"Don't Lose Sight of Social Outcomes in Pursuit of Funding" - Perpetual
14 July 2008 at 2:58 pm
Australian charities have been urged not to lose sight of social outcomes in pursuit of funding during a recent Sydney Forum organised by the Perpetual Foundation.
Perpetual’s Managing Director and Chairman of the Foundation, David Deverall, said the success of charities is not measured by service provision and good financial ratios, but by achieving tangible social outcomes.
The Perpetual Foundation called for greater governance of charities in order to achieve tangible social outcomes at the Forum which profiled the approach taken by Outcomes Australia to achieve an increase in the rate of organ donation in Australia.
Deverall says the successful charities are consistently driven by good governance and high performing boards. Boards of charities require clarity of vision and strategy.
He says they need to know how to assess the social problems that need solving, what success will look like, and how to steer and properly resource the organisation to reach its objectives.
One of the aims of the Perpetual Foundation is to recognise and highlight best practice in the social economy through thought leadership and research. Research commissioned last year, on leadership and management in the Australian social economy, identified the need for improved governance of charities.
Mr Deverall says Boards of charities are well placed to bring business skills and professional experience to the fore.
He says they need to resist being caught up solely in the fundraising aspects if that encroaches on their ability to lead and set strategy. Charities are ultimately judged by the impact they bring to achieving social outcomes for benefit of the community.
The Perpetual Foundation Forum profiled the approach taken by Outcomes Australia to achieve an increase in the rate of organ donation in Australia. Outcomes Australia has applied business principles and methodologies to assess the problem, identify practical solutions and influence a range of stakeholders to bring about change.
Deverall says Outcomes Australia is a source of inspiration for boards of charities.
He says they haven’t come together to raise funds but rather to apply rigorous analysis to the root cause of the problem, find solutions and advocate for systemic change.
He says the good news is that if charities can put a strong case for change in a compelling way they have a greater chance of influencing government and attracting funding.
The Forum was told that increasingly donors involved in philanthropy want to see a real impact from their financial and voluntary contributions.
Perpetual is one of Australia’s largest charitable trustees, managing more than $1.3 billion over 450 private trusts and foundations. Each year Perpetual make grants to charities of approximately $40 million and in the process engages with 1,000s of non-profit organisations.
For more information about Outcomes Australia, please click here