How NFP boards are preparing for the digital revolution



In this video Paul Murnane, Chair of the Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF) and Lucy Bernholz from Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) discuss the new digital skills that boards need to develop and recruit for.

Earlier this year, in partnership with the ASF, Perpetual hosted Lucy Bernholz, Co-Director of Stanford PACS’ Digital Civil Society Lab. In workshops that involved more than 300 non-profit leaders and board members, Lucy and the Stanford PACS team shared their view on the challenges and opportunities Digital Civil Society present. Just as importantly they sparked debate amongst some of the best thinkers in the NFP space in Australia.

Some of the issues canvassed in the to and fro of ideas at these sessions included:

  • Why digital skills are so important to NFP organisations – and how development of those skills will be so important in the very near future
  • The nature of those skills – and how they are spread throughout the organisation
  • How introducing people with a digital mindset into the executive and board mix is so crucial to adapting to the digital revolution

Like to know more?

To better understand these digital debates, Perpetual surveyed attendees at the Stanford PACS workshops, to see what they thought were the big issues for non-profit organisations in a digital world.

When reflecting on the skills required for their organisations, non-profit boards and leaders feel they’re employing the right people to assist them in doing a great job in a digital world, with more than 50% confident their employees were capable of taking advantage of digital opportunities. The skills matrix of the board is one area being examined closely with only 27% believing they currently had the right mix to effectively manage issues around digital governance.

The cost of being ready to take advantage of digital and use it effectively were the two biggest concerns for non-profit organisations. Interestingly, despite significant and high profile digital data breaches regularly in the news, less than a third felt issues around privacy, responsible use of digital tools and governance were of a concern – this looms as a key area of concern in the sector over the next few years.  

You can register to receive the survey summary report when it becomes available here.

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Perpetual’s Philanthropic Services are provided Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo and contains information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with advice or take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. You should consider whether the information is suitable for your circumstances and we recommend that you seek professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any wording in this document which was contributed by a third party.