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The 5 main challenges facing today's not-for-profit boards

Ahead of the AICD’s NFP Forum, being held in Perth in May, keynote speaker Anne Skipper AM FAICD shared five of the main challenges she sees NFP boards facing.

In an increasingly complex and constantly evolving environment, not-for-profit boards are facing ongoing challenges in their efforts to achieve long-term success and financial strength. At the AICD's upcoming Not-for-Profit Forum, to be held in Perth on 25 May, directors and industry experts will discuss how they are approaching these issues and give practical advice on how NFP leaders can steer their organisations to success.

Ahead of the Forum, keynote speaker Anne Skipper AM FACID, Chair of the Silver Chain Group, gave a sneak preview the main topics she will address in her presentation to set the tone for the conference.

1. Cutting through complexity

Never before have NFPs and their boards had to be clearer about their mission and what sets them apart in the market. Customers, stakeholders, funders and an organisation's members are demanding greater transparency as to what 'value proposition' the NFP provides.

2. Digital disruption

Dealing with technological disruption is as much an issue for the not-for-profit sector as the for-profit. There are opportunities for NFPs to more effectively deliver on their missions by being nimble and embracing technology. If an NFP's directors are not considering these issues, they risk their organisation becoming obsolete.

3. Changing demographics

Australia's changing population demographics, from the age profile to increasing cultural diversity, is changing the nature of the problems NFPs must address as well as how their methods in addressing them. NFP boards must ask how their organisations stay relevant as the communities they serve change.

4. Changing expectations

The expectations of customers, clients and communities are set to change in a world of consumer-directed funding brought on by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Boards must be ready to adapt and manage this new paradigm.

5. Managing cultural evolution

Change can be wrenching for any organisation if not approached delicately by an organisation's leadership. As sustainability becomes a priority for the sector, the push for NFPs to be leaner and more efficient will require cultural change to maintain the goodwill of all stakeholders.

The NFP Forum will be held in Perth on 25 May. For more information, visit the Forum page.

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