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Organisational Management

Recruiting a Great Board

Board members are integral to every successful charity. Well, actually, let me rephrase that… Great board members are integral to every successful charity.

A recent webinar managed by magazine, Non Profit Quarterly, was held on this topic in the US last month.

Two governance experts, Vernetta Walker (from BoardSource) and Anasuya Sengupta (who is on the Board of NFP Quarterly), delivered the webinar and provide some fabulous insights into recruiting great board members.

The one hour webinar also has accompanying downloadable slides promises to guide you through the steps to ‘vastly enrich and improve your governance while minimizing the possibility of bringing non-functional or negative forces into your board room’.
For more information, you can find view the webinar at the Non Profit Quarterly online here.

Resolving Conflict with Volunteers

Volunteers are an integral part to many non-profit organisations, but as with all relationships, things don’t always go smoothly.

To help charities deal with and manage conflict, NSW Volunteering have recently released a Conflict Resolution Toolkit. The online kit aims to help organisations:

• Understand what conflict is;
• Learn how you can deal with conflict and;
• Find additional assistance to resolve your conflict

The toolkit forms part of a new trial service which focuses on helping with mediation between volunteers and organisations. As the toolkit suggests, “conflict can be challenging, but it can also be of benefit, and we can learn from it.”

For more information, you can find the Conflict Resolution Toolkit here.

Free Legal Information

These days we all need to watch our expenditure, non-profits especially.  One necessity that can be very costly is legal advice.  So we were excited to come across the Not-for-profit Law Information Hub which has been developed by Justice Connect.

The website contains information about Victorian, New South Wales and Commonwealth laws and has more than 80 topics covered from reporting to the government, insurance and risk, disputes and conflicts and running your organisation. They also regularly host webinars on many topics including legal issues for start-up charities.

Written in simple language so it is easy for us all to understand, the website has online tools to save time and help with legal problems that charities may be facing, along with continual updates on non-profit law.

This service will be useful for charities with the possible abolishment or changes to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) being proposed.

The Hub will save time and money for rural charities which may not easily be able to access lawyers who specialise in non-profit law.

Funded through grants from the government, philanthropic funds, donations and their members the Hub has hundreds of thousands of visitors to the website each year.  Members also help non-profits providing free legal advice, training and assistance.

This is a great example of philanthropy, charity and pro bono resources working together. To check out the Not-for-profit Law Information Hub, click hub website

Good Governance for NFPs

The Australian Institute of Company Directors have produced a fabulous report that is great as a resource for small charities to help them build better Boards.

The Good Governance Principles and Guidance for NFPs is designed to facilitate conversations and activities non-profit organisations undertake to achieve good governance. It focuses on ten key principals including Roles and Responsibilities; Board Composition; Purpose and Strategy; Organisational Performance; Board Effectiveness; Integrity and Accountability; Organisation Building; Culture and Ethics and Engagement.

One suggested way for organisations to use the guide is to focus on each of the ten principles one board meeting at a time.  Alternatively, you could just focus on the particular section that you might be having challenges with.

There is a ‘Questions for Consideration’ section in the book that enables Boards to consider the governance needs for their own organisations.

To download click the link below.

NFP Principles and Guidance – AICD (1)

What Impact are we Having?

The Centre for Social Impact 2The Centre for Social Impact has released a handy document called The Compass.  It is a thorough, yet simple guide to help organisations best measure the positive social impact they are having.

‘This guide is for everyone working towards the creation of positive social impact in Australia and who wants to know if they are making a difference.’

Identifying, evaluating and communicating our social outcomes is essential for all charities and this guide can be used as a tool to effectively do that. It will also help you learn the difference between outputs, outcomes and impact.

The Centre for Social Impact says:

‘We measure what matters, and The Compass is here to help you understand how you can measure what matters too.’

To get your hands on The Compass, click here.

Importance of Innovation

Innovation IndexThe recently released ‘Australia’s First Innovation Index of the Not-For-Profit Sector’, sponsored by Australia Post and Give Easy, aims to give us an insight into how innovative Australian charities are. The report includes the top ten innovative charities in Australia following a survey of more than 744 professionals working across the sector.

Instead of looking at an organisation’s past results, the survey looked at where charities are going and what is coming next, asking questions such as:

‘How collaborative are you?
How do you engage with your ecosystem?
What culture do you have in your organisation to drive innovation and growth?’

Charities do need to find new and improved ways of delivering services, making social change and, of course, raising funds as innovation drives new sources of revenue.

The top five innovative charities in Australia as found by the report are:

1. Movember
2. Oxfam
3. Charity Water
4. World Vision  Australia
5. Beyond Blue

To find out who the other five charities are in the top ten, and download the report (as well as a cool infographic which summarises it for you), click here.

Review of Aussie NFP Sector

kodareviewThe Koda Capital Non-Profit Sector Review is a comprehensive document that everyone working in the non profit industry should take the time to read.

Calling for more collaboration between the community and government sectors to get the job done, the document looks into issues such as the industry’s growth and input to Australia’s national GDP, verses the insignificant salary growth of employees within the sector.

There is a strong suggestion that although Australia is already a leader in volunteering, non profits should be looking even more so to take advantage of our highly trained and skilled workforce to build a network of people willing to offer their talents and their time.

The 2015 Koda Capital Non-Profit Sector Review