Tēnā koutou katoa
As we approach the end of the year, thoughts turn from the activities and achievements of the year to reflections on the achievements and on our contributions to NZ Inc. Inevitably, reflections over the summer holidays also turn to any new year’s resolutions for 2018.
For many of us, not-forprofit (NFP) involvement will be on our list of new year’s resolutions – 51% of our members are engaged on NFP boards, many of them balancing their corporate or state sector efforts with the desire to contribute to their communities. For many of us reflecting over the Christmas break, the question will be how we can contribute in our NFP roles better.
As the CEO of an NFP, I’m enormously grateful to the many volunteers who help the IoD promote excellence in governance. We are so fortunate to have so many people who understand how good governance benefits New Zealand as a whole by building stronger, more sustainable organisations.
Recently, I was invited to talk to the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand on what it means to “do well and do good”. The opportunity to step back and think about the NFP sector as a whole got me thinking. How well are we doing at doing well and doing good?
At first glance, our NFP sector is hugely productive. New Zealanders are big on giving, and we have a vibrant NFP sector that contributes a significant amount to our economy.
A report published last year by Statistics New Zealand on the size of the NFP sector found NFPs contributed $6 billion to the economy in 2013, and more than 1.2 million New Zealanders contributed to the sector as volunteers. That’s almost the population of Auckland engaged in doing great things for other people.
Two charities are established every day in New Zealand, and more than 114,000 organisations are engaged in the NFP sector.
The contribution that NFPs make to New Zealand’s economy is so significant that it is beginning to rival other sectors. In 2013, this contribution was 3% of our GDP, but when volunteer labour is counted, this rises to 6%.
There’s little doubt that us Kiwis are hugely passionate about NFPs. According to the Charities Aid Foundation, New Zealanders are the second most generous in the world, giving 0.7% of GDP to others. For NFPs, every little bit helps, and giving money or time helps these organisations stay afloat.
A recent report by Jo Cribb called Governing for Good: The Governance Capacity of NGOs interviewed 36 board members across 12 NGOs and identified many challenges. NGOs cited difficulty attracting and retaining good talent for their boards, particularly when based in the regions. The biggest challenge still for NFPs was securing funding, with76% saying it was the greatest concern for their organisation. While there are a lot of donations going into the NFP sector, funding is still concentrated in the largest NFPs – 89% of the income for the sector was controlled by just 11% of the organisations.
Strengthening governance in this sector is a great step in addressing some of these challenges. Volunteering your governance skills is often more valuable than money. Every contribution by individual IoD members to better NFP governance makes a difference.
Ahakoa he iti he pounamu – although it is small, it is greenstone.
A special thank you to all of the IoD volunteers around the country both at council and branch level.
Safe and happy holiday season everyone!