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Not-For-Profit Funding Survey Released

An inaugural benchmarking survey by Russell Kennedy Lawyers and financial management firm, Pitcher Partners, has found there is a need for Not-For-Profit organisations to find alternate means of funding to Governmental support.

The finding comes in the wake of changed funding policies and a second Survey result that highlights many Not-For-Profits rely heavily on Government grants. The report recommends that all organisations ensure they have the means to maintain solvency in the event of a policy change or lack of funding. This survey is important in the wake of New Federal Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison's statement that abolishing the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) was not a priority for him.

The Survey aimed to provide a benchmark for Not-For-Profit organisations and charities to measure themselves against in comparison to others in the sector. It focused on governance, strategy, fundraising, risk management and the use of volunteer and professional resources. A recommendation was also made that Not-For-Profits closely examine their own use of various tax status benefits to ensure their organisations really were eligible.Recent activity at the ACNC and ATO indicated a willingness to revoke Charity benefits and sanction false claimants.

“We have also identified that there is an opportunity for Not-For-Profit organisations to move forward toward more sustainable funding models by adopting commercial funding streams, rather than relying on fundraising as an ancillary source of monies,” the authors said.

Findings from last year, stating that almost 80% of submissions to the Senate Economics Legislation committee inquiry into the possible repeal of the (ACNC) did not support the government’s former plans to repeal and disband the ACNC, were also cited.

“Clearly there is a role for an external regulatory body to support and sustain the sector, and both Pitcher Partners and Russell Kennedy advocate ongoing commitment to this pursuit,” the report said. The Survey can be downloaded here.

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