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Poll Results: Paying Board Members

Monday, 15th April 2002 at 1:04 pm
Staff Reporter
This latest Instant Poll question “Should board members be paid?” issue generated some heat within the sector.

Monday, 15th April 2002
at 1:04 pm
Staff Reporter



Poll Results: Paying Board Members
Monday, 15th April 2002 at 1:04 pm

This latest Instant Poll question “Should board members be paid?” issue generated some heat within the sector.

The overwhelming response was “No” with a huge 67% of the vote. Only 20% were in favour of the suggestion and many more (10%) felt that they needed more information to make a decision.

The Poll follows an article in our previous e-Newsletter about a two year study in the UK of Corporate Governance in the Public and Volunteer Sectors which recommended that board trustees in the Not for Profit sector be paid in amounts comparable with chairs and non-executives in the public sector.

The report says the amounts paid should take into account the size of the organisation so that small and medium charities are not required to make payments that might effect their visibility.

One of our Corporate e-Newsletter readers, Debra Stirling who is the General Manager Corporate Affairs & Investor Relations from CSR summed up the feelings of many of the ‘No’ voters.

She wrote “this is an extraordinary proposal and one that would impact significantly on corporate perceptions of volunteer and charity groups….I suggest there is a general expectation that people give their time gratis for positions like this.

For them it is a practical donation or contribution; but they also gain the
accompanying prestige and “feel good” effect. If donations were being
used to help pay for directors, then surely the same argument would apply to paying volunteers — you only get what you pay for. So if you want a more
professional level of service at the leading edge, then why not pay for

There is a general expectation among the community, I would argue, that directors of NFPs should apply similar standards to their fiduciary duties as those that apply in the private sector. I would suggest that most directors would agree….and to a degree, I suspect that NFP directors are even more cautious about allocation of funds and other relevant issues because they know that funds are so limited and hard to come by!!

Hopefully it is an idea whose time has clearly not come.”

Anyone now wanting a copy of the UK report can send us am e-mail to probono@probonoaustralia.com.au. Your comments are also welcome.

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