• +61 8 9328 1678
  • sales@horizonbiz.com.au

Tips for Running a Successful Not for Profit in WA

Tips for Running a Successful Not for Profit in WA

Not for profit and charitable businesses make up an important part of the economy.

If you have a drive for helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people, running a not for profit can be an inspiring way to give back to your community and make a difference.

But to be successful and cut through the competition, it must nurture the core practices of a successful and purposeful not for profit business.

In Australia, there are over 54,000 registered charities. Yet the impact, value and effectiveness of these organisations create a positive effect on a global scale.

There’s no denying the world still needs not for profits. Like most small businesses, not for profits are born out of passion and a strong desire to make a difference. If you run a not for profit business, here are the top tips to fuel its success.

Not for Profit Volunteers

Treat it Like a Business

The key to running a successful NFP in Western Australia is to treat it like a business.

The fundamentals of for-profit businesses and not for profits are the same. What makes an organisation NFP has to do with its purpose, public support and income.

Start by implementing the right systems, such as good management, accountability and a concise business plan to help you gain industry respect, public support and donor confidence. Other essentials that lead to business success include:

  • Task management
  • Transparent accounting system, bookkeeping and invoicing – the MYOB range has the best solutions to help shape your business’s future
  • Productivity suite – Microsoft Office is usually ideal
  • Public relations team to communicate brand effectively
  • Fundraising team
  • Marketing and branding materials including a website optimised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Budget – NFPs still have financial objectives which need to be managed accordingly

Meet NFP Requirements

Not every organisation ticks all the boxes. Does yours?

To be defined as NFP, your business must operate for a purpose and not for the profit or gain (either direct or indirect).

To run a successful NFP:

  • Register with Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) for charity concessions and income/fringe benefits tax rebate and exemptions
  • Comply with the state fundraising requirements and not for profit laws
  • Comply with standard business laws
  • Choose the right legal structure
  • Ensure its registered with the ATO
  • Define the type of NFP you’re running
  • Include clauses in legal and governing documents, for example: the not-for-profit clause or the dissolution clause, which sets out what happens with assets if it closes down

Demonstrate Your NFP’s Mission and Purpose

One of the key factors that sets NFPs apart from profitable businesses is its mission and purpose.

It’s all very well defining this in the early stages. But to truly pursue its purpose and make your NFP sustainable, the key mission must be continually demonstrated across the board.

Mission statements crafted for NFPs must communicate its purpose, what groups it serves and how it’ll serve them. Every decision, action and funding campaign need to support what you’re working towards.

The NFP’s target audience, main business activities and donation programs should be reviewed annually to ensure they meet the mission and purpose.

Choose People Relevant to the Cause

Every successful NFP has a driven, passionate and skilled team behind it.

Staff is your biggest brand ambassador. Attract, recruit and retain the right people for fundraising, marketing and communication teams. These people should be relevant and supportive to the cause.

Use systematic approaches to also develop the right board. Provide key members with orientation, regular training and evaluation to ensure long-term success.

Foster Collaboration

Fostering collaboration is critical for all businesses but NFPs rely heavily on corporate community partnerships and working relationships to drive results.

Benefit from collaborations with other organisations aligned with your cause to increase overall business effectiveness, drive broader changes and boost efficiency.

To effectively foster collaboration, not for profit leaders should be clear on limits, value-add and the organisation’s ‘why’.

Focus on the Mission, Not the Money

The most successful NFP businesses continually plan for their future through evaluation and the flexibility to embrace potential changes.

They also focus on the mission, rather than the money. Knowing how to generate revenue and control costs is important, but if the focus shifts from mission to money, the NFP’s core values can be debated.

Running a successful NFP business, while potentially very rewarding, can be challenging. At Horizon Business Systems, we understand the needs of NFPs and have fully scalable accounting platforms to assist with efficient bookkeeping and invoicing. Contact our staff for more information.


Michael Pendred