Running a not for profit organisation is not for the faint of heart. Not only are you responsible for the day to day running of the organisation but also for the continuous liaising with the board, stakeholders and others involved with the organisation. Add to that the need to ensure you are complying with all government regulations regarding not for profit organisations and in particular, self-governance conditions, and all of a sudden starting a not for profit organisation takes on a whole new meaning.
Of course, running the NFP is worthwhile for the cause/charity involved but it isn’t going to happen without a dedicated team who are committed to ensuring it is run with precision and care to ensure the best possible outcome at all times. Your board needs to be not only in line with your cause but must also have the skill set to ensure the NFP runs like a well-oiled machine including fundraising, staffing and meeting all reporting obligations.
It is not good enough to assume that someone in the organisation is meeting the statutory reporting needs as part of their role. This is a large part of running an NFP and needs to be allocated to a specific person who not only has the right skill set but the understanding of the importance of meeting these guidelines and ensuring that they are met on a regular basis.
One of the biggest areas outside of funding compliance, is the reporting and compliance of tax and superannuation guidelines for not for profit organisations. The Australian Taxation Office provides a wealth of information for NFPs including this handy Self-Governance Checklist for not for profit organisations. This checklist will allow key stakeholders to review and understand the organisations obligations for tax and superannuation reporting and allow them to put in place the necessary procedures to ensure these items are met in a timely manner as required by the Australian Taxation Office.
There are serious consequences if not for profit organisations fail to meet reporting requirements and it is not a good enough excuse to pass it off as someone else’s role. This role needs to be clearly defined from the outset and allocated to someone with strong skills in this area who will ensure the organisation’s performance and reputation are never brought into question.