Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) training & strategies needs of nonprofits

Training Directions Network (TDN) interviews TRI Community Exchange on nonprofit Internet Communication Technologies (ICT) needs and strategies. What do you think? Comment on the TDN blog and let us know!

Click here to read interview.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NFPs Should Not Be Business-Like: UK Expert - Pro Bono Australia Article

Pro Bono Australia, 23 September 2010
UK Not for Profit sector expert, Debra Allcock Tyler has slammed the argument that NFPs should act more like businesses saying it goes against all the reasons that NFPs exist.
Speaking at the Victorian Government’s Think Innovation Summit, Allcock Tyler says she finds it offensive how much is written about how NFPs need to be run better and behave more like the business world.
She says the constant comparison between practices in the business and Not for Profit sectors is ironic, as it was the failure of corporate governance and banks that plunged the world into a recession. 
Source: Pro Bono Australia 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bigger not always better in non-profit world - CSI

Peter Shergold, The Centre for Social Impact, 26 June 2010
There is no perfect size or ideal structure or single path to expansion. In many instances community-based issues may best be addressed by a small, local organisation: in other instances the need for a national approach may most effectively be served by a large, networked body. Only when organisational ambitions are out of line with resource capacity do problems become evident. Bigness sometimes represents power and influence. Small is sometimes beautiful. The challenge is to fit organisational structure to social purpose.
Click here to read full article. 
Source: CSI

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Research to highlight the importance of process in small community organisations

WSCF is involved with UWS in an exciting research project that may help small organisations develop critical planning around practice in the light of expectations about accountability.  The project will focus on the importance of process in small community organisations. 

If you feel you fit the bill we hope you will consider an expression of interest in the project. 

Does your organisation:
  • Have less than 15 FTE
  • Have a ‘local’ focus or a ‘special interest’ focus
  • Incorporate a ‘community management’ model
  • Operate on a community development approach to service delivery?
If the answer to most of these questions if ‘yes’ (or if you think you are a ‘small organisation’ that would benefit from the ideas in the description of the project - pdf click here to download 191.59 Kb), we encourage you to consider taking part in the project. 

If you are interested we would love to come and explain more about the project in person. Please ring Mary Waterford on 9687 5812 or email  or Dr Mick Houlbrook, Social Justice Social Change Research Centre, University of Western Sydney Ph 9772 6818  to register your interest.   

Source: WSCF

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sector Development Glossary - ACOSS

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), March 2010

This document is a glossary of terms and their meanings that encompasses the breadth of sector development work currently underway in the Australian social service and community sector. The glossary is a resource for our sector, setting out some of the key issues that are the subject of sector development work internally or in the development of policy and advocacy objectives for reform. It is also an attempt to clarify some of the language and concepts that are widely used but have different meanings and implications depending on the size, location and activities of social service organisations.

pdf Click here to download Sector Development Glossary.

Click here to go to ACOSS' website. 

Source: ACOSS

Monday, March 29, 2010

Locally-based community organisations & social inclusion: new report

University of Sydney, 26 March 2010

A new report produced by the University of Sydney, the University of Western Sydney and the Illawarra Forum proposes that the NSW Government's social inclusion objectives have missed the mark in achieving its goals.

The Federal Government recently launched a Social Inclusion Agenda to help reintegrate marginalised members of society by amending its policies and programs in the area of social inclusion.

In NSW, the State Government has been implementing its own initiatives as part of this nationwide drive for increased social inclusion among disadvantaged communities, and a recent State Plan has set out specific and measurable concrete targets to determine the success of these initiatives.

The report, to be launched on Friday 26 March, argues that the NSW Government is neglecting the important role that locally-based community organisations play in creating a sense of belonging and hope for those in need.

It questions the current results-based accountability (RBA) framework used by the NSW Government in measuring the success of its social inclusion initiatives, because the RBA method of measurement does not include speaking to people from disenfranchised communities about their personal experiences.

The report argues that if the Government was instead conducting this kind of quantitative, experience-based research in measuring the results of their Social Inclusion Agenda, they would discover that locally-based community organisations play a vital role in assisting people with struggles over hardship, humiliation, inequality, inclusion, representation and redistribution.

Currently, at a local and regional level there is a lack of attention given to collecting statistical data about the contribution of locally-based community organisations in social inclusion, and so the NSW Government is ignoring a vital component in actioning social inclusion practises.

As the NSW social inclusion practices are largely replicated at a Federal level, the report suggest that the NSW Government's social inclusion failings should act as a test-case for the Federal Government's own Social Inclusion Agenda, and that both the RBA framework of measurement and role of locally-based community organisations in facilitating social inclusion need to be reconsidered.

pdf Click here to download report.
Sources: University of Sydney & Illawarra Forum

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

National Compact: working together - publication & website now available

The National Compact was signed today - publication available for download in the website which is now live -

ACOSS media release -

Compact Voice Australia: join in the Online Community for resources, discussion and ideas on the National Compact:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NGO Red Tape Reduction report - Department of Premier & Cabinet (DPC)

Co-ordinating Minister for Human Services, 8 March 2010 

Co-ordinating Minister for Human Services Linda Burney released a report today outlining how the NSW Government will reduce the burden of red tape on non-government organisations (NGOs).

Ms Burney said that the recommendations contained in the NGO Red Tape Reduction report were developed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet in close consultation with NGOs, peak bodies and other government agencies.

“We are confident that the strategies contained in this report will make it easier for NGOs to focus on their core business – delivering services to people in need in the community,” she

Alison Peters, Director at the Council of Social Services NSW (NCOSS), welcomed the recommendations.

“NGOs constantly tell us about their concern with the level of bureaucracy, red tape and compliance requirements when working with government. Any attempt to bring about greater consistency in government processes and make funding and reporting easier will be a huge improvement,” she said.
The Government will move immediately to implement the following initiatives by mid-year:
  • the introduction of e-tendering and word limits
  • standardising insurance requirements
  • the development and application of standard questions across agencies for tenders on
    issues such as management and financial viability
  • the reduction of information required from NGOs in the tendering process where
    information has already been collected by agencies.
Other reforms to follow include:
  • standardising and simplifying contracts
  • establishing more pre-registration panels with automatic eligibility for providers with a consistent record of performance and reliability, and
  • establishing a risk framework for NGO funding that would relate tendering and EOI processes to risk.
Click here to download report.
Sources: Community Services & ADHC

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Managing for Recovery' survey report: are charities winning the battle for funds?

In response to the economic climate, 85 per cent of Australian third sector organisations are changing their focus from cost cutting to generating revenue growth over the next twelve months.

The second survey by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA), Managing for Recovery, reveals that in the face of the worldwide financial crisis, Australian charities generally expect a positive year ahead.

Fundraising Institute Australia CEO Chris McMillan said the survey clearly showed how swift action by the third sector in the first half of 2009 in putting sustainable business strategies in place ensured the sector successfully weathered the financial storm.

"It's imperative not-for-profits continue to have a clear financial plan and strategy over the next 12 months to ensure their sustainable future in a competitive market," Ms McMillan said.

Mr Millen said larger organisations have fared better than their smaller counterparts in the last 6 months, with two in five (39 per cent) of large respondents experiencing an increase in income compared to a quarter (25 per cent) of small organisations. This trend is expected to continue across all sources of funding.

"There are pluses and minuses to this as large not-for-profits are likely to obtain more government funding than small not-for-profits," Mr Millen said.

"On the other hand, larger organisations are more likely to have investments, and therefore suffered greater falls in investment income as a result of the downturn."

Click here to read full media release and to download survey report.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector - Productivity Commission research report

Click here for more information and to download report.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

UK link: Alternative approaches to capacity building - emerging practices abroad

This study was undertaken to identify alternative approaches to third sector capacity building in countries outside of the UK. Principally desk-based, it draws on the insight and recommendations of the research team’s contacts which span Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, and the International Development context.

Click here to download 'Alternative approaches to capacity building - emerging practices abroad' report.

Source: Improving Support, Capacitybuilders

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two interesting articles

Click on a link below to view/download:

The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle - Stanford Social Innovation Review
"A vicious cycle is leaving nonprofi ts so hungry for decent infrastructure that they can barely function as organizations—let alone serve their benefi ciaries. The cycle starts with funders’ unrealistic expectations about how much running a nonprofi t costs, and results in nonprofi ts’ misrepresenting their costs while skimping on vital systems—acts that feed funders’ skewed beliefs. To break the nonprofit starvation cycle, funders must take the lead."

What should I know before joining the board? - BoardSource

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