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Celebrating 10 years of Not-for-profit Law

26 February 2019

Not-for-profit Law, a program of community legal service Justice Connect, reached its 10th birthday milestone - 10 years of providing a specialist service in Victoria (initially under the banner of PilchConnect). 

Celebrations with supporters, alumni, pro bono lawyers, and key sector and government colleagues were kindly hosted by member law firm, Clayton Utz, on 10 October 2018. Very fitting given this same office also launched our Victorian service in 2008! 

The birthday was a time to recognise how far we had come and Not-for-profit Law's achievements over the past decade. 

Measuring our impact

A new report by Deloitte Access Economics measuring the impacts and contributions of Not-for-profit Law was announced at our 10th birthday celebrations. 

Analysis revealed the economic contribution of Not-for-profit Law in 2017/18 was an estimated $22.4 million (high case). This comprised of: 

  • $1.8 million in direct economic contribution
  • $3.2 million in value of services including in-house legal advice and information, pro bono referrals, training and online resources, and
  • $17.4 million in wider economic and social benefits delivered to the community as a result of efficiency gains to the not-for-profit sector through accessing Not-for-profit Law's services. 

It is estimated that approximately 18,000 additional client service episodes will be provided over the next three years as a result of the services delivered by Not-for-profit Law. 

Keynote address by Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM

We were honoured to welcome Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM as our 10th birthday guest speaker. Speaking from his considerable experience, including as the inaugural chair of the Advisory Board for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and as a Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Mr Fitzgerald discussed the importance of strong governance, accountability and transparency in the charity and not-for-profit sector. He lent his support to two of our advocacy campaigns:

  • by supporting the need for a nationally-consistent and fit-for-purpose fundraising law regime (#fixfundraising), and
  • by agreeing that it's no longer appropriate for basic religious charities to be exempt from certain ACNC obligations given the proven need for improvements in governance, transparency and accountability across the charitable and not-for-profit sectors (read Not-for-profit Law's submission on abolishing the basic religious charity category from ACNC legislation).
National Volunteer Guide

Another highlight of our celebrations was the launch of the National Volunteer Guide and Webinars by Justice Connect CEO Chris Povey.

Millions of Australians volunteer because they want to contribute to, and support, our community in a meaningful way. But with this massive number of volunteers exists a considerable challenge. How can we ensure that people who donate their time and expertise are engaged in volunteering relationships that are managed in a respectful, safe and healthy way?

Not-for-profit Law knows how to do this. It's by understanding the legal issues surrounding the engagement and management of volunteers.

The National Volunteer Guide and Webinars are useful tools for management and committee members or directors of not-for-profit organisations to help them best recruit and manage their volunteers. Downloaded these resources on our Volunteers page