Setting up robust and effective policies and codes is a critical step for all charities. They serve as guides for decision-making, maintaining integrity and transparency, and ensuring that the organisation stays on mission. In this post, we’ll explore the key policies and codes that Australian charities should have in place, drawing on our experiences working with numerous Australian Charities.
Why are Policies and Codes Important?
Policies and codes provide a roadmap for how your charity operates, setting the standard for behaviour, responsibilities, and processes. They can help manage risk, demonstrate accountability to stakeholders, and ensure legal and regulatory compliance.
Key Policies and Codes for Australian Charities
- Code of Conduct
A Code of Conduct outlines the values of your charity and sets expectations for how your staff, volunteers, and board members should behave. It fosters a culture of integrity and respect, which is crucial to maintaining trust with your stakeholders.
- Conflict of Interest Policy
A Conflict of Interest Policy provides guidelines on how to identify and manage potential conflicts of interest to ensure decisions are made in the best interest of the charity. It’s important for maintaining transparency and trust in your charity’s governance.
- Risk Management Policy
Risk management is crucial to the sustainability of your charity. A Risk Management Policy outlines how your charity identifies, evaluates, manages and reviews its risks.
- Financial Management Policy
A Financial Management Policy details how your charity manages its finances, including procedures for financial planning, management, and reporting. This policy is critical for demonstrating accountability and ensuring the financial sustainability of your charity.
- Fundraising Policy
Fundraising is the lifeblood of most charities. A Fundraising Policy outlines how your charity raises and manages funds, including donor rights and recognition, and complies with fundraising regulations.
- Volunteer Policy
If your charity involves volunteers a Volunteer Policy provides guidelines on their roles, rights, and responsibilities, and how they are managed and supported.
- Complaints Handling Policy
A Complaints Handling Policy shows your charity’s commitment to addressing concerns raised by stakeholders. It provides a clear process for managing and resolving complaints in a fair and timely manner.
- Diversity and Inclusion Policy
A Diversity and Inclusion Policy ensures all individuals are treated fairly and with respect, fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.
- Whistleblower Policy
A Whistleblower Policy encourages individuals to report suspected wrongdoing in the charity, ensuring a safe and confidential process for them to do so.
Where to Find Templates and Resources?
Crafting policies and procedures from the ground up can seem like a formidable task. Luckily, numerous resources are available to provide templates as a starting point.
- Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC): The ACNC provides an array of resources, including governance and financial management templates.
- Justice Connect: Their Not-for-Profit Law resources include a set of policy templates designed for Australian NFPs.
- Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA): The ICDA’s policy bank contains many free templates.
- Our Community: Offers a range of resources, including policy templates and guidance for NFPs.
- Pro Bono Australia: Here you’ll find a wealth of resources, templates, and guides.
- Local Councils and State Government Websites: Many provide free resources and templates.
International English-speaking Resources:
- The National Council of Nonprofits (USA): Provides a wide array of sample policies and procedures.
- CharityComms (UK): Offers resources, guides, and templates tailored to the needs of charities.
- The Wheel (Ireland): Contains a helpful resource centre, including various templates and guides.
- Charities Services New Zealand: Offers numerous resources, including governance and operational policy templates.
How Caroline Rose Charity Can Help
At Caroline Rose Charity, we recognize the critical role that policies and codes play in the success of a charity. Our Business Planning and Advisory services are here to offer guidance in crafting these essential documents.
In summary, well-defined policies and codes are the cornerstones of a successful and accountable charity. They establish operational standards and define the values your charity upholds. Caroline Rose Charity is dedicated to assisting Australian charities in establishing these crucial foundations and advancing their mission of enhancing the well-being of individuals and our planet. Reach out to us today to explore how we can support your cause.”