Governance for Social Impact

The Centre for Social Impact is excited to partner with AGSM @ UNSW Business School to present Governance for Social Impact - an executive education course for Board Directors designed to facilitate an examination of the social impact ecosystem and the importance of leading effective social impact governance.

Next intake:

25 & 26 March, 2021: Sydney

** For more details about the course, and the professional development grants available, please take a look at the information below. **

Find out more and APPLY NOW via the AGSM website

What you’ll learn:

Moving beyond the essential legal and financial responsibilities of Board Directors, this course will provide an in-depth examination of the importance of governance to achieve maximum social impact for your organisation. 

You'll learn and thoroughly understand what it means to govern with a ‘mission-first’ agenda and you'll be provided with the knowledge and tools to navigate the social purpose ecosystem and to 'lift your gaze' to lead effective social impact governance.

You'll learn about:

  1. Effectively governing in a complex social ecosystem
  2. Understanding different types of problems and what it means to govern with a 'mission-first' agenda
  3. The role of Boards in optimising strategy for social impact
  4. Achieving mission by measuring what matters most, for the people who matter most
  5. Exercising effective leadership while governing for impact

How you’ll learn:

  • The learning materials and activities designed for this course aim to enable participants to discover, critically analyse, and apply in practice the knowledge, frameworks and tools for effective social impact governance.
  • The intensive nature of this course requires participants to have read the selected required readings and completed the online modules in advance of attending the online workshop.

Course fees:

Depending on the structure, size and turn over of your not-for-profit organisation the course fees range from $1,788 to $2,860. The course fee for participants from for-profit organisations is $3,575.

Course participants will be awarded two AGSM Certificate in Executive Management and Development points which can be used as credit towards an MBA (Social Impact). Participants will also receive a Digital Badge on submission of post-program work.

Professional development grants:

We have four professional development grants available for the upcoming Governance for Social Impact course to be held on 25 and 26 March, 2021 in Sydney. The grants are available to non-executive Board Directors from registered not-for-profits across Australia.

These grants will cover the full cost of the course fee and are awarded based on the calibre of applications and on the basis of merit. Each applicant will be assessed on their demonstrated leadership and engagement in supporting, developing and contributing to better outcomes in the social purpose sector.

Applications close 18 February, 2021 and successful candidates will be notified by 26 February, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.

** Please read the eligibility and selection criteria, plus information on how to apply for a grant, at the end of this page. If you have any questions, after you have read this information, please get in touch with Francesca Pinzone. **

Feedback from previous participants:

The Governance for Social Impact course received exceptionally positive feedback in 2019:

  • 98% of participants said the program will enable them to become more effective social purpose leaders
  • 97% of participants gained confidence in social impact governance as a result of the course
  • 100% of participants said the course was directly applicable to their governance role

Participant testimonials:

“This course is absolutely brilliant and should be mandatory for all for-purpose leaders. The content is useful, informative, interesting and critical if you lead or govern for social impact. Once we’ve all done it, our collective impact will be amplified!”

“Full agenda of highly relevant theory in structure practical application. Great facilitation of collaboration and transparency.”

"Kristy has a great energy - constructively critical, knowledgeable and passionate about the social sector and social impact. It can be easy to criticise and judge the social sector from the outside and Kristy doesn't generate the raising of our defensive hackles!”

“Absolutely exceeded expectations, it was a real cultural experience working with high level experience and skills.”

“New, innovative and contentious while being extremely relevant.”

View more testimonials.

Featured presenter:

Kristy Muir

Professor Kristy Muir
CEO and Professor of Social Policy, Centre for Social Impact

Kristy Muir is the CEO of the Centre for Social Impact. She works closely with government, not-for-profits, corporates and philanthropic organisations to help understand, measure and find innovative solutions to some of society’s most intractable, complex social problems.

She is a Professor of Social Policy within the UNSW Business School, is an academic representative on UNSW Sydney’s Council, a Non-Executive Director of ARACY, the chair of Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy, a member of the Gonski Institute for Education Board, a member of Our Community Director's Council, and a member of the NSW Premier’s Council on Homelessness.

Kristy has won almost $12 million in competitive external funding and has undertaken dozens of research and capacity building projects with social purpose organisations to help improve social impact. Her work focuses on children, young people, families and communities and explores the intersection between different social domains (e.g. education, employment and social participation, wellbeing, disability, mental health, housing and financial resilience), funding models and approaches.

She is published widely in policy, sociology, social work, history and public health journals and in publicly accessible forums, such as TEDx, The Conversation and The Mandarin, and featured in the Guardian as a ‘Changemaker’. Kristy is an invited representative on key leadership committees across sectors and her research has had a significant impact on policy, social investment, organisations and practitioners.

Kristy has a PhD in social history, is a graduate of the AICD, an alumnus of the Sydney Leadership Program and, before joining academia, she worked in the not-for-profit sector.

Find out more and APPLY NOW via the AGSM website

We thank NAB and JBWere for their generous support in the development of this course. 

Grant conditions and information:

There are four professional development grants available for the upcoming program to be held on March 25 & 26, 2021 in Sydney. The grants are available to non-executive Board Directors from registered not-for-profits across Australia to undertake the Governance for Social Impact 2-day Program, delivered in partnership with AGSM and CSI UNSW. These grants will cover the full cost of the course fee.

Grants are awarded based on the calibre of applications and are awarded on the basis of merit. Each applicant will be assessed on their demonstrated leadership and engagement in supporting, developing and contributing to better outcomes in the social purpose sector.

Successful applicants should outline their ability to apply and scale program learnings after completion of the program. If suitable recipients are not identified grant funds may be reserved for future applicants.


  • Applications open: 1 February
  • Applications close: 18 February
  • Successful candidates notified: 26 February

Please note: Late applications will not be accepted


  • You are an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • You currently hold a position as a non-executive Director on the Board of an ACNC registered charity
  • You have this or an equivalent position as a non-executive Director on a charity Board for a minimum of 12 months


In order to apply, applicants are required to email the following information to Francesca Pinzone (

  • Your biography (max 200 words) and a headshot
  • A 1-2 page submission answering the following questions (max 200 words per question):
  1. What is it about this program specifically that is of interest for you and why is this the right time for you to engage in a governance leadership program?
  2. Please outline how you have demonstrated your commitment to the social sector and bringing about long term positive social change
  3. How will your organisation benefit from your participation in this program?
  4. How do you intend to scale program learnings and create impact from the knowledge gained at this program?
  • A letter/email of support from an NFP leader (for example, a fellow Board Director or an executive from the NFP you work with)


Which organisations qualify as not-for-profit in Australia?

Applicants must be a non-executive Board Director from an Australian not-for-profit organisation which is has ‘registered charity’ status in accordance with the Australian Charities and Non-Profits Commission.

Can I apply again if I miss out this time around?

You may apply for a grant as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. If you applied previously for a grant and were unsuccessful, and you remain eligible, you can apply again.

What is the size of the grant?

The grants are generously funded by an anonymous funder for the amount of $2,860 each, which is 100% of the program cost.

How are scholars selected?

CSI will convene a panel consisting of CSI and AGSM staff. The panels will review all applications and make recommendations for consideration. All decisions are final and no feedback will be available on individual applications.

What will be required of me if I am selected to receive a grant?

The grant will require you to attend the 2-day program in Sydney. There is no financial support for accommodation or travel expenses. The grant covers the full cost of the 2-day program course fees.

You should consider carefully whether you can attend before you apply – if your application is successful, but you find you don’t have the time to meet the requirements, you must resign the grant immediately.

To ensure that there is appropriate acknowledgement of the grants you may be asked to take part in some promotional activities, including providing feedback to our grant donors.

How and when will I be notified if I receive a grant?

It takes 2 weeks to conclude the process of awarding the grants. We will notify you as soon as possible via email to ensure that you can undertake the program. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email once successful applicants have been notified.

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