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Not-for-profit leaders meet with Fitzgerald

2 min read

In a coup for organisers, Fitzgerald spent over two hours with delegates during which he outlined the key findings of the Productivity Commission’s draft report on the contribution of the not-for-profit sector, released last week.

Following his presentation, in an open and frank discussion with attendees, Fitzgerald emphasised a need for the sector to be more aware of the ‘fine print’ when signing government contracts. He stressed the need for clarity regarding services and outcomes in government contracts. He said that contractual arrangements should be proportional to contributions, but agreed with delegates that this is often not the case. He said both governments and not-for-profits share “mutual responsibility” to ensure only reasonable contracts are created and signed.

On the possible impacts of the Henry Review, Fitzgerald said organisations need to be aware that whatever the outcomes, there will be “new winners and losers.”

He said that the possible abolition of income tax returns would likely have negative impacts on giving in Australia. He said to combat this, alternatives such as tax breaks could be introduced, but there would still be less incentive to give.

Other speakers included Murray Baird, Principal, Moores Legal, who highlighted the need for preventative legal advice with a range of war stories from the not-for-profit sector. He also outlined some examples in which organisations we might assume are associations are actually charities.

Doug Jacquier, CEO, Connecting Up Australia, spoke about the need for not-for-profits to embrace social media – particularly associations, which have been slower to embrace the technology.

Damien Smith, CEO, Enterprise Care, gave delegates a sneak preview of Enterprise Care’s soon to be released Not-for-profit Remuneration Report, which is a comprehensive overview of not-for-profit salaries in Australia. Third Sector will be covering the findings so watch this space!

Richard Gerner, CEO, AuSAE, gave a presentation outlining a strategic management model for better boards.

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