Not-For-Profit panel in Sydney

Published: Wednesday 5th November 2014

ACU Business, in partnership with ACU Executive Education and Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF), hosted one of three panel events covering current Not-For-Profit (NFP) issues on Wednesday 15 October 2014.

The panel comprised a group of experts in the NFP sector including Brian Doolan, CEO, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Rosie Stilin Executive Director, People Learning and Culture, The Benevolent Society and David Rosenbaum NFP consultant and principal at Optimum NFP and was hosted by Professor David Spencer (Executive Dean of Law and Business, acting).

The event which was the first in the series was held in North Sydney and attended by a targeted ASF audience, working in all levels of management throughout the NFP sector, and people interested in learning about the sector.

Amy Lyden, CEO of ASF was the first speaker of the evening and gave an overview of ASF, a NFP organisation founded in 2008. ASF’s mission is to strengthen the Australian NFP sector with education and training opportunities in the form of scholarships.

ASF and ACU have been partnering to offer scholarships to not-for-profit organisations since 2012. In that time 21 postgraduate scholarships for study in ACU graduate courses have been awarded.

ACU Masters of Business Administration Executive (MBAE) student and ASF scholarship recipient Blake Sinclair spoke of his journey both as an ACU MBAE student and as an ASF scholarship recipient. Blake is National Operations Director at Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).

The panel highlighted the urgent need for all NFP organisations to identify and adopt appropriate revenue replacement or enhancement strategies in the face of ever-decreasing government funding and an escalating level of competition for sponsorship and donation dollars.

Strategies to combat the issues organisations in the NFP sector include:

  • Adopting strong corporate governance practices to ensure that they are well-governed and well-managed, hence capable of achieving desired outcomes;
  • Regularly reviewing the skills and knowledge of their board members and take action where necessary;
  • Defining risk appetite and developing a risk register to be continually reviewed by management, appropriate committees and at full board meetings;
  • Continually reviewing financial management and reporting capabilities;
  • Ensuring the strategy drives the budget and finance (not the other way round), and for a wider level of financial literacy among board members;
  • Investing in building talent, capability, engagement and performance in an ever increasingly competitive environment.

The event was a great platform to showcase ACU and the Graduate Certificate in Management of Not-for-Profit Organisations course. The program not only provides real world knowledge and a skill to effectively compete in the sector, the course also provides full articulation into the MBA Executive.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who contributed to making this event a success; Professor David Spencer, our speakers, our partner ASF and in ACU, Paul Fowkes and our IT team, in particular David McDonald and Damien Knezevic for their tireless efforts.

The next NFP panel events are taking place tonight in Brisbane on 5 November followed by Melbourne on 12 November 2014.

Jenny Sellier and David Rowlinson

For more information please contact Jenny Sellier on +61 2 9739 2187.