NFP meeting with onsomble team

Re-structuring an Association to increase operational efficiency


One of onsomble’s key services is to work with the not-for-profit sector to increase operational efficiency and reduce duplication of effort. Many NFP organisations are caught up in red tape, with confusing and unwieldy governance practices that impact productivity.

We were approached by an association to help them unwind their overly complicated state-based structure to create a federal model with a clear governance structure, delegations and processes. Why? So they could deliver back to their members, articulate a clear value proposition, and ensure a sustainable business model.


Building trust

With many smaller associations in Australia run completely by volunteers, the first hurdle for onsomble was to build a trusting and transparent relationship with the National Executive. The project was sure to fail if the volunteers didn’t feel like they were being taken on the journey, and a part of the decision making.

Communicating clearly

From the get-go, the onsomble team provided reassurance and ensured the Executive felt comfortable with asking questions, articulating concerns and seeking clarification on everything big and small. We recognise that associations are built on the success of their volunteers, who are passionate and skilled in their profession – but may get lost in constitutional reform and legislation, so we made sure every recommendation was explained and communicated in easily digestible formats.

Thinking, and delivering

It became apparent that the organisation needed not only a governance restructure, but also advice on building a sustainable operational model. Leveraging our experience with other associations, we built this into our scope of work to ensure the governance project drove real value to their members. We provided the strategy, and delivered on the implementation.

Creating, and refining

Throughout the whole project, we built in clear timelines to allow for all stakeholders to be involved in the process. We took all state-based models and association rules, compared them and built a new Constitution and objectives for a national entity. We drafted Terms of Reference, to provide guidelines for Committees. And then we undertook a consultation period to allow for interested and invested parties to feedback. These recommendations were then discussed and incorporated where appropriate, and formed the final document. We know that business reform isn’t possible without inviting members to be a part of the process – it’s imperative their voice is heard to have any chance of delivering on the end goal.

How can we help you?

We know that every business is different.  That’s why the first step in the onsomble process is for us to get to know each other.

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