Latest Our Community News
UPSKILL: Diploma of Governance training now available anywhere, any time!
Australia's best qualification for not-for-profit leaders just got better. As workers amp up their internet connections and improve their home offices in response to the pandemic, the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) has rebuilt its training to suit the times, and now delivers its premier course to people's homes.
DIPLOMA: Remote learning a bonus for students in the bush
For the very first time, students from far-flung corners of Australia are now able to study with ICDA without travelling to a big centre. Read about Eloise Page, one of the first regional students set to start the Diploma of Governance in its new online format.
FREE: Pandemic policy to help you manage the virus crisis
We have worked with NFP legal experts Moores to draft an epidemic/pandemic policy that's fit-for-purpose for organisations to address COVID-19, but also to deploy in any future threats. We hope you find it useful.
COVID LATEST: Read our sector news blog
Stay in touch with news and information on government assistance and advocacy for the community sector during the COVID-19 crisis, frequently updated.
AGONY UNCLE: How do we make the most of this lockdown?
With so many organisations forced to suspend normal operations, Our Community's Agony Uncle Chris Borthwick explains how you can use the time to get on top of your "housekeeping".
COMMENT: Virus shows us social change can happen, now
We go through life, all of us, thinking that the world around us is stable, fixed and reliable. And then something picks the world up and shakes it, and we realise how many of the things we've treated as iron laws of destiny are actually no more than guidelines, or convenient mass delusions, writes Our Community's group managing director, Denis Moriarty.
GIVING: How to give during the COVID-19 crisis
This crisis may drag on for many months; the ramifications may be felt for years. It may help you feel less guilty about your good fortune, more in control and more comfortable about giving if you have a strategy for it.
AGONY UNCLE: Should we still be planning?
Our Community's agony uncle Chris Borthwick ponders whether community organisations should continue planning for events throughout the COVID-19 crisis, or if they should cancel them all together.
FUNDING: Assistance for organisations affected by COVID-19
Information about financial assistance available to not-for-profit organisations and community groups affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Check frequently for updates.
SUPPORT: Help organisations affected by COVID-19
As the world responds to the rapidly evolving challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, many not-for-profits need your support. Click here to find a list of organisations calling for help.
ISOLATION: Twelve ways to stay playful
Making time for play is more important now than ever. Hear from Daniel Teitelbaum about 12 ways you might stay happy, healthy and connected in isolation.
SOS: Our Community launches campaign to combat COVID-19
One of Australia's leading support organisations for the country's 600,000 not-for-profits has promised to do whatever it takes to ensure the sector survives the COVID-19 crisis.
HELP: Leading community org calls on govt to do more for sector
In letters to the Prime Minister and Treasurer, the Community Council for Australia has outlined seven critical actions the government must take to protect the sector and enable it to continue to respond to the pandemic. Find out more here.
INDUSTRY STUDY: Facebook fundraising spikes after bushfires
A national study of fundraising trends during Australia's bushfire crisis has highlighted the new power of social media, high profile partnerships, and the desire for a single national organisation to collect money for all charities.
COMMENT: Why we need to appoint a no-bullshit council
Our Community's group managing director dreams of the creation of a council that helps us to just get on with it.
COMMENT: Aussie citizenship test - it's just not cricket
Our Community's group managing director Denis Moriarty proposes a revamping of the Australian citizenship test to better reflect what it means to be an Australian.
TOP TIPS: Creating an effective code of conduct
Click here for Moores' top tips for organisations to consider when creating or reviewing a code of conduct.
FESTIVAL: Cracker calendar built on governance insights
The 2020 Festival of Community Directors - a year-long celebration of community governance - has kicked off with a packed calendar of professional development opportunities for not-for-profit leaders.
BUSHFIRES: Celeste Barber's $51m fundraiser: it's complicated
The complications encountered by comedian Celeste Barber's massively successful bushfire fundraiser are an example of what can happen when good intentions collide with the legal concept of charitable purpose. Here are two lessons that all charities can learn from the saga.
CONFERENCE: Bright sparks to light up Communities in Control
The talent that will illuminate Australia's most important community conference has been locked in, with final speakers confirmed for the event that all community leaders must have in their calendar. Who will be presenting? Click the link to find out.
TRAINING: Scholarship opportunities are fast-tracked
Hundreds of not-for-profit leaders will be given the chance to win a part-scholarship to complete ICDA's acclaimed Diploma of Governance.
FUNDRAISING: More impact for Giving Tuesday campaign
A study of the recent Giving Tuesday campaign (December 3) has shown that more than half of participating organisations nationally tried new and innovative approaches to boost fundraising and donations - and a striking number recorded a spike in giving from new supporters.
TIM COSTELLO: Why not-for-profits are Australia's sleeping giant
Not-for-profits are yet to truly embrace the power they wield, former World Vision chief Tim Costello believes. Reverend Costello has seen time and again the failure of community organisation to stand up for themselves, and he plans to do something about it.
COMMENT: The future is now, and it's hot, dry and undeniably real
Burning off between bushfire seasons can help reduce bushfire intensity, but as climate change bites, the length of time between bushfire seasons is getting shorter every year, and that leaves us hardly any time between the fires to talk about the consequences, writes Our Community's group managing director Denis Moriarty
WHISTLEBLOWING: What NFPs should know about law changes
There's never been a better time for all not-for-profits to review their whistleblower policies and procedures, with new rules now in place. What does this mean for your not-for-profit? | Download your free whistleblowing policy
BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY: How you can help affected communities
Hundreds of charities, not-for-profits and community organisations are doing their bit to counter the effect of Australia's devastating and continuing bushfire emergencies. Here's what you can do.
SECTOR RESEARCH: Good governance crucial for arts community
A detailed study of arts governance published as a joint venture between the Australia Council for the Arts and the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) has highlighted the biggest issues facing arts leaders when it comes to running their organisations.
COMMENT: Why it's time to rethink our MP numbers
If you count all parliamentarians, state and federal, the ratio of residents-to-member has gone up from 1:5,000 to 1:40,000 since 1901. Has life really got eight times simpler in the intervening 119 years? Are we that much less in need of a voice on our side in the bureaucratic brouhaha? Our Community's group managing director, Denis Moriarty, on why it's time to rethink our MP numbers.
TATTOOED ANGEL: How an app and a community saved a life
Being active in your local community is rewarding and feels good - but it can also save your life. Read the story of Suzi Young's experience with surviving cardiac arrest.
RESEARCH: Not-for-profit 'roadmap' tackles sector's big issues
A landmark study of Australian not-for-profit governance has created the clearest picture yet of an often-misunderstood sector, revealing that organisations are most worried about government relations, funding, demographic changes, workforces, and the difficulties faced by clients. Download the 82-page report
AGONY UNCLE: Unsporting bullies take control of croquet club
Our Community's Agony Uncle, Christ Borthwick, deals advice on dealing with bullies in the board room.
SOCIAL IMPACT: The one gift that keeps on giving
Think Impact's Alischa Ross asks us to pause for a minute in during our orgy of consumption to raise a fundamental question: What does it mean to really give?
AWARDS: Celebrating the sector's unsung heroes
A South Australian woman who advocates for the rights of single mothers, a Victorian organisation that supports people overcoming addiction, and a New South Wales organisation that aims to help reduce the number of Aboriginal people in prisons received top honours at the 2019 HESTA Community Sector Awards.
GIVING GROWING: Hundreds sign up for Giving Tuesday
HUNDREDS of charities and not-for-profits have joined a fast-growing movement that's emerging as a powerful antidote to end-of-year excess, with charity leaders such as Tim Costello praising the 2019 event.
GOOD GOVERNANCE: Why you should trust and verify
The executive director of the Institute of Community Directors Australia, Patrick Moriarty, says one thing every organisation can do to improve the quality of its decisions is to employ the institute's mantra: "Trust and verify".
SECTOR REFORM: Our Community's role in sector blueprint
Community Directors Council chair Susan Pascoe, the former chief of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, has joined more than 30 other for-purpose leaders to set a new sector agenda.
FUNDRAISING: Why you've got to accept online donations
It's never been easier for community groups and not-for-profits to collect donations online. If you're not yet - why not? We examine what donors expect from NFPs in 2019.
GIVING TUESDAY: Small orgs boost with ready-made fundraiser
Australia's fundraising professionals say GivingTuesday, on December 3, is a great opportunity for big and small not-for-profits looking for an edge.
RESOURCES: Damn Good Advice for Schools now available
Download or order your copy of the book that answers 25 questions that school councillors need to ask themselves.
COMMENT: Ignoring the data is an invitation to disaster
Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty examines the crucial connection between data, decisions and government in his latest commentary, appearing across 150-odd Australian Community Media news titles.
SURVEY: Study proves NFP leaders need a better welcome
Nearly half of Australia's not-for-profits are giving their directors - including treasurers, secretaries and chairs - a poor induction into their organisation, a study into the sector's governance shows.
TREASURERS' AWARDS: Sports clubs shine
Australia's best community treasurers have shown how it is possible to do more with less when you combine good tech with clever ideas and great organisational skills.
NFP SPOTLIGHT: How do not-for-profit finances compare?
Australia's not-for-profits are almost evenly split between thriving organisations and battlers when it comes to their finances, a study into not-for-profit governance shows. Tap for more results, and to download the report.
COMMENT: What's the Catholic church teaching us about love?
Our Community's group managing director Denis Moriarty reveals the tough decision his partner Brendan made to quit as a deputy principal of a Catholic school, because as he puts it, "he can no longer live a lie".
FINDINGS: Study spotlights not-for-profit crime threat
Thousands of crimes targeting Australia's not-for-profits are going unreported, a detailed study into not-for-profit governance has revealed. The Institute of Community Directors Australia's latest Spotlight Report examines the impact of fraud and cybercrime on not-for-profit organisations.
B-CORPS: Recognition in mission to be a force for good
Our Community been included on the annual list of companies setting the gold standard for businesses doing good, making the list for "Best for Community" in 2019. It's the fourth year running.
B-CORPS II: Our Community House gets busy
Our Community House, the new headquarters for the social sector in Melbourne, is helping to spread the word about B Corps - businesses that balance purpose with profit.
ULURU STATEMENT: Time to show a bit of heart
The statement may take only a couple of minutes to read, but it's taken 231 years for colonialists to come to terms with it. It's our first chance since 1788 to come to a mutually respectful relationship with the cultures we spent so many decades attempting to erase.
#GIVINGTUESDAY: Why you should join this global movement
Australia is gearing up for its biggest ever GivingTuesday in 2019. What is it, and why should your organisation or community group get involved?
CONDUCT: What charities need to know about new rules
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has released new guidance on the External Conduct Standards (ECS). Effective since late July, these standards impose additional governance, recordkeeping and oversight obligations on registered charities with activities outside Australia.
COMMENT: Old-school not-for-profits risk losing trust
Our Thinker-in-Residence covers the trend of decreasing levels of trust in not-for-proft boards and what can (or should) be done about that.
AWARDS: Winners shine a light on our funding future
A team of NSW Government grantmakers overseeing a heritage grants budget of around $3 million per annum has been crowned the 2019 Grantmaker of the Year.
SPOTLIGHT REPORT: How well is your organisation performing?
The new Spotlight Report "Assessing Board & CEO Performance" reveals nearly two in 10 organisations have never reviewed their CEO's performance, a third of not-for-profit boards don't have a system for reviewing their own performance, while half of board members say they'd benefit from governance training. Discover the latest revelations from our national study into not-for-profit governance.
DATA READY: How NFPs can become more data driven
Innovation Lab lead Sarah Barker, based at Our Community House, explains how good use of data can be powerful and help transform your organisation.
COMMENT: Why battling homelessness is worth a gamble
Homelessness is a national problem that's rapidly compounding. A recent study found that it is up by more than 20 per cent since 2001. Yet homelessness is also one of the very few problems Australia faces that has a simple solution. If we build more social housing, homelessness will go away. All we need is money.
GENDER TRENDS: $100m donations study reveals preferences
Our research reveals big differences in the way men and women give. An analysis of $100m in donations to online platform GiveNow since 2001 by the Innovation Lab shows women give more often, but men chip in larger amounts. Read the news report, summary, and our interactive analysis now
SPOTLIGHT STUDY: A View from the Chair
Nearly all chairs enjoy their role as a board member and are planning to stay in their position, but the majority say they would benefit from more governance training. Download the report now
HR HELP: Free human resources for the community sector
Not-for-profits struggling to manage the estimated one-million-strong workforce in the huge community sector have a new place to turn to for help: Good Jobs Great HR at www.goodjobs.com.au.
NFP INTELLIGENCE: How our Data Lab will help you do better
Our Community House's Data and Communications Lab - an offshoot of the Innovation Lab - has flicked the switch to better understanding by not-for-profits through better intelligence, easy-access tutorials and analysing sector data.
SPOTLIGHT STUDY: Not-for-profits missing the data train
More than one in 10 not-for-profits doesn't bother tracking its success, while one in four say they don't collect any type of data, with arts, culture, sport and recreation groups the least likely to measure their success. Download the report now
INTERACTIVE: Numbers prove LGBTIQ+ funding falls short
A new report on LGBTIQ+ funding in Australia by Our Community and LGBTIQ+ collective giving group The Channel shows where the money is really flowing. | Explore our interactive now
TRAVEL PAYMENTS: Can I claim that on tax?
Do you understanding travel expenses and your legal obligations for your not-for-profit? Now you do ...
Top tips: How to nail your media coverage
The "mayor" of Hootville aka media guru Brett de Hoedt knows a thing or two about good communications and media, as an ex-journo across print, radio and TV, now heading a firm specialising in not-for-profits issues. Brett has released a stack of free resources for community organisations and here's a taste of his expertise with five tips to win coverage.
LEGAL TIPS: How NFPs can stay ahead of the threats
Siblings Catherine and Andrew Brooks are a formidable pair of legal experts who've forged a reputation for having a compassionate understanding of not-for-profits and their challenges. Here's their view of the trends and threats facing the sector.
Here's what we're doing to help not-for-profits deal with the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more, visit: ourcommunity.com.au/saveoursector.
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