Good Governance

  • What is good governance?

    Good governance means complying with the law and legal duties, and carrying out the governance role in the best interests of the community organisations. When thinking about good governance, it includes many aspects such as how meetings are held, who is on your board and what skills they have, how new committee members are inducted, how frequently the board meets, how new staff are hired and what is its communication strategy  and more.  There are many online tools and resources available to help community organisations improve their governance.

    The links below are the samples for Roles and legal responsibilities of management committee members

    Good Governance Checklist

    What is Good Governance?

  • What is a Community Group?

    Community Group is defined as ‘a group or organisation which works for the public benefit’. Community Groups have the following characteristics:

    Organised: A Voluntary and Community group has a structure with rules about how the group is organised and run. This is called a ‘governing document’ or ‘constitution’.

    Self-governing and independent from any other organisation: Voluntary and Community groups are independent and are free to appoint their own management committee.

    Not for Profit. No one from within the group will profit from the group. For example, committee members should not be paid for their work and any profits generated should be reinvested in the group.

    Voluntary: Voluntary and Community groups are governed by a voluntary management committee and may rely on the support of volunteers to carry out their activities

    Public/community benefit: The group will carry out activities which benefit a particular group of people within the community.

    Before you start – Setting up a not-for-profit

    Checklist – About your group

    What does Not-for-profit mean?

  • Why Incorporate?

    The decision about incorporation is an important decision for community groups. Incorporation has significant legal consequences, many beneficial.  However, incorporation also brings with it responsibilities to report to government. Some groups in the early stages of development explore the potential to be ‘auspiced’ by an existing organisation. Incorporation gives your group its own legal identity (the group becomes a ‘separate legal entity’ from its members) .

    The group can enter into contract, sign a lease, employ people, and sue and be sued.Incorporated groups are incorporated under law (which can be either state or federal) and report to the regulator responsible for their type of structure, for example the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Incorporated groups follow a particular structure, with group rules (or constitution), members, and a governing body (often called a board or committee). Being incorporated has consequences for people who are going to be on the board or committee of management of a not-for-profit group, as these people have legal duties in their roles.

    The incorporation decision

    What is incorporation and does our group need to incorporate?

  • Creating a Constitution

    Creating a Constitution is important for the running of your community group, it is the guiding document to how decisions are made and the rules that must be followed for decision making, membership, electing committee/board members and other things, such as management of finances and meeting times.

    Setting up Your Organisation: Guidelines for setting up your organisation 

    Incorporated Associations in SA Fact Sheet

    Consumer and Business Services (in SA):
    Requirements for setting up your Community Group in SA.

    Associations Incorporation Act 1985

    Example of Rules for an Incorporated Association

    Consumer and Business Affairs Checklist

    Examples of Constutition and template for creating a community group:

    Example Consitution

    For more information on constitutions, contact:
    Consumer and Business Services,
    91 Grenfell Street, ADELAIDE SA 5001
    Telephone: 131 882

  • Registering as a Charity

    An organisation is a ‘registered charity’ if it is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC). The ACNC is responsible for many regulatory functions relating to charities, which were formerly administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

    Registering as a charity is often required to access charitable tax concessions . There are other benefits to registering as a charity, such as being listed on the public register of charities (and using the ‘Registered Charity Tick’), which can improve public trust in your organisation. In general, being registered as a charity does come with extra reporting obligations. However, in some instances reporting will be reduced (for example, for Companies Limited by Guarantee registered as charities). See Charity Reporting for more information.

    Registering as a Charity

    Introduction to Charities Law