CSA launches Not for Profit Governance Initiative
Tuesday, 30th August 2011 at 10:28 am
Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA) has launched a national Not for Profit governance initiative to improve standards and efficiency within the sector.
CSA says the initiative will empower organisations to operate successfully in today’s business environment.
CSA’s chief executive, Tim Sheehy says a clear need exists within the sector to not only practise good governance, but also for CSA to be seen as an organisation supporting organisations to embrace good governance.
|Photo (l-r): Darren Fittler, Gilbert and Tobin, Catherine Mahony, Deputy Director NCOSS, Robert Fitzgerald, Productivity Commissioner and Tim Sheehy, Chief Executive, CSA.|
Sheehy says the Governance Initiative is of particular significance for NFP organisations, and especially charities, to instill confidence in NFPs as to how they balance their service objectives and their fiduciary duties, and within the community as to how NFPs are governed.
Sheehy says the recent Perpetual Foundation study into the NFP sector highlighted governance as one of the most serious weaknesses requiring attention.
CSA says its NFP Governance Initiative provides a holistic governance solution for the NFP sector, which will allow them to improve their governance frameworks. This consists of the NFP Governance Support Program; a Certificate in NFP Governance; a fully accredited Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance; a complimentary governance volunteer advertising service; CSA publications and CSA’s monthly professional journal in governance and risk management.
CSA says this package is specifically tailored to enable NFP organisations to improve governance practices.
He adds that CSA understands that in the NFP sector, governance and risk challenges are characterised by the ambiguity of the roles, relationships and responsibilities of the key stakeholders and potential conflicts that arise from the ‘social’ mission and associated funding issues typical of the sector.
Attending the launch, the Chair of the Advisory Board to the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission, Robert Fitzgerald, said the Not for Profit sector has grown rapidly over the past decade and contributes just over four per cent of Australia’s GDP, with nearly five million volunteers contributing an additional $14.6 billion in unpaid work.
He says given the contribution this sector makes towards the fabric of Australian society, improving the quality of governance arrangements is crucial to improving the sector's efficiency and effectiveness, directly benefiting all who rely on their services and strengthening the community's trust in the sector.
He says the governance program should help shape a stronger, more sustainable sector, equipping and empowering them to operate within an ever-changing business and social environment.
Darren Fittler, a lawyer in the Corporate Advisory group at Gilbert + Tobin, and a member of the firm's pro bono team, says they are proud to sponsor CSA’s new NFP Support Program as well as a series of training and development opportunities to be offered to those working within the NFP sector to attend.
Sheehy says the launch is a continuation of the good work CSA has done over the last two years through its governance support program, which has allowed CSA Members to assist, on a voluntary basis, over 18 NFPs, including Oz Green, Red Dust, Dandenong Neighbourhood House and the Muswellbrook Women’s and Children’s Refuge.