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Community Directors Intelligence November 2019

Now’s the time to sow some good

This is an extract of the November 2019 edition of Community Directors Intelligence. To read this and more from our series, become a member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia now.

By Matthew Schulz, editor

In this issue

Cultivating a thriving community organisation, like good gardening, requires constant vigilance and an eye out for opportunities.

2 Charities blueprint: Our Community House hosts future focus by leaders

At the Institute of Community Directors, we’re in the business of providing you with the best tools for the job. Think of our newsletters as razor-sharp secateurs, our help sheets as top-quality garden forks. In that spirit, this bumper spring edition of Community Directors Intelligence features: • Previews of next year’s Festival of Community Directors and Communities in Control conference

• Lessons from Australia’s best community treasurers

• Our Community’s role in the creation of a sector blueprint for change

• The view from our legal eagles on fundraising and child safety

• How to get involved in #GivingTuesday, December 3

• Lessons from the not-for-profit Case Watch files

• Fresh findings from the Spotlight series of not-for-profit • Hot tips from our resident governance reports Agony Uncle

Now the days are getting longer, we hope you’ll find the time to read our news digest, take advantage of several member-only offers, and dig around in the online library at .

An enterprise of:

4 Preview: A taste of the 2020 Festival of Community Directors 6 Hot conference: Communities in Control speakers revealed 8 News digest: Hot topics for not-for-profits 11 Trust and verify: Video tips from ICDA executive director Pat Moriarty 12 NFP spotlight: Study wrap plus focus on fraud, crime, finances and inductions 23 Top treasurers: Australia’s best reveal secrets of success (special report 48) 27 Future focus: Tech study into NFPs 28 GivingTuesday: How to raise more funds, support on Dec 3 34 Denis Moriarty: Why giving still matters 36 Legal view: Moores experts on fundraising, child abuse investigations 41 Case Watch: Trouble for Chinese temple memberships 44 Recruitment: How to use the Board Matching Service, free 46 Agony Uncle: Your governance questions answered 55 More: Back issues and info about Community Directors Intelligence


Sector advocacy

Susan Pascoe, front left, with not-for-profit and charity leaders from across the country at their recent meeting at Our Community House.

Our Community hosts talks for new charities blueprint By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

Community Directors Council chair Susan Pascoe, the former chief of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, has joined more than 30 other for-purpose leaders to help set the agenda with a new “charities blueprint”.

Social Ventures Australia, the Starlight Foundation, the University of Western Australia and Volunteering Australia.

The group’s meeting at Our Community House late last month, organised by the Community Council for Australia (CCA), was chaired by former World Vision chief Tim Costello and built on the CCA’s landmark report The Australia We Want.

Asked about the significance of the event, Ms Pascoe said, “The intent is to work in a

The CEOs, chairs and senior figures at the Melbourne event represented the Centre for Social Impact, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, InfoXchange, the Australian Scholarships Foundation, Justice Connect, Life Without Barriers, Mission Australia, Prolegis, the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Philanthropy Australia, Pro Bono Australia, Progress Australia, the RSPCA, Save the Children, Community Directors Intelligence November 2019

The event followed a CCA members’ forum in Sydney attended by the federal minister in charge of charities, Senator Zed Seselja, in which the CCA flagged the blueprint discussion. Ms Pascoe’s role with the Community Directors Council is to steer the group that provides strategic advice to the Institute of Community Directors Australia.

Community Council for Australia chair Tim Costello talks about what every not-for-profit and charity can do to advance the sector.


coordinated fashion toward a vision and plan that distils the goals and purpose of NFPs in Australia. We add much to the vibrancy of community life and contribute significantly to supporting those experience disadvantage or vulnerability.” She said the meetings brought together many influential not-for-profit sector and opinion leaders to reach agreement on crucial goals. “There was a feeling of optimism that the time is right to build on the Australia We Want initiative into a blueprint for the sector. “The NFP sector is a major contributor to the economy, environment and to social good in Australia. A blueprint will provide a collective voice for our endeavours.” The Community Council for Australia (CCA) wants to use the blueprint to push for longawaited reforms in the sector, and to press the government to place the sector at the centre of its agenda, with the help of organisations in the sector. CCA CEO David Crosbie said there is currently a deficit in planning for the future of the sector. In a message to members, he said the CCA had challenged the government and leaders to answer some questions: “Where do we want the sector to be by 2030? What are the challenges? How will we face them? CCA believes we cannot afford to wait any longer and with the help of Susan Pascoe and CCA Chair Tim Costello we are starting work on a process to develop a blueprint for the sector, with the sector.”

“At the moment we're employing about 1.3 million people turning over about $146 billion, but our income is stalling – and in real terms it's going backwards. “The future employment of those 1.3 million people seems to never have been as uncertain, yet we really don't have a plan for the future of the sector. “We wanted to bring together some leaders in the sector and talk about how we can have a better future for the sector, and make sure that not only can we make a difference in the communities we serve but that our organisations can survive and grow in effectiveness." He said the blueprint aimed to boost the sector’s legitimacy, influence and capacity, and to bring a united voice to that effort, partly to counter the fact that many organisations were poor at selfpromotion. “The charity sector doesn't talk about itself and its needs, it talks about the communities it's serving,” Mr Crosbie said. “We often pursue our purpose rather than trying to make our organisation stronger. And that's where I think there's a legitimate role for a kind of peak body.” Mr Crosbie stressed that he didn’t want the blueprint to end up “on the shelf like so many other ‘beautiful’ documents”, citing Productivity Commission reports from 1995 and 2010, which he said had prompted little action.

• Reducing red tape, including through responses to an ACNC review, and reforms to tax and fundraising laws

“We want to make sure that whatever we do has impact. And that means it has to be living, it has to be something we return to, to adapt and adopt. And that means having measures and reporting against those measures, as well as better messaging the role of charities and why this is important.”

• Boosting trust in the sector and championing its achievements, partly through countering negative media reports

He said leaders across the sector would need to contribute to the blueprint, and to act on it, for it to be effective.

He said the CCA and sector leaders had identified “four clear opportunities” for the Federal Government:

• Valuing and investing in sector capability, enabling it to develop more high- performing organisations • Changing the language in policy discussions to reflect the value of individuals and their potential, and to ensure that people are not regarded as a “burden” or “problem”. Speaking after the Melbourne meeting, Mr Crosbie said that the place of charities in Australia’s economy was not as secure as it should be, despite their huge impact, and there was a need for sector-wide advocacy, possibly with a national peak body. Community Directors Intelligence November 2019

MORE INFORMATION DOWNLOAD: The Australia We Want To get involved in the blueprint’s development: info@communitycouncil.


P Calendar preview

Festival of Community Directors to return bigger and better in 2020

By Lachlan Pollock, Our Community

As the door closes on the 2019 Festival of Community Directors, the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) is excited to announce that the festival will return in 2020 – with a new training calendar focused on a new suite of topics.

“When I look at the uptake, I see that we achieved our goal of making the community sector stronger through working together.” “For community organisations, working together towards a common goal makes sense.” “In the 2020 iteration of the festival, we’ll be ensuring once again that the resources we publish and the training we offer are topical for the particular time of year at which they run.”

Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty said the festival had an incredible reception from the Australian community sector in its inaugural year. “We were very happy to see the response to the 2019 Festival of Community Directors, with individuals and organisations throughout Australia taking up the opportunity to be a part of it.” “The response to the themed weeks and timely webinars, such as Organising a Great Annual General Meeting in early July and Taking Minutes in early August, showed us that community directors are looking for topical guidance throughout the year.”

Community Directors Intelligence November 2019

Robyn Mildon from the Centre of Evidence and Implementation at ICDA’s Practical Impact Conference in June.


Planning is well under way for the 2020 Festival of Community Directors, and ICDA can now reveal some of the highlights to look out for when the full program becomes available later this year:

of three webinars aimed at answering questions about insurance and risk management in the not-for-profit sector. Catch up on the recordings here.

• Eleven opportunities to earn a scholarship for the Diploma of Business (Governance)

In May, ICDA partnered with Brett de Hoedt from Hootville (pictured) for a communicationsfocused week. Brett’s e-books will help you to understand and influence your audience like never before: check out his Media Savvy: Gaining media coverage to win hearts, minds and wallets; Email Marketing Savvy: A better life through email, and The Conversion Formula. All these e-books, along with a recording of Brett’s webinar Better Websites, are available for free via the Communicating with Clout webpage.

• 30+ training webinars – available anywhere you can access the internet • Wider geographical spread, with Rethinking Governance for the Disability Sector training available in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney • Access to even more experts and expertise, thanks to a growing number of partnerships. “When we say the festival will be back bigger and better next year, we really mean that,” said Mr Moriarty.

To be the first to know when the 2020 Festival of Community Directors program is released, sign up for Our Community updates. (

In September, ICDA teamed up with CommBank for Not-for-Profit Finance Week, which saw more than 4000 community sector staff and volunteers participating in webinars on board management, cyber-security, accounting standards and fundraising. Recordings of all six webinars can be viewed for free here. (Turn to page 48 for our reports on the Not-for-profit Treasurers’ Awards hosted in that week)

There’s still time to catch up on the 2019 festival

• Managing CEO Performance ($65)

“Make sure you keep an eye and an ear out for the full 2020 calendar, which will be launched in the coming months.”

As we plan for the 2020 Festival of Community Directors, you can still access the back-catalogue from 2019 – we’ve got a year’s worth of webinars, help sheets and books available for you to watch and read. Not sure where to look? Here’s a summary of highlights from the year, with links: April’s Not-for-Profit Insurance Week, an initiative of Aon and Our Community, saw the production

Many more of the festival’s webinars are available as recordings too: • Assessing Board Performance ($65) • Taking Minutes ($65) • Setting an Effective Course for Your Organisation ($65) • Whistleblowing at Your NFP (free) • Organising a Great AGM (free) • Better Websites (free) Or visit:

Half-price webinars on offer for members ICDA is excited to announce a members-only package deal to celebrate the success of the 2019 festival and the announcement of the 2020 festival. ICDA members wanting to catch up on webinars they missed can access a recording of all seven webinars for just $130 (normally $260). To access this half-price deal, click here. If you’re not an ICDA member, check out our membership options at: communitydirectors. (from just $65).

Community Directors Intelligence November 2019


7 Sector inspration

Hot topics, speakers revealed for 2020 Communities in Control conference The dates, the themes and many of the speakers are set for next year’s Communities in Control conference, the one event that all community organisations and leaders should have in their diaries.

Among them in 2020 are acclaimed singersongwriter Katie Noonan, gender equity advocate Georgina Dent, leading expert on the health effects of climate change Professor Hilary

Set aside May 18–19 in your calendar right now and book your flights for an event under the banner: “Connection, Creativity, Community: Finding Hope in a Climate of Crisis.” Unlike other conferences you might have been to – conferences that have seen you nodding off or overwhelmed by a truckload of tedious instruction – Communities in Control is all about sparking new ways of thinking and acting. It presents a diverse, talented and entertaining group of speakers and performers who show the way to boost the power of community. At the same time, it’s a chance to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers in your industry.

Community Directors Intelligence November 2019

2019 speaker Mariam Veiszadeh spoke passionately about battling discrimination in all its subtle forms.


(L-R) Conference speakers Hilary Bambrick, Georgina Dent, Katie Noonan, Tom Nash and Kristy Muir.

Bambick, problem-solving DJ Tom Nash who survived a life-threatening illness but lost his arms and legs in the process, and social impact expert Professory Kristy Muir.

Also on the program is a parade of ideas for better lives, powerful advocacy, social justice, tackling inequality, seeking solutions in technology and data, and reinforcing progressive agendas.

We’ll be revealing more speakers soon, including a household name who will deliver the landmark Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration.

Registrations are now open.

Communities in Control 2020, an event under the Our Community banner, will look at tackling the biggest issue of our time: climate change. But that’s not all.

To register, latest information, past events:

Community Directors Intelligence November 2019



` News

Damn Good Advice for School Councils available now A new book targeting school councils is now available free for download or order from the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) website.

Damn Good Advice for School Councils tackles “25 questions a school councillor needs to ask”. The answers to those questions provide practical advice about the what and how of better school governance and learning partnerships. The 92-page book links governance with policy, strategic planning, and learning communities, which aim to improve student learning, engagement, development, wellbeing and achievement. Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty said the book was part of a significant commitment to improving schools’ governance, a commitment that also comprises training and ongoing support from ICDA. The project is a joint effort between ICDA and the Commonwealth Bank’s not-for-profit arm. Download now or order your free copy.

MORE INFORMATION Download: Damn Good Advice for School Councils (14MB)

Amp up your organisation and its beneficiaries Looking to increase your social impact? Generate skills, confidence, and income for your community organisation with ICDA’s "pick and mix" capacity building and engagement program. The program tackles multiple issues, including • grants and fundraising • governance and improving community boards • managing community groups. Tell us about your organisation’s needs and we’ll design a program specially tailored to suit.


Community Directors Intelligence November 2019


Fundraising study highlights global trends A report spanning nine countries shows that trust in Australian charities and fundraisers remains high despite growing levels of annoyance about some of the fundraising tactics being used. The 21-page study by UK-based charity consultants nfpSynergy, working alongside Australian consultants More Strategic, is based on surveys conducted in Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. The project was assisted by Fundraising Institute Australia, which is working with Our Community to help promote #GivingTuesday on December 3. See our reports from page 28. The study examined: • fundraising and volunteering habits • attitudes to charities generally • favourite causes • giving patterns linked to religion, donation size and attitudes. The study found a wide spread of levels of trust in charities across those countries, with Australians still giving very high ratings, yet trailing behind the United States. The study found Australians felt the most “overwhelmed” by the number of requests for donations, and thought there were “too many” charities. That finding, though, is tempered by the fact that the vast majority of Australians (74%) still see the role of charities as vital. Australia’s favourite causes in descending order include cancer charities, children and youth, animals, other health causes, homelessness and social welfare, and the environment. The study provides a useful addition to the work being done by Our Community’s giving arm, GiveNow, which has also produced an extensive examination of giving trends.

MORE INFORMATION GiveNow analysis: $100m study reveals gender differences in giving

Doing ‘Data for Social Good’ Our Community’s Innovation Lab continues to bring you new ways to use data science and technology to boost your organisation. In its latest event, the lab will host Data for Social Good Melbourne from 5.30pm to 6.30pm (AED) on Monday November 11 at Our Community House, 552 Victoria St, North Melbourne. The event will feature the work of Medair, an international NGO providing emergency relief to people suffering in remote, hard-to-reach places. Participants will learn how the organisation decides when and how to adopt tech innovations. Medair information management expert Julien Chatellier will discuss the role of drone mapping, machine learning for quick priority assessment, biometric identification and blockchain-based tracking of beneficiaries.

MORE INFORMATION Keep in touch for more events, affordable training: Community Directors Intelligence November 2019

To keep reading, become an ICDA member now.


Profile for Our Community

Community Directors Intelligence: November 2019  

Community Directors Intelligence - the resource for not-for-profit boards and committees - is published quarterly. In this edition we help b...

Community Directors Intelligence: November 2019  

Community Directors Intelligence - the resource for not-for-profit boards and committees - is published quarterly. In this edition we help b...