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AICD releases NFP blueprint

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The Australian Institute of Company Directors has released a comprehensive blueprint for the nation’s future, including specific recommendations to help ensure the health and success of Australia’s vital not-for-profit sector.

The Governance of a Nation: A Blueprint for Growth 2017 report aims to help improve economic and social outcomes for all Australians. Specific to the NFP sector, the report recommends improving the funding environment and developing a ‘fit for purpose’ regulatory regime with national consistency and less red tape.

AICD Chairman Elizabeth Proust said the NFP sector had never been more committed to good governance, with record numbers of NFP directors and executives undertaking governance education and courses.

“As the challenges the NFP sector face become more complex, the governance ability of those who lead NFP organisations becomes increasingly important,” she said.

“At the same time however, the regulatory and funding structures that were built last century are presenting barriers to good governance for many NFPs.

“The NFP sector plays a crucial role in the social and economic fabric of Australian society, and it deserves for government to treat it as a genuine partner in achieving shared goals.”

Proust said that the Blueprint recommendations have been informed by their NFP membership, as well as the AICD’s 2016 NFP Governance and Performance Study.

“These revealed an enormous challenge for the sector was that funding uncertainty and regulatory change were distracting boards from long term strategy,” she said.

“Our recommended reforms are realistic, achievable and critical to supporting NFPs in achieving the best outcomes for our society at large.”

Key NFP Sector recommendations in Governance of the Nation: A Blueprint for Growth:

  • Improve the funding environment for not-for-profits to support good governance.
  • Five year funding cycles, with 12 months’ notice of termination (where appropriate).
  • Outcomes-focused reporting, with a “report once, use often” approach through the ACNC.
  • Freedom of voice in public debate for government-funded NFPs and their boards.
  • Investment in internal governance and capacity building as part of funding agreements.
  • Develop a ‘fit for purpose’ regulatory environment.
  • A new simplified reporting framework for NFPs.
  • National fundraising reform as called for by the #fixfundraising campaign.
  • Greater access to aggregate government data to support NFPs important work.

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