Articles about governance in non-profit organisations.
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.
Recruiting for Not-For-Profit Boards: Building Strong Foundations
With the landscape of not-for-profit governance constantly changing, it is crucial that boards recruit appropriately skilled and qualified directors who can help drive the organisation towards its mission and goals. Yet, boards continue to suffer from underperforming directors, ego-driven attitudes, and constant disagreements. While managing performance is an important part of maintaining a high-performing board, it is equally as important to have a clearly defined recruitment process for bringing in new directors.
An Effective Strategy Execution Framework
Realise your not-for-profit organisation’s vision in a simple yet effective way. Not-for-profit organisations generally have a strong sense of purpose. They passionately can put into words why they exist, what is important and what the future state of a better world will look like. However, many Not-for-profits struggle to articulate how they will achieve their vision. Development and execution of strategy is often seen as a complex, time-consuming and costly process, or there may be confusion regarding what strategy actually is.
A Positive Wind-Up For The Centre For Sustainability Leadership
After 13 years of training and support, the Centre of Sustainability Leadership (CSL) reached a natural end to its ground-breaking run. Under the guidance of the board, CSL is handing over its intellectual property, brand and the 1000+ alumni to the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI). ‘Sustainability’ was a word that offered optimism and opportunity when co-founders Larissa Brown and Jason Clarke kicked off CSL back in 2004. Larissa was the visionary who seeded the leadership training idea through the Greensteps Program for Monash Sustainable Development Program.
Reforming an NFP Service Provider: It Starts with the Board
Remember the halcyon days of government outsourcing, before the introduction of individualised, contract funding for social services? This was a time when the not-for-profit service provider could maintain ‘business as usual’ in the satisfying knowledge that the next government grant was due, in advance, for defined services, to a specific client cohort. Back then, governance and accountability were within the ability of community committees. There was little need for unitary costing, transaction cost economics, growth strategies and grand marketing plans.
Explore Other Authors
Senior Research Fellow @ Australian Centre of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (QUT)
Consultant @ NFP Finances
President @ South Australian Council of Adult Literacy
Innovation and Performance Partner @ Central Coast Council
Chief Executive Officer @ Inventium
Senior Consultant @ Australian Strategic Services Pty Ltd