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Social enterprise invests $4.5m in better governance and free news service for not-for-profits

The Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) 3 mins read

Australia’s leading body for not-for-profit leaders is responding to the cost-of-living crisis by waiving membership fees, providing massive financial savings and an educational boost for the sector.

Our Community will remove Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) membership fees from July 1, a move valued at $4 million per annum. ICDA will also introduce a free sector news service, costing Our Community around $500,000-a-year.

ICDA is an Our Community enterprise that provides credentials, education and practical tools for the army of mostly voluntary directors who power Australia’s 600,000 not-for-profits, and the senior staff who work alongside them. ICDA was launched in 2014 and has since become Australia’s leading provider of governance education and support for not-for-profits.

Our Community founder and group managing director Denis Moriarty AM said the move to waive ICDA fees and introduce a fee-free news service was in line with Our Community’s mission to “build stronger communities through stronger community organisations”, and with the company’s constitution, which states: "commercial imperatives are afforded equal priority to our social mission, our commitment to employees, and our responsibility to the environment in which we work".

“We have made this decision to ensure that all 600,000 Australian community organisations have the opportunity to be supported in their quest to improve their organisations, their communities and our country,” Mr Moriarty said.

“Many not-for-profit organisations are doing it tough right now, with an increase in operating costs occurring amidst ballooning demand for services and a drop in volunteering. Providing free memberships and a free news service for the sector ensures that those organisations working to create strong, vibrant, inclusive, supportive communities do not have to compromise on capacity.”

Members of ICDA get access to:

  • an ICDA membership certificate
  • a range of online resources, including a free Policy Bank, a board vacancy advertisement board, and dozens of free help sheets
  • recognition as a “responsible person” under Australian Taxation Office rules, subject to agreeing to abide by the ICDA Code of Ethics
  • free and heavily discounted educational and networking opportunities
  • two regular newsletters:
    • Community Directors Intelligence, providing capacity building and learning support for directors and other not-for-profit leaders
    • the Community Advocate, a news service from Our Community’s team of journalists, focused on vital not-for-profit sector news.



Key Facts:

Social enterprise Our Community is waiving membership fees for its Institute of Community Directors Australia.

The organisation is also launching a free news service called the Community Advocate, which is targeted a the community sector.

The initiatives represent a $4.5m investment in the sector.

About us:

About the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) (

ICDA is the best-practice governance network for the members of Australian not-for-profit and government boards and committees, and the senior staff who work alongside them – providing training, support and tools for community leaders.

ICDA was formed in 2014, evolving from a self-serve website under the banner of Our Community into the country’s leading provider of education and tools to Australia’s 600,000 not-for-profits, community groups and charities.

ICDA is guided by an advisory body, the Community Directors Council, which is chaired by inaugural Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission chief Susan Pascoe AM, and comprises an eminent group of community leaders.

To become a member:

To visit our news services:


About Our Community (

Our Community creates and disseminates practical, affordable training, leadership and technological solutions that allow not-for-profit and grantmaking organisations to get on with the crucial work of building stronger communities.

The company was formed as one of Australia’s first social enterprises in 2000. In 2020, Our Community legally became one of the first companies in Australia to enshrine its values in its constitution, which states: "commercial imperatives are afforded equal priority to our social mission, our commitment to employees, and our responsibility to the environment in which we work". Our Community's offerings include:

  • Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA): The best-practice governance network for the members of Australian not-for-profit and government boards and committees, and the senior staff who work alongside them
  • A grants discovery and grants management portal and fundraising capacity building website
  • GiveNow: Australia's first giving platform - increasing donations to community causes, helping people become better givers, and providing a payment solutions hub for all not-for-profits.
  • SmartyGrants: Australia’s most-used SaaS grants administration system.
  • Our Community House: A co-working space for the social sector, where data and creativity come together to catalyse social change

Our Community’s board comprises Carol Schwartz AO (Chair), an eminent businesswoman and a non-executive member of the Reserve Bank of Australia; Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Australia’s leading ethicist and Executive Director of the Ethics Centre; and founder and Group Managing Director Denis Moriarty AM.

Contact details:

More information and comment: Greg Thom | 0429 951 317


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