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Investigating Not for Profit Sector’s Financial Literacy


21 April 2015 at 11:41 am
Xavier Smerdon
Australia’s social economy hub, Pro Bono Australia, has partnered with international tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton to investigate financial literacy in Australia’s Not for Profit sector.

Xavier Smerdon | 21 April 2015 at 11:41 am


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Investigating Not for Profit Sector’s Financial Literacy
21 April 2015 at 11:41 am

Australia’s social economy hub, Pro Bono Australia, has partnered with international tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton to investigate financial literacy in Australia’s Not for Profit sector.

The Grant Thornton Financial Literacy Survey aims to understand the state of play in the Not for Profit sector in terms of the impact of new funding models and the ability of senior managers and Board members to deal with emerging financial issues and future sustainability.

“We need to understand the breadth of financial literacy at this senior level, whether Boards are able to understand the risks and opportunities associated with new and emerging funding models and the move towards sustainability,” the national Head of the Not for Profit Industry Group at Grant Thornton, Simon Hancox said.

“These are concepts that are not traditionally in the Not for Profit space.

“The survey looks at the current level of financial literacy competency as well as how organisations are positioned for future financial sustainability.

“There have been a number of financial literacy surveys but they have focused primarily on the ‘here and now’ – looking at whether Boards understand their balance sheets and that there is a reasonable level of competency around this.

“There hasn’t been a lot looking at whether Not for Profit Boards have the right skill sets to deal with the changing landscape and ensure the future sustainability of their organisations,” Hancox said.

“Building financial sustainability is about ensuring the organisation has a diversified structure that brings together a reliable revenue stream with high performing assets and investments.”

Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading independent assurance, tax and advisory firms.

“This survey is a vital piece of work for the Not for Profit sector and Pro Bono Australia is able to use its vast network to tap into the knowledge around financial literacy,” Pro Bono Australia Founder and CEO Karen Mahlab said.

“We believe this is an important piece of research to do. Most Not for Profits are looking at how to diversify their revenue streams so an essential part of the role of senior management and Not for Profit Boards is being able to understand its financial position so that they can take up the opportunities new investment streams and models coming online can offer.

“The recent Curtin Charities Report reveals the Australian Not for Profit sector has a combined total income of more than $100 billion. This survey will identify the skills and any knowledge gaps in managing these funds.”

Survey participants will receive a copy of Grant Thornton’s latest international report titled: Growing communities: How charity leaders govern social media globally to thrive online as well as a Free Edition of Pro Bono Australia’s highly sought after monthly publication The Board Report.  

All  participants who include their email address at the conclusion of the survey will receive the full report via email once the results are completed.

Take part in the Survey HERE


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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