organisations. The goal was to create more economic benefits and sustainable land management among Indigenous communities in Australia. What are prescribed bodies corporate organisations (PBCs)?
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.
Explore Other Authors
Consultant @ NFP Finances
Senior Research Fellow @ Australian Centre of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (QUT)
Senior Consultant @ Australian Strategic Services Pty Ltd
Chief Executive Officer @ Inventium
Executive Coach PCC @ Leadership Space
Innovation and Performance Partner @ Central Coast Council