NGOs - Glossary of Terms & Acronyms

For those writing in the world of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and the Co-operatives movement, words have special meanings. This area introduces you to a number of dictionaries that are useful to writers in this special world.

accounting records = books and records maintained for the purpose of the preparation of accounts and retained for 7 years including journals, ledgers, invoices, receipts, orders for the payment of money, bills of exchange, cheques, promissory notes, vouchers, etc. and the working papers and documents necessary to explain the methods and calculations used in final accounts

acronym = a word (usually pronounceable) formed from the initial letters of a name; for legal and political acronyms in common parlance in Australia Click here

Agenda for Annual General Meeting = an agenda for the general meeting of the company held every year and required to be held by the Rules

AGM = Annual General Meeting

annual general meeting = a general meeting of the members of the association held every year and required to be held by the Rules

annual return = statement made by the association each year to the registration authority

ASAP = "as soon as possible" (vernacular)

association = a form of non-profit organisation/incorporation that is relevant to NGOs; usually NGOs that do not want or need to be incorporated as a company limited by guarantee; could include club, community-based, institution, society,

Associations Act 2006 (NT)

Associations Incorporation Act 1991 (ACT)

Associations Incorporation Act 1984 (NSW) Repealed

Associations Incorporation Act 1984/2009 No 143


Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW)

Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD)

Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA)

Associations Incorporation Act 1964 (Tas.)

Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Vic.) Repealed

Associations Incorporation Act 2012 (Vic.) Authorised version

Associations Incorporation Act 2012 (Vic.) adapting to the new laws

Associations Incorporation Act 1987 (WA)

Associations Incorporation Regulation 2010 (NSW)

Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD)

Associations Incorporation Regulations 1993 (SA) ceased Revoked on 1.9.2008 by Sch 3 of Associations Incorporation Regulations 2008

Associations Incorporation Regulations 2008 (SA)

Associations Incorporation Regulations 1998 (Vic.) repealed by 2009

Associations Incorporation Regulations 2009 (Vic.)

Associations Act (NT)

Associations Regulations (NT)

by-law = as part of the constitution; rules made for regulation, administration and management of the Club, binding on members and administrators

certificate of incorporation = a certificate of incorporation issued by registration authority without which incorporated association cannot trade

club = an NGO whose mission is the well-being and happiness of its members and its membership is largely based on membership requirements and provisions; for example the Regional Golf Club Inc.

Code of Ethics =

constitution = a legal statement outlining formation, mission and purpose, rules (laws) (regulations) and sub-rules (by-laws) agreed by initial General Meeting and modified from time to time by General Meeting according to rules

constitution = for an incorporated association the constitution is often based on the Model Rules provided by the State regulating authority

Cooperatives Act (QLD) 1997 =

Cooperatives Act (Tas.) 1999 =

Cooperatives Regulations (Tas.) 2000 =

committee = the body of officers which governs or has responsibility for the day to day management of the association

community group = an NGO whose mission is focussed on the well-being and happiness of a particular community and its officers and members are wholly or largely derived from this particular community; for example the New Town Child Care Centre Inc.

company limited by guarantee = a company in which the members are not required to purchase capital or shares in the company but each member guarantees to contribute a limited amount to liabilities in the event of being wound up

compliance =

convene = call together, invite members to, a formal meeting

cooperative =

dissolution = a resolution of the Club at a General Meeting to dissolve the Club or the falling of members to a given minimum causing the Club to dissolve

duty of care =

environment =

ethics =

ethics dictionary = some important words for corporate ethics

cooperative =

financial year = a convention borrowed from the financial world for reporting the accounting results for the year; used by many authorities, not just the ATO, often used for financial planning and funding

first financial year = a period not exceeding 15 months, being a period commencing on the date of formation/incorporation and ending on 30 June

general meeting = a meeting to which all members are invited

general meeting = for an association with a larger membership a democratic structure may be included in the rules, calling for a general meeting of members who then empower officers and a management committee; general meetings will have important issues such as annual general meetings, special general meetings, membership qualifications for voting, a minimum period of notice/notification for annual and special general meetings, quorum and proxy, etc.

glossary = a list of words that have special meaning because of their context of use and an explanation of the special definitions assigned to them

HIV = Human Immunodeficiency Virus = an infection leading to AIDS

Inc. = incorporated association

incorporated association = an association duly incorporated under the relevant State law; see Associations Incorporation Acts & Regulations

Information Privacy Act (Vic.) 2000 =

institute = an NGO whose mission is to achieve a particular academic, scientific, political, or social purpose or outcome in society; assuming that once the purpose has been achieved the institute will be wound up; for example the Institute for the Cure of AIDS Inc. or the Institute for the Prevention of Cruelty in State Penetentiaries Inc.; this could be a policy institute, a research institute, a think tank, etc.

institution = like a Society; an institution is an NGO whose mission is to bring together important and permanent factors in society that will always need to work together; for example the Institution for Higher Learning and Academic Excellence Inc.

Interpretations Act (NSW) 1987 =

LASA Knowledge base

legal entity =

management committee = a committee established by the Rules for the officers for day to day management of the association

member =

mission = as part of constitution; a reason for formation and continuation; a morally supportable purpose (considered essential to an NGO organisation) as stated in the mission statement and detailed in an ethics statement made freely available to the public

mission = for an association, not purely for the purpose of pecuniary interest for its officers and members

Model Rules - NSW =

Model Rules - NT =

Model Rules - Tas. =

Model Rules - Vic. =

Model Rules - WA =

NFP = not-for-profit

NGO = non-government organisation

non-government organisation =

non-profit = a mission that is focussed on higher purpose or outcome, not focussed on profit

normal financial year = (in Australia) a period commencing 1 July and ending on 30 June in the following year

New South Wales - Association =

New South Wales - Cooperative =

Northern Territory - Association =

objects = the mission is broken into objects; a series of formal statements that describes generally the overall aims and objectives of the NGO; it should be possible to derive from its objects what the NGO generally will and will not be involved in throughout its life; if its not in the objects you can't do it

officer of association = a key player; includes officers such as the public officer, the president, the secretary, the treasurer, a committee member, in some States it may include executive officers or employee, acting in a position or with power to decide in matters governing the administration of the affairs of the association, whether or not validly appointed to occupy or duly authorised to act in the position

OOSH = out of school hours

ordinary resolution = a resolution that can be raised and dealt with immediately without having to follow the rules of a special resolution

policy statement =

poll = voting conducted in written form (as opposed to a show of hands)

President = important officer of the association usually presiding over management committee meetings and general meetings; might also be called Chairman/Chairperson

Privacy Act (Cth) 1988 =

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act (NSW) 1998 =

public officer = the key person; the person whom the State will contact for important communication between the State and the association; officer of association duly registered at the time of incorporation with State registration authority as the association's public officer (inaugural public officer) and as changed from time to time, or, if not incorporated, the officer appointed by the committee and accepting responsibility as public officer

Queensland - Association =

regulation = a law governing the activity of the association and supervised by the regulating authority usually contained in primary acts such as Associations Incorporation Act or resultant law such as Associations Incorporation Regulation

Residential Aged Care =

S2M = small to medium (org); See

secretary = important officer of the association with administrative responsibilities; may have required responsibilities under the Act

society = an NGO that brings together members who naturally come together because of the higher purpose of its mission or because of the qualifications that naturally tie those members together in broader society; for example the Society of Practising Historians Inc. or the Society of Ex-Prisoners Inc.

special general meeting = a general meeting other than the annual general meeting

special resolution = a resolution that has special rules (such as required notice and required majority of not less than 75% of the members who are entitled under the Rules to vote)

sub-committee = a smaller body of officers set up by the committee or by the general meeting to take particular responsibility for an aspect of management of the association reporting to the committee; there may be a permanent sub-committee or temporary to achieve a purpose

Tasmania - Association =

Tasmania - Cooperative =

tort = a civil wrong, brought to seek compensation/damages from the tortfeasor

treasurer = important officer of the association with financial recording and reporting responsibilities; may have required responsibilities under the Act

unincorporated = not registered with any registering authority

Victoria - Association =

VCO = voluntary (and) community organisations (UK)

Victoria - Cooperative =

Western Australia - Association =

Western Australia - Cooperative =