From sporting organisations to the aged care sector, the pandemic delivered serious challenges for most not-for-profit organisations. As they begin to address recovery in 2021, many are turning their focus to the financial and other challenges ahead including downsizing and the need to re-engage and respond to staff, members and clients.

    Restoring balance sheets and accumulating reserves after the pandemic will be an important priority for many not-for-profits this year and into the future, AFL Commission board member and Infrastructure Australia Commissioner Gabrielle Trainor AO FAICD told delegates at this year’s 2021 Australian Governance Summit.

    In the session The NFP Challenge: Delivering Through Crisis she said “It's a challenge for not-for-profit organisations going forward to begin to restore their balance sheets and accumulate reserves. It’s incredibly important.”

    “If you've actually got some reserves, if you've got some strength in your balance sheet, obviously, a crisis like this is much more manageable.”

    Faced with the unknown in 2020, the AFL exhausted its own reserves and put in place lines of credit for hundreds of millions of dollars because revenue sources dried up. “We had no idea whether we would be able to get any revenue from broadcasters, or revenue from stadia, or [whether] we would have a competition at all.”

    To hear how directors Virginia Bourke FAICD, Chair of Mercy Health, Robert Pradolin GAICD, Chair of Housing All Australians, and Gabrielle Trainor AO FAICD adapted to the crisis and have been working to change their business models for the future, watch the full session video.

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