In an effort to build the public’s trust in charities, the Australian Charities and Non-profit Commission (ACNC) developed the Registered Charity Tick late last year.
This visual stamp of approval can be used by all registered charities to give reassurance to the public that they are transparent, accountable and registered with the ACNC Charity Register.
So, if you are registered with the ACNC – and we certainly hope you are and if not, you’re at least working towards it – it’s something you should take the time to download and use on your website, emails and other marketing materials where possible.
Visit the ACNC website for more information here.
The Governance Institute of Australia is the only independent professional association with a sole focus on whole-of-organisation governance. Among other things, they provide online knowledge resources with a wealth of guidance on how to think through and manage particular governance issues.
The Institute have prepared a series of Good Governance Guides in governance and risk management specific to the charity sector. These Guides comprise practice that demonstrate good governance in a range of situations including board structure, conflicts of interest and issues to consider when developing a communications policy.
For more information visit their website here.
The Westpac Davidson Institute is all about helping individuals and community groups build a better financial future. Their new Guide for Community Financial Officers is designed to help financial officers within community organisations take on the role with greater knowledge and confidence.
To download the Guide, visit the Davidson Institute website here.
“An effective board should not necessarily be a comfortable place. Challenge, as well as teamwork, is an essential feature.”
This is the advice from the UK’s Financial Reporting Council. An article in the Harvard Business Review recently addressed this comment and talked about how to have productive discussions in board meetings.
The article identifies three key actions that need to happen if you want to improve boardroom discussions. This brief but useful piece is something you should definitely consider circulating with your Directors.
Have a read here.
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.
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 theAustralian 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.
Check out the Not-for-profit Law Information Hub.