When not to start a not for profit

Which legal structure to operate within is a challenge that many social entrepreneurs have.

In our experience of working with many social entrepreneurs the story goes something like this…

Want social change to stick?

There’s the services (not all, but some) that want to own it all (and the funding that goes with it). Then there are the do-ers of good that obsess over saving people rather than enabling them to change by themselves

Why your brilliant plans for social change will never work

In recent years I’ve grown tired of writing plans, beautiful plans, strategies, ideas, theories, feasibility analysis to create social change around difficult community situations. It’s been exciting and sometimes rewarding work. Sometimes the plans create a spark, sometimes informed something bigger. But in all, these documents that have been lovingly woven together usually sit on desks gathering dust waiting to …

It’s not a relay if you don’t pass the baton on

If you’ve been anywhere within earshot of me in the past months you’ll have heard about my frustrations with the pathetic school based traineeship (SBAT) systems that Australia currently has in place.

Public art and community recovery

When recently in Christchurch, NZ I was moved and inspired by the public art.  I had to learn more about how the artworks contributed to the community recovery process after the 2011 Earthquake. Deborah McCormick, Founder and Director of SCAPE Public Art kindly joined me for an interview where I learned not only about the role of public art in …

Is the community sector toxic?

If you work in the community (read not for profit) sector, particularly in a community development, coordination or management role I’d say you wouldn’t be surprised to hear the sector described as somewhat ‘tricky’ sometimes (not all the time) even tipping into dysfunctional. I wonder sometimes if the rise in recent years of ‘corporate refugees’ (i.e. people escaping their corporate jobs …

Experience your industry before you jump in

A colleague recently commented on the necessity of fledgling business owners (in particular social enterprise owners) trialing and testing their industry before launching themselves upon the world. Personally, I couldn’t agree with this sentiment more.  You may have participated in one of those conversations.  A ‘good idea’ is borne, the committee says “Everyone will want one of those”, a grant …

When a social enterprise is not an enterprise

Unless you’ve been living under a rock by now you’ve heard the term ‘social enterprise’. There are many and varied definitions of the illustrious notion of social enterprise, our working definition “a business entity that TRADES for a social purpose” (noting the word TRADES). In Australia social enterprise is not a legal structure in it’s own right and for that matter, a …

Ready to grow your enterprise?

It doesn’t matter what type of enterprise you own / manage there comes a tricky time when you need to take a deep breath, brace yourself and choose to push forward or cease. Well, of course you could choose to flounder for a few years but (trust me) you don’t want to do that, it’s exhausting. Today I spoke with …

How to change the world

This week we’ve been truly immersed, elbow deep in activities that will change the world around us.  Maybe a lot, maybe a little. As I leave my desk, step away from my work mind and look back on the week that was I search for the words that sum up why I do this… Kid President, you’ve done it again… I …