Not-for-profit Governance strengthened by new industry partnership

A new professional course to support philanthropy organisations is launching in the New Year, following a partnership between Perpetual Guardian, New Zealand’s philanthropy leader, and the professional body for directors. Together Perpetual Guardian and the Institute of Directors (IoD) have created a hub of learning modules and governance resources for not-for-profit and social enterprise directors. Applications will open on 1 February 2021 for the Raymond Wilson and Perpetual Guardian Governance Scholarships, made possible by the Raymond Forbes Wilson Estate, the legacy of a generous client of Perpetual Guardian. The initial learning modules are planned to go live for the first scholarship recipients in March 2021.

In a July 2020 IoD survey of over 160 directors, 53% said they could use more governance tools and resources. New Zealand has 115,000 not-for-profit organisations, which contributed $12.1 billion in time and skills to the economy in 2018.

With around half of IoD’s 9,000+-strong membership holding directorships on not-for-profit boards, there is a need to enhance capacity and capability within the sector and better equip directors to drive innovation and apply entrepreneurial and commercial thinking in the multibillion-dollar philanthropy sector. Diversity is also a key focus in the sector, and Perpetual Guardian is encouraging applications from diverse groups to create broader representation in governance.

The hub is a modern, easy to use online space that has been developed by learning specialists in concert with governance experts. Its three sections comprise of an introduction to governance; governance development, which includes a structured learning course with six modules totalling around eight hours and featuring visual and interactive components and tests that must be completed in order to advance; and resources for charitable trusts, including webcasts, videos, articles and other content produced by IoD and contributors that will be refreshed often.

The hub as a whole will be enhanced as analytics and surveys reveal user behaviour and engagement. Once approved for the course, users will have 12 months to complete it. They will also be invited to engage with the full membership benefits of the IoD, including access to material that is usually exclusive to members.

Perpetual Guardian Group CEO Patrick Gamble says, “We are pleased to be working with the IoD on this new governance resource. Having worked closely for decades with hundreds of not for- profit organisations, we are conscious of their need for support in building strong governance frameworks that can serve the needs of their communities in the long term.

“Successful charitable and social enterprises depend on a combination of solid foundations and diverse skills and strategic direction at board level. The contribution of the IoD will be helpful in creating a comprehensive learning programme and hub of current resources for leaders and directors of these important organisations.”

Liz Gibbs, the head of philanthropy at Perpetual Guardian, says, “The 2020 New Zealand Support Report estimated total philanthropy and grant-making at $3.8 billion for 2018. This makes the charitable sector one of New Zealand’s most significant. The role the sector plays in our society and economy, combined with the increasing complexity of governance and responsibilities of directors, means ongoing learning and professional development at a high level is now a necessity for leaders to ensure that their organisations can deliver their charitable purpose and make high impact positive contributions to NZ communities’.

“This course has been carefully designed to deliver maximum value to directors, and we are engaging with our own clients and others around the country to ensure they can access it as they prepare to meet the demands of 2021.”

Kirsten Patterson, the chief executive of the IoD, says the course has being carefully curated with Perpetual Guardian to suit the needs of the sector.

“This platform is a new approach for IoD, as it combines our learning framework and bespoke content all in one place. The course is a great testament to Perpetual Guardian’s vision and entrepreneurial approach to supporting the sector and increasing the value it delivers to New Zealanders. Perpetual Guardian, as a long-time leader in the charitable and trustee sector, recognises the opportunity we have to build resilient organisations that are so important to the future of New Zealand. The IoD is delighted to see this commitment to building skills for not-for-profits and social enterprise, empowering the future of communities and building a strong, fair and sustainable New Zealand.”

Successful charitable and social enterprises depend on a combination of solid foundations, diverse skills, and strategic direction at board level. This scholarship is designed to give successful applicants access to a series of learning modules and governance resources designed to better equip not-for-profit directors or emerging directors to drive innovation, and apply entrepreneurial and commercial thinking to their roles in the philanthropy sector.

If this is you, or you would like to refer this opportunity to a colleague, please don’t hesitate to send them apply to the Raymond Wilson and Perpetual Guardian Governance Scholarships, in collaboration with the Institute of Directors New Zealand.

You might also like: