Release of the 2017 NFP Governance and Performance Study is just around the corner. NFP Sector Leader Phil Butler GAICD provides an sneak peek of its findings.

    As a subscriber to the NFP Quarterly Update, I am delighted to provide you with an early release of the eighth annual NFP Governance and Performance Study (the Study) which will be released in Sydney tomorrow.

    The 2017 edition remains the largest survey of its kind in Australia and is informed by individual responses from approximately 2,000 survey participants and focus groups held across Australia. Participants in the research include directors and executives from a diverse variety of not-for-profit (NFP) organisations.

    Every year, the Study focuses on new aspects of governance for NFPs, influenced by the feedback we receive from our members and the broader sector about the issues of greatest importance to them.

    In 2017, the study will address four key issues:

    1. Culture – Much has been discussed regarding organisational culture over recent years, and this year’s Study delved into the role of boards in monitoring, measuring and setting the culture of the organisation. It investigates what directors think of the culture of their organisation and how they test their beliefs.
    2. Risk – Many assume that NFP’s have a lower risk appetite than their commercial counterparts. The 2017 Study sets out to test this assumption and explores the attitudes and practical steps that NFP directors take to managing risk.
    3. Reputation – One of the greatest assets of any NFP is its reputation, but while the reputation of the sector is generally strong, it is not invulnerable. The study explores how directors perceive their organisations’ reputations and the steps they take to safeguard them.
    4. Financial Strength – The 2016 study had a strong focus on the need for organisations to make a profit and build financial strength. We revisit this theme in 2017 and explore whether NFPs are breaking even or going backwards.

    The launch will be supported by a series of briefing events across Australia where the findings of the study will be explored. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive an overview of the Study and participate in discussion on how its insights can be applied in practice.

    NFP scholarships

    In late June the AICD launched a scholarship program to support directors and executives from smaller NFPs to participate in a range of AICD short courses across Australia.

    In total, 140 scholarships were offered and we were overwhelmed by the response. We are continuing to review scholarship applications and appreciate the patience of all candidates as we finalise the process.

    For those who miss out on a scholarship this year, I am delighted to announce that we are planning to provide more scholarships in 2018 and I encourage you to apply again if you were unsuccessful in 2017.

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