Any form of a non-profit organisation possesses universal characteristics that differentiate them from being a household, a corporate or a government agency. The fundamental characteristic of non-profit organisations, which delineates them from other types of organisations, is the undercurrent of trust and altruism from the individuals in control, who achieve the organisation's charitable aims and for those individuals not to gain any personal benefits along the way. In many instances, however, the notion of charity takes a back seat to obtaining a personal benefit. The practice of opportunistic management and abusing a position of trust by individual/s within a non-profit organisation is generally inconceivable and labelled abhorrent when discovered. This paper will first look at the general reasons why individuals become involved with, and are dedicated to, voluntary non-profit organisations. From here this paper will provide examples of cases ranging from serious sexual crime to fraudulent conduct and general misconduct that occurs within the bounds of a non-profit organisation. In an effort to explain why an individual may digress from a pure charitable position to becoming a villain within a non-profit, this paper will look at how a non-profit organisation's structure creates an inner sanctum, or private sphere, for misconduct to occur unchecked. Inevitably misconduct within a not-for-profit will be discovered, at which point the law would attempt to deal with these misgivings by punishment. This paper will examine how well Australian law deals with non-profit misconduct compared to the United Kingdom's regulatory model. This comparison will focus on the downfalls of how the respective legal systems deal with non-profit organisational misconduct. Lastly, this paper will consider what our laws could hope to do in providing stronger protection against misconduct within non-profits through legal duties.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kim_weinert/1/