Perpetual - Charity directors get access to education to promote good governance

July 14, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Australian Scholarships Foundation has today announced up to 325 scholarships for board members of charitable organisations, to support strong governance of the Not-For-Profit sector.

The scholarships, funded by the Perpetual Foundation and the JS Love Trust, will give participants a place on the Australian Institute of Company Directors' Not-For-Profit Board Course.

According to Andrew Thomas, General Manager of Philanthropy at Perpetual, NFP directors always seek to help others first in their use of limited NFP sector funds and resources.

"These scholarships help to address the financial constraints faced by NFPs, by providing opportunities for boards of charitable organisations to focus on ongoing director education without having to dip into their often limited funds.

"The scholarships will allow directors of charitable organisations to experience training that further develops understanding of their responsibilities," said Mr Thomas.

Amy Lyden, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Scholarships Foundation said NFPs are always under a lot of pressure to focus on outcomes and social impact, and education is vital to building capacity in this sector.

"Scholarships like these play an important role in supporting work of the NFPs, by strengthening the sector's leadership, governance and accountability," said Ms Lyden.

According to Mr Thomas, with the role of directors currently the focus of public debate it is important that directors understand their roles and responsibilities.

"As one of Australia's largest distributors of charitable funds, Perpetual has a broad perspective on the NFP sector and sees plenty of evidence of strong governance, and ongoing education has a key role to play in supporting this," said Mr Thomas.

"Charitable organisations address societal issues that are very complex, and it is up to directors to appropriately assess the performance of their organisation and make hard decisions."

"Not only are these organisations custodians of millions of dollars donated by Australians, they are the lifeblood of our community. These scholarships will help to further equip participating directors with the knowledge and skills to fulfill their important role," he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, John Colvin, said the Not-For-Profit Board Course was designed specifically for NFP directors looking to develop a deeper knowledge of directorship responsibilities, governance and performance issues relating to NFPs.

"Scholarship recipients will return to their organisations, having learnt from discussions about good governance practices and armed with a keen awareness of the responsibilities and risks of directorship," said Mr Colvin.

Scholarship applications are now open and will close on Friday 19 August. Applications are open to all existing board members of Australian charitable organisations. For more information on the scholarships, visit the Australian Scholarships Foundation's website:

Perpetual is one of the largest managers of private charitable foundations in Australia, with over $1.2 billion in funds under management (as at 31 December 2010). Perpetual is trustee to more than 450 charitable trusts which help medical, social, environmental, religious, cultural and educational causes. Perpetual Philanthropic Services is part of Perpetual Private Clients which advises clients on over $8.8 billion of investments (as at 31 December 2010). The Perpetual Private Clients team of experts offer tailored advice and services and can help clients fulfill their charitable intentions.