Structuring and restructuring nonprofit associations

Fitzgerald, Emma (1997) Structuring and restructuring nonprofit associations. QUT, Brisbane. [Working Paper]


In the mid seventies there was a spate of legal claims involving unincorporated not-for-profit associations. These claims highlighted the liability exposure of management committee members and prompted a dramatic increase in the number of associations seeking shelter behind the corporate veil. Corporate structure decisions during this period were primarily motivated by the incentive of limited liability.

Twenty years later, the not-for-profit sector is subject to new challenges. The Industry Commission Report into Charitable Organisations in Australia heralds an increasing intrusion of legislative responsibilities and reform in the sector. The traditional sources of funds for not-for-profit organisations are about to radically change with the advent of “competitive tendering” for government funding and the declining benevolence of society. The legal scuffle between Australian Rugby Football League Limited (the “ARL”) and News Limited has also exposed the vulnerability of not-for-profit groups and the many legal and commercial minefields in structural decision-making. The sector is beginning to respond to these pressures by rationalisation and restructure. Corporate structure decisions are now motivated by the need to promote efficiency and resilience. Survival of the fittest.

Restructuring is by no means a task for the faint-hearted. A delicate balance between legality and practicality needs to be maintained. The focus of this paper is on the restructuring choices for not-for-profit organisations and groups in Queensland. It answers “how-to” questions and identifies some important restructuring issues.

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ID Code: 52978
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Nonprofit, Organisational Structure
ISBN: 186435125X
ISSN: 1037-1516
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1997 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 08 Aug 2012 00:30
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 12:42

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