A strong focus on NFPs

The introduction of a sector-based approach has enabled the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) to focus on the specific needs of members across private, public, ASX-listed and not-for-profit (NFP) sectors and to provide tailored education, resources and events.

For the NFP sector, we are developing specialised educational products and resources, holding sector-specific events and acting as a strong voice for the NFP sector on policy issues.

Last year, the AICD published the 2015 NFP Governance and Performance Study. This study, the largest of its kind in Australia, provides valuable insight into the governance of NFPs and the emerging issues in the sector. The AICD draws on the findings of this study significantly in informing its policy priorities for the year.

Key themes from the 2015 study included:

  • Concern around increasingly uncertain funding arrangements and financial instability.
  • Mergers and collaborations, and how they are being executed successfully or otherwise.
  • A desire to build a more collaborative and mature relationship with government.

Also on the policy agenda for 2016, we will be advocating for action on fundraising reform and seeking to secure the retention of the charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

As part of our NFP sector focus, the AICD recently established an NFP Chair's Forum.

As part of our NFP sector focus, the AICD recently established an NFP Chair’s Forum comprising NFP leaders from diverse organisations around Australia. The forum was launched last month in Sydney by the Hon Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services. Minister Porter joined the forum for a roundtable discussion on emerging issues in the sector and shared priorities for his portfolio.

In establishing the forum, the AICD sought to create a mechanism through which NFP leaders come together, discuss shared challenges and use their collective voices to advocate on behalf of the sector.

The AICD also hosted an NFP Forum in Melbourne last month, which brought together more than 230 participants from a wide variety of organisations and included professional advisers, policy makers and governance practitioners.

Among other issues, participants discussed the significance of engagement with members, clients and other stakeholders in achieving their missions and how the meaningful involvement of these groups can be embedded within governance processes.

The 2015 NFP Governance and Performance Study tells us that governance is improving, but it must continue to do so if it is to support the sector to respond to the increasingly complex challenges it faces. The AICD is committed to excellence in governance and will continue to work with the sector to promote the highest standards of governance among NFPs.

To read the 2015 NFP Governance and Performance Study, visit our NFP resource centre at companydirectors.com.au/nfp.