Our Community news

Latest Our Community News

STATEMENT: Our Community welcomes ALP's charities policy

One of Australia's leading suppliers of education, tech tools and connections for the not-for-profit sector has welcomed with open arms the Australian Labor Party policy statement regarding charities in Australia.

EVENT NEWS: Practical Impact shows how to evaluate better

If something is worth doing, it's worth evaluating. To make good decisions you have to have a plan, you have to gather the data, make sense of it, and impose value on it. What are you doing right? Where could you do it better? Join us on June 3 and learn everything you need to get started with evaluation.

BOARD DIRECTION: Why it's time to Communicate with Clout

In the May 2019 edition of Community Directors Intelligence we help you wrangle the media, define your brand, measure your impact and understand where not-for-profits stand in the days before the federal election.

SECTOR TRENDS: How NFPs can keep calm under pressure

With more than 30 years of experience on NFP boards and as managing director of her own company providing strategy and fundraising advice, Wendy Brooks is well placed to take the pulse of the sector. She says funding and leadership will be key factors you'll face.

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

SECTOR STUDY: Winners sum up the mood in NFP survey

We've recently finished a survey of nearly 1900 not-for-profit groups to create a snapshot of key issues affecting boards across Australia and awarded some of the best comments. If you missed the survey, it's still worth downloading the questions to assess your performance.

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 is releasing a stack of FREE resources for community organisations as part of the Festival of Community Directors, with a week of events from May 6-10, 2019. Don't miss out. In the meantime, here's a taste of his expertise with five tips to get coverage. Test them NOW!

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.

NEW HQ: Our Community House opens in North Melbourne

A diverse array of for-purpose organisations are planning to join Victoria's first data-focused co-working hub for the social sector, Our Community House, now open.

CONFERENCE: Communities in Control set to shake things up

Imagine this. One thousand delegates fired up by campaigners, mavericks, advocates, radicals, intellectuals and artists at the same time as Australians go to the polls. Expect fireworks. Download the program

UPDATE: What's up with the Festival of Community Directors

The 2019 Festival of Community Directors kicked-off with a bang in February, beginning a year-long celebration of learning for the not-for-profit sector. Here's what's next.

PREDICTIONS: Brace for impact of elections, quotas, inquiries

Community Hubs chief Sonja Hood has these predictions for the big issues likely to face not-for-profits.

REGULATIONS: How whistleblowing law shake-up affects you

Blowing the whistle on trouble could be the best thing you ever do for your organisation. Find out why.

FUNDING EXPERIMENTS: Five grants trends to watch

From "micro-focus" grants to "f**k-up nights", here are our top predictions for grants trends we've begun to see emerging this year.

BUZZWORDS: Jargon you'll be hearing more of in 2019

Dr Lucy Bernholz presents a primer on the jargon you'll be hearing in the news, at conferences, and around meeting tables in 2019. Some are ephemeral, some are meaningful. Get your bingo cards ready.

ACNC PLANS: Gary Johns on what you can expect this year

ACNC Commissioner Gary Johns spells out his agenda and priorities for the sector including governance, the new ACNC IT system, resources, data and the benefits of having your own website.

POLICY: What to expect (at work) when you're expecting

Pregnant women have the right to nap at work when they need to, under a new pregnancy and parenting policy implemented at Our Community last month. We spoke to executive director Kathy Richardson about how the new policy was developed, and how it might be adopted by other workplaces.

ACNC: Commission seeks new measures for not-for-profit health

The ACNC is looking for new ways to measure success in the sector, but not everyone is happy.

TOP ISSUES: Legal eagle's birds-eye view of the sector

Lawyer Rebecca Lambert-Smith has a keen eye on the regulatory environment and takes a holistic look at how things could pan out for the not-for-profit sector in the near future.

INSPIRATION: Find focus with the Festival of Community Directors

Australia's first-ever year-long celebration of community governance, the 2019 Festival of Community Directors, is jam-packed with inspirational, informative and celebratory events. Download the program.

DONATIONS: Understanding the power of suggestion

Our Community researchers have proven how important it is for fundraisers to tailor their suggested donation amounts according to the profile of their particular supporters. Plus download the report

LEGAL: New accounting rules for not-for-profits

Not-for-profits will need to revise their approach to assessing income following the introduction of new accounting standards. The changes affect assets and volunteer services received by organisations for much less than "fair value". Find out more.

PAT'S TIPS: Seeing the big picture crucial to your survival

ICDA's executive director and head of training, Patrick Moriarty, has seen the best and worst of not-for-profit governance. Here are his thoughts on the challenges facing the sector this year. Plus: Watch his video now.

#GivingTuesday: Aussie, NZ giving campaign goes global

Australia's first giving platform GiveNow has been appointed as a regional leader for the global #GivingTuesday movement, just days before the fundraising service hits a $100-million milestone.

AGONY UNCLE: Paws for thought before blowing the whistle

Our Community's Agony Uncle, Christ Borthwick, deals advice on what to do when receiving gifts from charities.


Our Community's Thinker-in-Residence dives into the recent Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and explains how will affect the community sector.

FUTURE 500: High hopes for scholarship winners

The first of our Future 500 Governance Leadership Scholarship winners have been announced. All the applicants showed great commitment to their causes, all of them driven by a passion for a purpose beyond profit.

MEET THE TRAINER: How Lisa's ear for harmony is helping NFPs

We spoke with Our Community's latest addition to the training team, Lisa Jennings, about her involvement in the community sector, her passion for music, and what she loves about being in the classroom with community directors.

DIRECTORS: Good governance again in the spotlight in 2019

Former ACNC commissioner Susan Pascoe, now chair of the Community Directors Council, is well versed in the challenges and opportunities facing the community sector. She looks at what lies ahead for NFPs in 2019, and predicts a renewed focus on governance.

DIPLOMA WINNERS: Future leaders scoop up scholarships

A new generation of Australian not-for-profit leaders are on the cusp of gaining fresh skills, networks and credentials after winning a place in the first round of the Future 500 Leaders scholarships.

OPINION: Stop blaming politicians, start getting active

If the existing structures aren't working for you, then it's up to people to join a movement, or start something themselves, writes Our Community's Denis Moriarty.

RESEARCH: Study seeks to arrest fall in grassroots leaders

South Australian research has put a microscope onto the leadership of "grassroots associations" to find out what can be done to arrest the decline and to maintain vital organisations that provide critical social connections. Find out more.

GRANTWRITING: Don't hate me, I'm a grantwriter

The founder and director of Grant Professionals, Robert Palaricciotti, spoke to Grants Management Intelligence about how grantwriters are helping to improve the grantmaking industry.

ALAN SCHWARTZ: Introducing the Universal Commons

Leading Australian philanthropist Alan Schwartz is tackling one of the hardest challenges the planet faces: to put a true value on the social and natural capital of the world, including health, literacy, trust, clean water and biodiversity. Here's how.

CULTURE SHOCK: Why Aussie game is just not cricket

The explosive review that picked over the toxic culture linked to Australian cricket's shameful ball tampering affair has laid bare the risks for leaders who think, "It can't happen to us".

MEASURE THIS: Funders the key to evidence-based practice

Our Community's chaos controller Kathy Richardson examines a future where there are proper incentives for using evidence, and where the dollars follow.

GARY BANKS (AO): What happened to evidence-based policy?

The past decade has seen a major decline in the use of evidence-based policy, and Prof Banks delves into why with reference to Humpty Dumpty, JFK and 'The Castle'.

RADIO WAVES: Tune in to the power of community

If anyone doubted the power of community to connect us, keep us healthier, and battle disadvantage, they'd need look no further than community radio.

ANALYSE THIS: Free tech tool for NFPs released

Not-for-profit directors wanting to know more about the performance of their organisations should be aware of a new free workplace analytics tool.

REACHING OUT: How to use your 'social connectors'

An Australian study into the role of these special individuals has described the incredible resource and potential they represent, particularly when it comes to engaging with people in the community whom services find the hardest to reach.

CHILD SAFETY: Action must follow national apology

While the apology was an important moment in Australian history, it will be the actions to safeguard children from abuse that matters most, writes Moores principal Skye Rose

#GIVINGTUESDAY: A wave of giving starts right here, right now

Community groups in this part of the world had the chance to be the first to get on board a growing global giving trend dubbed #GivingTuesday. | Social media campaign is just gut instinct

WHAT'S NEXT? The future of grantmaking

Our Community's "chaos controller" explains how the Australian Institute of Grants Management (AIGM) and its sister enterprise The Innovation Lab are helping drive grants innovations such as automated shortlisting, AI-driven classification, smart maps and an outcomes engine.

GROWING UP: Greening Australia's culture shock

How Greening Australia reinvented itself, going from a bloated, self-interested and often dysfunctional not-for-profit to one with a powerful environmental agenda to save the world.

FINANCE HELP: Watchdog to tackle rip-offs

The head of the new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which starts business on November 1, has promised easier access for the most vulnerable needing help with finance disputes.

PAY RATES: Reaction to entitlements ruling

A recent Federal Court case has sent shock waves among employers by allowing a casual employee to claim permanent employee entitlements even though he was paid a higher casual rate.

COMMENT: Culture is key to healthy community organisations

Companies, charities and community organisations that haven't yet been hauled over the coals should meditate on the word "yet", writes Our Community's Denis Moriarty. | Culture special report

GOOD PRACTICE: Good culture starts at the board table

Culture can make or break an organisation. Is your board doing all it can to create a good organisational culture?

SPELL IT OUT: Our Community's culture? Read the Manifesto

How Our Community's workplace "Manifesto" helps foster a good culture.

AWARDS: Being treasurer is more than a numbers game

There's more to not-for-profit treasury than numbers, explains Suzana Vlahovic, one of four community treasurers awarded in the 2018 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-profit Treasurers' Awards.

EVENT WRAP: Board members aiming higher after conference

Community directors are better equipped to crack the code when it comes to regulation, data, culture, media, finances, legal challenges, their internal politics, and much more, following ICDA's recent conference in Melbourne.

LEGAL THREATS: Avoiding scandal by promoting good culture

Changing your company culture may help you prevent sexual harassment and child protection failures in the workplace, according to Moores principal lawyers Catherine Brooks and Skye Rose.

KEYNOTE: How Susan Pascoe sees the future for NFPs

Community directors face an unprecedented burden of increased regulation, decreased funding and low community trust, according to the former commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Susan Pascoe.

ACNC REVIEW: Sector welcomes findings

Thirty recommendations from a wide-ranging review into the operation of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) have been largely welcomed by the social sector following their release last month.

GOOD DATA: Why not-for-profits must do data better

Dr Lucy Bernholz, a world-recognised thinker on digital and data trends, and a specialist in helping not-for-profits manage digital assets better, says groups must improve the way they handle data, in the interests of keeping our civil society strong.

COMMENT: Reef grant is hardly gold standard

The Federal Government's close to half-billion dollar grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation isn't exactly best practice writes Thinker-in-Residence Chris Borthwick.

POLITICS: Libs turmoil gives sector new minister

ACT Senator Zed Seselja has been appointed the Federal Government's new minister responsible for charities and not-for-profits, the sector's sixth since 2013.

LEADERSHIP: Keenan Mundine on Indigenous leadership

There are many different paths to community leadership, but probably none so rarely travelled as the one taken by Keenan Mundine who went from a childhood on the Block in Redfern, to speaking on criminal responsibility to an audience at the United Nations.

DIVERSITY: The critical need for disability leadership

Christina Ryan, CEO and founder of the Disability Leadership Institute, has been examining what "disability leadership" is and how to use this information to combat the fall in Australia's global business rankings.

NEW SYSTEMS: DSS to revamp grants for families and children

The Federal Department of Social Services (DSS) is expected to make major changes to its $217 million annual grants programs aimed at families and children.

COMMENT: When is a charity not a charity?

Chris Borthwick, our Thinker-in-Residence, takles Tony Abbot's codemnation of the ACNC investigation into Catholic Education Melbourne, and asks the question "When is a charity not a charity?" and the equally important question, "When is a beard not a beard?"

DONATIONS: Community donors keep giving as others cut back

While the national trend in giving is facing a slump, donations through Our Community's donations platform, GiveNow, are at an all time high. The GiveNow team provides some insight into why and how they're fighting against the dip.

LEADERSHIP: If ethics is so obvious, why is it so hard?

Most not-for-profit leaders aim to set - and expect the people in their organisations to practise - high standards of ethical behaviour, but experts in the field of human behaviour and management say humans are irrational and tribal, and getting them to behave in a particular way isn't always easy.


VIDEO REPORT: What makes a good community leader?

DIVERSITY: Why diversity makes good sense for NFP leaders

RESOURCES: The trouble with good leadership: What not to do

LEARN TO LEAD: Inside the Australia Council's program

SHARING THE LOAD: How NFPs can do more (with more)

COMMENT: Thai caves rescue shows power of community

ANALYSIS: The twin foundations of leadership with Simon Longstaff

FINANCE: Top treasurer's advice for organisations (with interactive help)

OPINION: ASIC levy stems from a state-federal mess

ATO ADVICE: Tree planting is now less taxing

CROWDRAISERS: Charity sleep-out shoots for the stars

OUR CONFERENCE: Why it's time to put Communities in Control

GOOD BUSINESS: Our Community "Best for Community", again

LGBTQI+ LENS: Why our data scientists are chasing rainbows

VIDEO: Abuse survivor tells why this child safety toolkit is a must

DATA THREAT: NFP cyber attack highlights data dangers

WOMEN'S BUSINESS: The role of gender in winning grants

FREE DOWNLOAD: Equip yourself with our child safety toolkit

FREE POLICY: Improve your complaints process

PARTNERSHIPS: What are your legal options for collaboration?

PRO BONO POWER: Partnerships power free legal help

RISE OF THE MACHINES: Dangers of data on autopilot

POWER IN UNITY: Cooperate to propagate

KEYS TO CHANGE: Jocelyn's mission to end family violence

SHARE THE SPACE: Co-locate to collaborate

THEY SAID IT: How to make collaboration work

DATA: Astrophysicist turns to the grants universe

STUNNING: The Geelong Project's collaboration breakthrough

COMMUNITY: Backyard sessions bringing people together

SECURITY: How to manage passwords in your organisation

CROWDRAISE: Fundraising tool gives people the power, for less

COLLABORATION: Community Directors Intelligence tells you how

PARTNERSHIPS: The Impact Assembly's change agenda


CONNECTIONS: 50 hot tips for finding the right business partner

VIDEO: to boost directors' credentials

SECTOR TRENDS: The big issues for not-for-profits

ON ADVOCACY: When it's time to speak out

HELP SHEET: The 12 rules of advocacy

STAND STRONG: Why advocacy is crucial for not-for-profits

DATA FOCUS: New not-for-profit chief's advocacy warning

CHARITY SHAKEUP: So what do US tax changes mean for us?

PEOPLE POWER: How GetUp grabbed your attention

ADVOCACY TOOLKIT: How to change a law

THINKING AHEAD: Our Community House announced

TALENT: Meet the Community Directors Council

ETHICAL DECISIONS: Get help with a free independent helpline

GREAT QUOTES: Mobilising the grassroots to create change

ADVICE: How to communicate with clout

CHILDREN: How Royal Commission into child abuse affects you


DATA DRIVE: CLASSIE system has new bells and whistles

BOYCOTT: Why Our Community wants Oz Day date to change

ORDER OF AUSTRALIA: Unrepresentative, uncaring, unchanged

TAX RULING: Decision less taxing on directors' decisions

SOCIAL IMPACT: Airbnb turns to community groups

MEET THE TRAINER: Patrick Moriarty

HELP SHEET: Eighteen tech tools for the 2018 not-for-profit

FIRST PERSON: Random Hacks of Kindness

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: How are your community's Vital Signs?

MAPPING SOCIAL COHESION: We're still sticking together, just

FUNDRAISING: Why loyalty is such a powerful motivator

GLOBAL: Community groups the frontline of inequality fight

GOVERNANCE: Community directors' scholarships open doors

RESOURCES: IT help - free, discounted, donated

FUNDRAISING: Spread the load to build financial sustainability

ADVICE: Top five financial questions for not-for-profits

RSL's finance battle a lesson for us all

SUSAN PASCOE: Top regulator joins forces with Our Community