About the survey
The survey is a free Board Health Check provided by Tanarra Philanthropic Advisors and was completed by the Board of Big Charity in April 2021. The survey is designed to be simple and quick, with 44 multiple choice questions, 5 commentary questions, and is designed to be largely automated. The online survey content covers 6 key performance areas:
- Board Effectiveness
- Individual Conduct of Board members
- Board Meetings
- Board Structure
- Financial and Regulatory Compliance
About Tanarra Philanthropic Advisors
Tanarra Philanthropic Advisors is a for purpose enterprise providing pro bono independent advice to strengthen the efficiencies and effectiveness of Australia’s charity sector.
About this report
This report is designed to provide a quick snapshot of your organisation’s strengths and opportunities for improvement, focusing on the top areas with notable scores.
To help your organisation interpret the indicator numbers associated with each question please see below:
|Strongly Disagree||Disagree||Undecided||Agree||Strongly Agree||N/A Not applicable|
Summary of Results
67% (8 of 12) of your board responded to the survey. It is important to keep the response rate in mind when reviewing this report as it does not represent the views of the entire board.Recommendation: As a Board, consider why the response rate was not 100% as this may be an indicator of disengagement.
Respondents' time serving on the Board- Between 1 and 10 years with an average of 6.5 years served
Your Board Strengths
Areas for Improvement
Director Responses to Strategic Questions
If the organisation had a 20% increase in unconstrained income tomorrow, where would you spend it and why?
- Start supporting under 5s with our program.
- Run a professional development course for all staff and Committee members.
- New technology for the staff and key volunteers.
- Run a big advertising campaign to let everyone know about our activities.
- Marketing and fundraising.
- I would put part of the income into the Sustainability Reserve Fund as per the Policy to ensure the stability of our mission, programs, employment, and ongoing operations.
- Expanded outreach to new audiences
- Technology upgrades to be more effective e.g. CRM
What do you regard as the 2 most significant strategic achievements of your organisation in the past 3 years?
- Our funding model restructure has helped with stability and the licencing of our materials to NZ groups
- Stemming the year on year deficits we had experienced in the past and refreshing our branding
- Rewriting our by-laws and setting up memberships.
- Increasing our program participation by 30% and adding new weekend events.
- Financial stability, and improved governance
- Growth in revenue through sustained hard work by CEO and management team. Successful relocation.
- Building a six month reserve and establishing some longer term funding relationships
- Positioning the organisation as a key thought leader on issues affecting disadvantaged rural Australians.
If you could change one thing about the organisation what would it be?
- Involve more teachers in our activities.
- Renew the leadership to get new ideas happening.
- Get rid of the personal politics on the Committee.
- I would double our capacity to provide programs, there is such need for them at the moment.
- Put us in a position where we are more secure in our funding, so we are less reliant on local council.
- Fundraising - We have tried a few 'small' things, but nothing sustainable. We need to develop a holistic Fundraising strategy and execute it.
- Upskilling the staff to be more effective marketers
- Business model to be financially sustainable
What do you regard as the most significant strategic failure of your organisation in the past 3 years?
- The inability to market our services to corporate business and gain sponsorship
- Inability to attract significant ongoing core funding.
- Failure to build meaningful bridges with State and Federal Government.
- Inability to change business model
- Getting distracted by financial management issues.
- Not having a succession plan for Officers
- The reorganisation of our by-laws
- Not sure, I don’t think we’ve had significant failures.
Do you have any other feedback that could help improve the effectiveness of your board?
- A safe mechanism for peer review of individual contributions might help people realise when it is time to create space for someone else who can make a stronger contribution.
- Keep focussed on the important strategic issues and don't get drawn down into rabbit holes.
- More resources to support the board including sub committees that could act as an effective way to access expertise and an incubator for future board members.
- If we are to go national we will need Board members who are strong advocates/influencers to open doors and convince the market of our capability.
You can see the complete list of questions and the aggregated responses below. Responses with the highest variance (marked with ) may indicate poor communication, polarised views or inconsistent awareness of issues between directors. It may also indicate areas of over exuberance or frustration on the part of some individuals.
|Question has a large range of answers|
|Question rated in your top 10 Strengths|
|Question rated in your 10 Areas for Improvement|
|Low||The lowest value submitted|
|Avg.||The average of the submissions|
|High||The highest value submitted|
|Range||The difference between the lowest and highest|
|Responses||How many respondents provided a value for this question|
|N/A||How many respondents answered N/A for this question|
|Our organisation has a vision and mission statement that clearly and succinctly describes why it exists and what it seeks to achieve.||2||3.9||5||3||8||0|
|The Board regularly asks itself "Is our organisation getting the desired change in the most effective way?"||1||2.1||4||3||7||1|
|Our organisation actively seeks feedback from those it seeks to benefit||1||2.5||5||4||8||0|
|We review and act on the feedback from those we seek to benefit, even if uncomfortable||1||2.3||5||4||7||1|
|We have a high functioning Board that rolls its sleeves up and gets involved as required||1||4.0||5||4||8||0|
|The Board is clear about its role in fundraising for the organisation||3||4.0||5||2||7||1|
|Our fundraising effort is adequately balanced between board members and management (staff)||1||2.6||5||4||7||1|
|The fundraising efforts of the organisation are successful||1||2.1||4||3||8||0|
|The Board has a strategic plan outlining what it expects our organisation to achieve over the next few years||1||3.8||5||4||8||0|
|The Board regularly monitors the progress of its strategic plan||2||4.2||5||3||5||3|
|The Board has a proven record of achieving what it sets out to achieve in its strategic plan||1||1.9||3||2||7||1|
|We know who our main competitors are and discuss what we most admire about them||1||2.8||5||4||8||0|
|Board members know and act when they are not being effective and step down accordingly||1||2.9||5||4||7||1|
|Our chair is competent, respectful, can influence without dominating, delegates appropriately, runs effective meetings, and has a strong rapport with the CEO or leadership||2||3.7||5||3||7||1|
|Our organisation embraces and invests in new or emerging technology to improve effectiveness||1||4.4||5||4||8||0|
|At least once a year our board connects with our sponsors and supporters and seeks constructive feedback from them about our work and approach||1||2.0||5||4||7||1|
|I am proud of the behaviours displayed by the Board||2||4.1||5||3||7||1|
|The Board manages its time effectively in meetings||1||4.1||5||4||7||1|
|I am satisfied with the quality of reports and briefing papers provided to the Board||1||2.8||5||4||8||0|
|Agendas, minutes and board papers are prepared and circulated sufficiently in advance of and after meetings of the Board||1||1.6||3||2||7||1|
|Board members are held accountable for agreed actions as a result of meetings||3||3.9||5||2||7||1|
|There is good communication between the Board and Management||2||3.0||4||2||7||1|
|We have a good Board orientation and induction process for new members||1||3.7||5||4||6||2|
|The Board is of an appropriate size||1||3.0||4||3||7||1|
|Board members possess an appropriate range and balance of skills to perform their duties and advance the organisation||2||2.7||4||2||7||1|
|The Board reviews the effectiveness of its operations at least once a year||2||2.3||3||1||3||5|
|The leadership team is given a clear written delegation of authority that empowers them to complete the tasks required for their work||2||3.6||5||3||5||3|
|The Board sets clear boundaries within which our organisation is to be managed||1||2.9||4||3||7||1|
Individual Conduct of Board members
|The expectations of Board Members are regularly reviewed||3||4.4||5||2||8||0|
|Board Members make a concerted effort to inform themselves about our activities, so that in the event that someone asks, "What does your organisation do?", they can comfortably give tangible real time examples of our impact||1||3.0||5||4||4||4|
|Board Members have a strong understanding of the issues affecting the organisation.||2||4.0||5||3||8||0|
|Board Members ideas are listened to in a way that is constructive and respectful||1||2.1||5||4||8||0|
|In between Board meetings, Board Members actively contribute to advance the purpose of the organisation||2||3.8||5||3||5||3|
|Board Members are consistently well-prepared for the meetings they attend||1||3.7||5||4||7||1|
|Board Members know our leadership team and actively engage with them outside of formal Board meetings||1||2.9||5||4||7||1|
Financial and Regulatory Compliance
|The Board annually receives and discusses a comprehensive compliance report, covering all relevant legislation, standards, and funding requirements.||1||2.8||4||3||8||0|
|I am confident in the ability of our organisation to manage its income and expenditures within agreed budgets||2||3.9||5||3||8||0|
|Conflicts of interest do not affect the integrity of the Board||1||1.8||5||4||6||2|
|Board Members have been appointed in accordance with the Constitution||2||4.0||5||3||6||2|
|The serving time limits for Members of the Board, prescribed in our Constitution, are appropriate||2||2.8||3||1||4||4|
|The responsibilities of Members of the Board are regularly reviewed||1||3.4||5||4||8||0|
|The Board has taken swift and considered action against any negative surprises in relation to the organisation||1||3.0||4||3||8||0|