The anticipation is building as we prepare to unveil the 2024 For-Purpose Leadership Awards, a program that honours inspiring for-purpose leaders who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and courage in their roles. This year, we are delighted to introduce two new categories – Outstanding Service to Sector Governance and Outstanding Leadership in Philanthropy – to further recognise the pivotal roles that governance and philanthropy play in fostering innovation, achieving milestones, and providing holistic support to for-purpose organisations.

Since we launched our awards program earlier this year, we have been privileged to highlight organisations, teams and individuals who have exemplified excellence in leadership. We believe leadership is the cornerstone of a thriving for-purpose sector. It sets the tone for not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and positively influences social impact downstream.

The two new awards shine the spotlight on areas of endeavour that our stakeholders have identified as crucial to the mission of the Australian Leadership Hub. They aim to recognise and applaud the pivotal roles that governance and philanthropy play in supporting the leadership of for-purpose organisations and the wider community.

“Both these new award categories are invaluable in shining a light on best practice governance and philanthropy that provide holistic support to for-purpose organisations over the long term.”

Outstanding Service to Sector Governance
Outstanding Leadership in Philanthropy

Good governance is critical to for-purpose success

The Outstanding Service to Sector Governance award will recognise the ongoing contribution of a for-purpose board member, specifically the Chair, Treasurer or Secretary of their current board. Entrants should provide details of their achievements in governance matters and demonstrate the leadership for which they merit this unique recognition. Their service could come through mentorship, innovative processes in governance or other achievements.

Good governance underpins transparency, ethical practices and stakeholder trust. It maintains accountability, prevents conflict and ensures compliance, enabling NFPs to innovate, focus on their mission, and deliver impactful programs for the betterment of society.

Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector, a landmark report by the Productivity Commission, recognised in 2010 that most board members of NFPs are volunteers who generously donate their time and expertise. Recognising those leaders who have gone above and beyond to support the sector will encourage continued commitment, dedication and excellence in advancing the sector’s goals and societal impact.

Panel discussion from 2023 NFP Leadership Awards
For-purpose leader capability development panel discussion
2023 NFP Leadership Award Winners
2023 For-Purpose Leadership Awards winners celebrating at our awards night in Sydney

Far-sighted philanthropy builds for the future

The Outstanding Leadership in Philanthropy award highlights funders who focus on capacity building that enables for-purpose organisations and their leaders to develop competencies and skills that can make them more effective and sustainable, thus increasing their potential to enrich lives and solve society’s most intractable problems. This award category will look favourably on holistic support, which may include indirect costs. Nominations may come from CEOs, Board Directors or the Philanthropy sector.

A strong for-purpose sector is key to supporting Australia’s economic prosperity. The total economic output of charities is equivalent to 8.5% of Australia’s GDP and the sector employs about 1 in 10 people, according to Social Ventures Australia. That’s more than major industries such as construction, manufacturing, and professional, scientific and technical services.

Yet Paying What It Takes, the 2022 report by Social Ventures Australia and the Centre for Social Impact, noted that most funders do not provide funds for not-for-profit organisations’ indirect costs, leading to lower capability and effectiveness across the sector. As the Productivity Commission said: “Leadership capacity can determine the success or failure of an NFP.”

Integrity, Merit and Vision

What sets our awards apart is the integrity and rigour of our judging process. Each entry must be verified by either the CEO or Chair of the organisation and winners are evaluated on overall merit. The awards are peer-judged, ensuring a fair and impartial selection by judges who meticulously assess each submission against clearly defined criteria. This commitment to a stringent and transparent process ensures the recognition bestowed on our winners is well-deserved.

In our inaugural year, the Australian Leadership Hub received impressive entries from diverse organisations across Australia. The outstanding calibre of submissions made the judges’ task of selecting eight winners from a pool of 25 finalists both challenging and rewarding.

In 2024, we are delighted to welcome back The NonProfit Alliance, which will rejoin us as one of our presenting partners, along with Orchard Talent Group. These two organisations’ unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to the sector make them perfect co-presenting partners. Together, we are working to realise our shared vision of creating a stronger and more effective for-purpose sector that empowers leaders to adapt, innovate and lead their organisations with resilience and foresight.

As we prepare to open entries for the 2024 For-Purpose Leadership Awards on Monday, 19 February 2024, we express our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners and judges, whose generous support makes this celebration of leadership excellence possible. Join us on Wednesday, 12 June 2024, in Sydney for the Gala Awards Ceremony, where we will come together to applaud and honour the remarkable achievements of for-purpose leaders in shaping a better society.

Please spend a moment on our awards page to view all the award categories and learn how to enter.

There are eight award categories in 2024, totalling ten awards in all. Click here to learn about all categories.