Free Legal Service for NFPs
15 July 2014 at 9:59 am
A free online service has been created to help charities and Not for Profits in NSW and Victoria get support to navigate through the legal landscape as the sector faces major changes including the proposed abolition of the ACNC.
Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law program has launched the Not-for-profit Law Information Hub in Sydney and later in Melbourne to help volunteer lawyers.
“It features free, tailored legal information on more than 80 topics from charity reporting and good governance to social media and privacy laws,” Not-for-profit Law’s Director Juanita Pope said.
“Charities and Not for Profits needed help now more than ever with major changes such as the proposed abolition of the ACNC.
“Australia’s charities are grappling with unprecedented sector reforms, and there is no end in sight with the Federal Government’s proposed scrapping of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, and significant changes in funding of community services at state levels,” Pope said.
“The Information Hub has been carefully designed for Not for Profits, which are often run by volunteers – it’s written in their language, and features practical tools to help them with legal problems and keep up to date with changes in the law.”
The Information Hub was created by redeveloping and expanding the existing Victorian information web-portal previously developed by Not-for-profit Law (formerly known as PilchConnect).
Not-for-profit Law’s Manager of Legal Information Kate Fazio said many community organisations were under-resourced and struggled to feel confident that they were on top of legal compliance.
“Many of the community organisations we support are busy helping vulnerable people. Legal issues add stress, uncertainty and significant costs that impact on their delivery of services for the community,” Fazio said.
“When we help charities and Not for Profit organisations with their legal issues, they have more time, resources and energy for doing their important work in the community.
“The Hub is especially important for reaching groups in regional locations where there may not be lawyers with Not for Profit expertise.”
Fazio said the creation of the Information Hub was possible with significant support from the legal profession along with grant funding.
“Pro bono lawyers recognise that the Not for Profit sector is a critical contributor to Australia’s economy, employment and social fabric, and they have contributed thousands of hours to developing the resources on the Hub,” she said.
Reach Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sarah Davies said that the Information Hub was a unique resource for the Not for Profit sector.
“Having access to such accessible, clear, and comprehensive information is hugely valuable for non-profits,” she said.
“The information and resources are of the highest quality so you can rely on them with confidence and the generous sharing of resources saves so much time and duplication.
“It gives us accurate and trusted content. If we go to Not-for-profit Law, we don’t need to go anywhere else.
“Not-for-Profit Law’s resources challenge our thinking and broaden our perspective, giving us the confidence that we’re on the right track.”
The Melbourne launch will be held on July 17 at Norton Rose Fulbright law firm at 5.45pm, attended by the Victorian Attorney General Robert Clark and Robert Fitzgerald also speaking.