Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
What Are Incorporated Societies in New Zealand?
Incorporated societies are the most common form of non-profit organisations in the Aotearoa New Zealand not-for-profit sector. The category represents groups working in industries such as culture and recreation, education and research, health, social services, environmental services, development and housing, legal and political advocacy, religion, international development, grant making and voluntarism, and business and professional associations and unions1. Non-profits with an incorporated society’s structure are membership-based organisations, which means their members have control over the direction of the organisation and are often involved in its operation.
What Are Unincorporated Groups (Unincorporated Societies)?
In New Zealand Aotearoa, unincorporated societies make up the largest proportion of not-for-profit organisations, 61% in total. Almost all nonprofit groups begin as unincorporated and over time, many develop a more organised structure and set of rules or policies to better manage their operations. Small groups often make up the bulk of unincorporated groups and must decide if they want to keep things more informal. Keeping an organisation informal is often due to a lack of financial resources, little time, or a perception that rules are not needed to accomplish the objectives of the group members
What are Trusts in New Zealand?
A trust is an entity that holds money or property for the benefit of its beneficiaries or for law purposes. Estates are a person’s assets after they have died. Both trusts and estates are taxed on the income they generate. – Inland Revenue Te Tari Taake In 2021, there were between 300,000 to 500,000 trusts in Aotearoa New Zealand. The legal structure is often used by organisations in the non-profit sector, set up as a charitable trust when assets are intended for charitable purposes like education.
What is a Charitable Trust Board?
A charitable trust board is a group of trustees in charge of the governance for a non-profit with a charitable purpose. A trust is one of several legal structures available to non-profit organisations in New Zealand and offers both benefits and limitations. Charitable trusts are both a charity and a trust and are assigned a legal identity once registered, meaning that they can enter into contracts and agreements with other individuals and entities.
Strategy – Is it really that difficult?
In recent years, serious concerns have been raised by governance experts and public inquiries over the amount of time spent by NFP boards monitoring the day-to-day operations of their organisations at the expense of driving long-term strategy.1 There are a number of reasons directors may have felt constrained to a short-term outlook, including their organisations being under-resourced, heavily reliant on grants and donations and staffed by volunteers and employees of varying levels of experience.
Preventing and De-escalating NFP Dysfunction: The Role of the Chair
A recurring and often distressed request we hear from NFP chairs and board members is “how to prevent and de-escalate dysfunction”. If only a single answer was big enough to accommodate the range of human values, emotions and agendas one might see expressed by members of an NFP board!1 In this article I discuss some principles that might assist an NFP chair to help prevent dysfunction within the NFP. I do not pretend to have all the answers.
What is a Charitable Company in New Zealand?
A Charitable company is a private limited liability company registered under the Corporations Act and meeting the definition of a charitable entity. In New Zealand Aotearoa a charitable company has been registered as a charity on the Department of Internal Affairs Charities Register, and is eligible to receive a tax exemption. Charitable Company status is a good choice for group members who want to limit the liability of shareholders, retain flexible decision making, and have a trading purpose.
Who Regulates Not-for-Profit Organisations in New Zealand?
In recent years, not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand have seen several legislative changes that have had a big impact on the sector. For starters, organisational activities and community needs, along with board member responsibilities, risks, and legal obligations have all increased. While all not-for-profits are created to benefit the public and their members, not all of them need to register as a charity. The legal structure and status you choose as a non-profit will depend on whether or not the organisation has a charitable purpose and what activities you plan to conduct.
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.