New manuals for boards of community organisations

We are passionate about helping Victorians understand the law and the legal system. In most instances, our focus is on helping the broader community understand common legal issues and overcome barriers to legal services. But we also believe its crucial to support the organisations that deliver services to Victorians. Our Executive Director, Joh Kirby, shares her thoughts on our latest collaboration with Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS).

‘If you have been reading the papers over the past few weeks, you would have noticed that a high profile Melbourne school has been faced with a few governance issues lately. While every organisation is different the situation highlights the complexities of being a member of a voluntary board, even one made up of high profile corporate professionals.

There are over 35,000 registered not-for-profit organisations in Victoria. These are generally run by small groups of committed individuals with limited resources, funding and staffing. If you are a member of a not-for-profit board, you, like all board members, need to consider issues such as finance management, governance, compliance, policy and procedures, and employment. If you have limited experience in these areas and are working as a volunteer, this can be really challenging.

While some of the issues faced by not-for-profit boards are similar to those faced by corporate boards, there are some differences. As a result, there is a need for good quality information that speaks to the particular skills and sensitivities of these organisations.

The foundation, in conjunction with the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS), has published a series of manuals for community organisations. The newest in the series, launched this year, focuses on employment. The manual covers key areas such as legal obligations, recruitment, training and pay, in the foundation’s trademark clear, no-nonsense language. The other two manuals in the series cover governance and management issues and developing policy and procedures.

So, the next time you are asked to sit on a board of management for a local sporting group, community organisation or not-for-profit, consider reaching for one of these manuals to help you navigate yourself quickly and easily through your new responsibilities.’

Order these and other foundation publications from our website.

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