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Charities and other not for profit (NFP) organisations operate under laws unique to their sector. They also face many of the same challenges as for-profit businesses.
In striving to achieve their objects, NFPs must regularly review their governance and legal structures, build and protect their reputation and preserve their charity status and tax related endorsements.
In an environment where NFPs face increasing competition for donors and government funding and challenges in attracting and retaining skilled staff, many NFPs are seeking advice regarding ways to operate more effectively – including mergers and acquisitions, undertaking complex property developments, partnering with other NFPs and revisiting employment arrangements to better attract new talent.
We stay abreast of key legal developments in the charity sector so that we can better assist NFPS to improve their ability to attract government funding, donor support and expand the uptake of their services.
We guide many NFPs through their establishment and operational phases as well as partnering with mature NFPs on an ongoing basis, with particular focus on disability and other health services organisations, professional organisations and educational institutions.
Our commitment to the NFP sector is also demonstrated in the Macpherson Kelley Foundation, which supports a range of charities in the education, welfare, health and international aid sectors.
We advise NFP clients across all areas of expertise, in particular:
we advise nfp clients across all areas of expertise, in particular:
We assisted with the establishment of the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse, a public benevolent institution established following recommendations from the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse. Our role included advising on the governance structure of the newly established entity as well as arrangements between the three foundation members, Blue Knot Foundation, The Healing Foundation and the Australian Childhood Foundation, including preparing a detailed constitution and membership agreement. We also assisted with the organisation’s successful application for registration as a charity, the negotiation of amendments to the Federal Government funding contract as well as preparing key template agreements for the ongoing operation of the National Centre including Research Agreements, Subcontracting Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding and Requests for Funding Applications.
We advised a leading social services representative body with more than 600 grassroots members in relation to a restructure from an incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee. This work included implementing a governance and membership categories overhaul, advising on intellectual property licensing arrangements with members and preparing supporting documents including a new constitution, member meeting materials and member agreements and liaising with the Registrar of Incorporated Associations for the State in which the organisation was registered.
We assisted a religious order with the sale of its aged care operations and assets to another NFP. With the involvement of multiple teams across our firm, we assisted the Order through the complex sale transaction, providing additional advice around the restructure of the Order’s retained operations to accommodate their future charitable goals, including their ability to provide overseas aid.
We regularly carry out reviews of established public benevolent institutions to assess whether their purposes and activities align with the applicable criteria including reviewing and advising on relevant statements in public facing materials including on the charity’s website, in their ACNC Annual Information Statements, contracts with third parties and financial statements.