The awards program will shine a light on organisations, teams and individuals who have demonstrated excellence and courage in their leadership. Recognising outstanding leadership encourages best practice, builds capabilities and leads to organisational growth.

Entries open on Monday 27 February 2023

Winners of the Inaugural 2023 Not-For-Profit Leadership Awards will be announced on Thursday, 15 June 2023 at an Awards Gala Dinner in Sydney. Please join us in support and recognise the outstanding leaders of the many charities and not-for-profits that deliver on fundamental societal needs and enhance social cohesion. Interested in demonstrating your support for leaders in our sector by sponsoring a category or want to know more about the awards? Contact: Lauren Dixon on 0413 212 890 or by email at [email protected]

Award categories

There are six award categories, with a total of ten awards in 2023, including:

  • Outstanding Leader*
  • Outstanding Emerging Leader*
  • Outstanding Leadership in Talent Growth*
  • Outstanding Education Provider
  • Outstanding Scholar
  • Outstanding Leadership in Wellbeing Governance*.

*There will be two awards in these categories for leaders currently working with organisations and/or organisations with annual revenue of over $3 million, and under $3 million.

Award category descriptions

1. Outstanding Leader

An individual with a minimum of ten years in a leadership role and who reports to the CEO or board. They have demonstrated outstanding leadership for their organisation and are recognised by their achievements through personal leadership, initiative and innovation. They will have a reputation for integrity, positive values and be well-regarded by their peers. They have either led system change and or strengthened the organisational capacity of their organisation.

There will be two awards in this category. Leaders currently working with organisations with annual revenue of:

  • Over $3 million
  • Under $3 million

Criteria to be addressed:

a) Demonstrated impact on your organisation through personal leadership. Possible examples:

  • Encouraging and enabling co-workers to solve problems that directly impact what they do
  • Embrace diversity and inclusion
  • Proactively asking for and sharing knowledge with others.

b) Has encouraged talent growth, by recognizing those with high-potential and has helped to promote them and grow their skills in order for them to succeed.
c) Led innovation and system change. Possible examples:

  • Implemented system changes necessary to fulfil the organisation’s mission
  • Encouraged different parts of the organisation to work together to make improvements
  • Developed deep and effective relationships with the community it serves.

Applicants must address the above criteria in their statement (up to an 800-word limit), and have their application verified by their CEO or Board. Applicants can include up to two testimonials on letterhead, no longer than one page each and up to three items of supporting material.

2. Outstanding Emerging Leader

An individual with a minimum of five years experience in a leadership role who has demonstrated outstanding achievement for their organisation and is recognised through personal leadership, initiative and innovation. They will have a reputation for integrity, positive values and are well regarded by their peers. There will be two awards in this category. Emerging leaders currently working with organisations with annual revenue of:

  • Over $3 million
  • Under $3 million

Criteria to be addressed:

a) Demonstrated impact for your organisation through personal leadership. Possible examples:

  • Encouraging and enabling co-workers to solve problems that directly impact what they do
  • Embrace diversity and inclusion
  • Proactively asking for and sharing knowledge with others
  • Capacity to collaborate within the organisation and/or with external stakeholders.

Applicants must address the above criteria in their statement (up to 800-word limit) and have their application verified by their direct manager or CEO. Applicants can include up to two testimonials on letterhead, no longer than one page each and up to three items of supporting material.

3. Outstanding Leadership in Talent Growth

An organisation, a learning and development leader or team, who has demonstrated best practice leadership, having an employee focus, such as the professional development of staff, retention and attraction. There will be two awards in this category, for organisations with annual revenue of:

  • Over $3 million
  • Under $3 million

Criteria to be addressed:

a) You have established strong relationships with people, curated the right resources and experiences for your teams, and above all else, articulated a learning strategy matching your company’s needs.
b) Demonstrated innovative strategies to attract and retain staff.
Applicants must address the above criteria in their statement (800-word limit), and have their application verified by their CEO or Board. Applicants can include up to two testimonials on letterhead, no longer than one page each and up to three items of supporting material.

4. Outstanding Education Provider

An education provider who has demonstrated the impact and relevance of their programs for promoting outstanding professional development opportunities in the not-for-profit sector, including providing scholarships for the ongoing professional development of the sector and/or enhanced scholarship opportunities.

Criteria to be addressed:

a) Relevance of course content
b) Number of places provided
c) Value of places provided.

Applicants must address the above criteria in their statement (800-word limit). Applicants can include up to three items of supporting material.

5. Outstanding Scholar

An Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF) alumni scholar who has made a significant contribution to their organisations following studies undertaken as part of their scholarship. Applicants should reflect on the goals and potential impact they highlighted in their original scholarship application and detail what they have achieved against those goals and what the real-life impact has been.

Criteria to be addressed:

a) Reference back to their original scholarship application, how has the scholar taken the learnings from their scholarship program and introduced them to their organisation and team. For example:

  • Scholar has actively driven the introduction of changes within the organisation, in line with the focus of their studies
  • Scholar has shared the learnings with their colleagues or peers in the NFP sector, to increase capability throughout the organisation and sector more broadly.

b) Tangible impact has been made on the organisation and the individual as a result of the scholarship and the scholar’s dedication to implementing the learnings. For example:

  • Management, peers and direct reports have noted an improvement in the scholars quality of work and performance
  • The program has contributed to and improved the scholars career progression plans
  • Outstanding contribution.

Applicants must address the above criteria in their statement (800-word limit), and have their application verified by their direct manager, CEO or Board. Applicants can include up to two testimonials on letterhead, no longer than one page each and up to three items of supporting material.

6. Outstanding Leadership in Wellbeing Governance

Supported by The Wellbeing Hub, an initiative of The Xfactor Collective Foundation

An organisation that has demonstrated exceptional leadership in governing for strong wellbeing outcomes. The organisation has a reputation with staff and among sector peers, for prioritising the mental health and resilience of their employees and/or volunteers. There will be two awards in this category for organisations with annual revenue of:

  • Over $3 million
  • Under $3 million

Criteria to be addressed:
a) Demonstrated and tangible commitment towards providing a psychologically safe workplace
Possible examples:

  • Developed, or has in place an organisation-wide Wellbeing Strategy
  • Proactively invests resources in supporting the prevention of burnout, exhaustion, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and frontline trauma
  • Within their workplace, seeks to proactively address the cultural and systemic conditions and barriers that can lead to poor mental health outcomes for social sector professionals.

b) Demonstrated commitment at the Board or Committee of Management level towards wellbeing stewardship and best practice. Possible examples:

  • Board Sub Committee or Steering Group for Wellbeing Governance
  • Wellbeing goals for their organisation have been established and monitored by the Board
  • Board has undertaken mental health and/or wellbeing professional development.

c) Demonstrated commitment towards monitoring the mental health and wellbeing of the organisation’s employees and/or volunteers. Possible examples:

  • Conducts an Annual Survey to track and understand internal and external impacts on their employees and/or volunteers
  • Proactively consults with internal Wellbeing Committee representative/s to understand and manage risks
  • Takes action to address feedback and involve employees and/or volunteers in solutions

Important note: The focus of the award and demonstrated commitments is the organisation towards its own employees and/or volunteers, not its end beneficiaries/users.

Applications must address the above criteria in their statement (800 word limit with tangible evidence. The applicant will have their application verified by the CEO. Applicants must include two testimonials or letters of support from a member of their management or leadership team, no longer than one page each. Applicants should also provide a minimum of two items of supporting material or evidence.


How to enter

Entries Open: Monday, 27 February 2023
Entries Close: Sunday, 2 April 2023 at 11.59pm

Applicants will be required to complete information through the awards platform which will include a response to several questions in relation to their award category and a statement. Entry forms will require verification by their CEO/Chair or Senior Manager.

Entry fees to cover the cost of administration will be $50 per person per entry or $100 per organisation.

How will they be judged?

A judging panel of industry experts will assess the applications over a four-week period. The judging is conducted online using a ranking system. The judging panel will then meet to discuss a final shortlist of three for each category, known as the finalists and one winner inclusive in each category.

Announcing the Finalists & Winners

The finalists will be announced by press release on Wednesday 10 May 2023. Winners will be announced at the Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday 15 June 2023.

Award criteria

  • Australian citizen must be staff, or volunteers of charitable not-for-profit organisations.
  • Self-nominated
  • Applicants will require an entry verification by their CEO or Chair whichever applies.
  • Social Impact – demonstrate within calendar year
  • Team is defined as two or more staff members
  • One application per category from either organization, individual or team
  • Each application is to be verified by CEO/Chair/Senior Manager

Which organisations qualify as not-for-profit in Australia?

Applicants must be from an Australian not-for-profit organisation that, in the opinion of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, generally fits one or more of the following criteria:

  • has a charitable, community-public benefit or poverty relief purpose, as indicated by whether the NFP has Australian Tax Office TCC and/or DGR status, or “registered charity” status
  • is a social enterprise or business (organisations using a business model to provide a social benefit) and which may not have TCC/DGR
  • other organisations with a community or public benefit purpose (generally evidenced by a “formal” governance structure, voluntary participation by members and independence from government) that do not fit the above categories.
Are social enterprises eligible to apply?

Australian Scholarships Foundation accepts applicants from social enterprises that meet the following definition:

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment and use the majority (at least 50%) of their profits to work towards their social mission (Social Traders Australia).

Generally, Australian Scholarships Foundation will exclude companies with a focus on generating commercial profit that doesn’t flow back to the community or to a social cause. We will generally give preference to applicants from charitable not-for-profit organisations when two applicants are considered equal in every other way.

Who is ineligible?

Australian Scholarships Foundation will generally exclude applicants from:

  • small unincorporated entities (informal organisations that provide sporting, recreational and social benefits)
  • organisations relying solely on member contributions e.g., mutuals and cooperatives (which provide benefits to members usually via a business activity) and licensed clubs (that provide services for a fee to members as well as grants to community organisations
  • professional associations, self-help clubs, non-secular (religious purpose) organisations, government organisations carrying out the ordinary functions of government, social movements /campaigning organisations that work in the social change space, trade unions and political parties, schools, hospitals and universities, and government organisations except for their associated entities that have TCC/DGR status e.g., building funds, research foundations

Key dates

DateTimeline
Monday 27 February 2023Award entries open
Sunday 2 April 2023Applications close 11.59pm AEDT
Wednesday 10 May 2023Finalists announced
Thursday 15 June 20232023 Not-For-Profit Leadership Awards Gala Dinner

More information

For more information about the awards call 1300 248 675, or email [email protected]

Award entries open on Monday 27 February 2023 at this webpage.