Key person risk – Is your organisation vulnerable?

If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business – you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!
– Michael E. Gerber

Organisations can live forever, but people cannot. In the UK, the oldest not for profit organisation is said to be King’s School, Cantebury which was established more than 1400 years ago in 597.

There are many factors that contribute to the longevity of an organisation and one of them is ensuring that key person risk is mitigated.

An organisation has key person risk when it is highly reliant on one individual or individuals. Whilst employees with unique skills and knowledge are an invaluable resource to have, what happens when they leave? A simple test is to ask yourself, how would the organisation operate without that person? On one extreme, a one-person organisation simply would not exist if that person stopped working for any reason. And whilst key person risk may not always result in the organisation ceasing, it may cause serious pain. If not properly managed, the loss of a key person can result in a productivity downturn and a decrease in profits, as well as effect the confidence of other employees.

If your organisation has key person risk, the question arises as to whether or not you want the organisation and the services it provides to outlive the working life of that key person. If the answer is yes (it usually is!), then you must mitigate all key person risk. This can be done by developing systems and processes, automating workflows and cross-skilling staff.

A first step is to take stock of the key individuals in your organisation and assess whether those people may be a “key person risk”. Senior roles are often the first to come to mind, but ensure all key roles and responsibilities are reviewed, even the unsung heroes of the team, who other employees turn to for assistance and support. In many cases, it could well be someone in an administrative or assistant role who does more in and around the organisation than you realise. It is only when they leave that their true role and responsibilities become obvious.

Once you have identified any employees that pose a key person risk – and it may even be you – the next step is to look at your current systems and processes. In order to mitigate key person risk, you must develop or introduce new systems and processes that are independent of a particular person and can be executed by any appropriately trained person within the organisation.

Consider your current business model and structure. Are there individuals within your organisation that are the sole holders of important knowledge and relationships? Spread that knowledge through cross-skilling. Not only will the sharing of information and skills help to nurture teamwork and cooperation, but it will enhance the talents of employees for the long-term benefit of your organisation.

Succession planning is also important, particularly if you identify a senior member of your team as being a key person risk. And if you are aware that they are planning to retire in the near future, then you need to start looking ahead… Having them mentor another member of your team may be a great way to make the key person feel appreciated and valued, but also allow them to share the high-level knowledge they’ve acquired through years of experience.

The effectiveness of your efforts to mitigate key person risk can be easily tested by removing the key person from the organisation for a trial period, either whilst they are on leave or secondment. Did things fall apart as feared, or did the rest of the team step up with a “can-do, business as usual” attitude?

If you can identify employees who pose a key person risk to your organisation, and you’re not sure how to tackle it, get in touch with our team. CBB has several consultants with experience in processes mapping and the streamlining of organisational systems and processes to help you mitigate key person risk.

For an obligation free consultation, please contact us on 1300 763 505 or email


The value of a logo

In previous issues of Foreword, we’ve looked at different aspects of marketing such as brand reputation, marketing strategies and social media marketing to name a few.

Whilst all of these things are important, how much thought have you given to your organisation’s logo? It’s one of the first things people notice when they’re looking for your organisation.

Next time you’re driving home or watching television, look at the logos you see in advertising. There’s many that you would instantly recognise; the famous golden arches of McDonald’s, the three diamonds of Mitsubishi and the colourful letters of Google. Your recall of the product or service they offer is almost instant. These are all good examples of a logo doing its job.

Now think about your organisation’s logo. Is it new or has it been around for a few years? Does it tell people what you do, or has it honestly seen better days? Not all logos make the product or service obvious. In these cases, organisations might decide to add a tagline – a short statement or a few words about their product offering.

For example, CBB’s logo is three green letters with our name in full underneath. Community Business Bureau is our incorporated name. We’ve had it since 1995 and we wear it with pride. The word Bureau may be a little outdated and can be tricky to spell for some, but it explains exactly what we were formed to do, and still do to this day. This may not be clear to everyone, so depending on its use, we often add a tagline that states “salary packaging and business consulting”.

We try to use our tagline logo on promotional merchandise whenever possible. Our lip balms and pens may end up in the hands of someone who doesn’t know who we are, so our tagline tells them. What’s your logo saying?

Tips for protecting your logo

Your logo is your organisation’s gold. It needs to be protected and used with care. I’ve seen some terrible uses of logos where they’ve been stretched to fit into a space, pixelated and/or re-coloured. Poor quality logos look unprofessional and that’s not the message you’re trying to send to potential clients or customers…

Here are a few easy tips to ensure your logo is displayed correctly:

  • Always keep an original version of your logo saved in a safe place (somewhere other than the main location you keep your logos). As we all know, it’s easy to overwrite a file and once you’ve saved over the top of it, it’s hard to get it back!
  • Keep an electronic folder with different logo versions ready to go. Below I’ll give you an explanation of what to use and when.
  • Be careful who you give it to. Graphic designers know how to use a logo, but if you’re sending it to someone externally, always check how it looks before anything is finalised. Ask for a proof or visit the website that it’s being displayed on. If you’re not happy with it, ask them to change it.
  • Consider investing in a style guide. Graphic designers can provide one of these so you have a reference as to how your logo should be displayed, depending on the situation. Style guides can also incorporate instructions for the use of your organisation’s fonts and brand colours in different situations.

What type of logo and when?

There are a range of image file types for different uses. By using the right file type, you’re halfway to getting your logo looking the way it’s meant to. Here are some common ones you might come across or be asked to provide:

AI – Adobe Illustrator document

This is your original file that a graphic designer used to create your logo. Your logo’s AI file can be used to make all the other file types below, however you will only be able to open or edit it if you have the Adobe Illustrator software. An AI image file can’t be inserted into documents or websites as it’s not an acceptable file type.

EPS – Encapsulated Postscript

An EPS file is one of the most preferred formats by printers, custom merchandise suppliers and signage companies. Again, unless you have Adobe design software, you won’t be able to open or view it.

JPG – Joint Photographic Experts Group

A JPG (JPEG) is probably the most common type of image file that you will come across. It can be used for multiple purposes, provided it’s the right size. Generally, a JPG can be reduced in size, but it can’t be made bigger, as increasing the size past its original dimensions will make it pixelated or “fuzzy”. JPGs can’t have transparent backgrounds, so the best way to display them is on a white background.

Provided they are the right size, JPGs can be used for:

  • Microsoft Word documents
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Web pages and other online uses
  • Email signatures

PNG – Portable Network Graphics

PNG files are usually a smaller file size when compared to a JPG, but have a slightly higher resolution due to the way the file is compressed when it is saved. PNG files can also have transparent backgrounds, so they are a great option for logos that work well on different coloured backgrounds.

Like JPGs, PNGs can be used for:

  • Microsoft Word documents
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Web pages and other online uses
  • Email signatures

PDF – Portable Document Format

The advantage of a PDF logo is that it can be viewed on any computer with Adobe Acrobat Reader installed (free to download). It’s also possible to edit a PDF logo with Adobe Illustrator. Some printers may prefer a PDF file for the printing of common office stationery such as flyers, posters and business cards.

If you’ve started thinking about your organisation’s logo and whether it’s still fit for purpose, it may be worth doing a refresh or rebranding altogether. But be aware, rebranding is not a simple task. It can often be a huge undertaking and shouldn’t be tackled on your own unless you have the capability and capacity to do so. Having done one recently ourselves, we know the ins and outs of a rebrand. You can read more about it here.

If you need some help or advice, drop us an email at


NDIS update (from October 2019)

The NDIA announced a long list of changes and updates late last month. Here is an overview in case you have missed these:

New Price Guide and Support Catalogue valid from 1 October 2019

Disability-related health supports

The new NDIS Price Guide (version 1.2) introduces disability-related health supports as agreed by the COAG Disability Reform Council meeting in June. The NDIS will now fund health supports where the supports are a regular part of the participant’s daily life and result from the participant’s disability. Funded disability-related health supports include dysphagia supports, respiratory supports, nutrition supports, diabetic management supports, continence supports, wound and pressure care supports, podiatry and foot care supports and epilepsy supports. More information about these supports can be found in the Price Guide (page 20) and the information pack for providers.

The NDIS Support Catalogue lists more than 90 disability-related health supports line items. Supports should be claimed if

  1. provided by disability support workers – as standard core support items
  2. provided by therapists – as standard ECEI and therapy support items
  3. provided by nurses – as nursing support items (NEW, more information below)
  4. consumables – as low-cost or high-cost disability related health consumables (e.g. thickeners, wound care dressings and catheter bags)
  5. assistive technology – as disability related health assistive technology support line items (e.g. ventilators, epilepsy monitoring devices).

From 1 October, NDIS participants can access these supports through their NDIS plan. Individuals do not have to wait for a plan review and can use unspent core support budgets to purchase reasonable and necessary disability-related health supports (except for Assistive Technology items over $1,500). Participants are not permitted to claim for health supports from their plans when those supports do not relate to their disability, if supports needs become acute or if they do not require theses supports on a regular basis. To allow for a seamless transition, state and territory health services should continue to provide disability-related health supports where such supports are not yet accessible through the NDIS plan. State and territory health services can assist to escalate urgent and priority cases with the NDIA for early plan review.

New Nursing support items

Community nursing care (registration group 114) can be delivered by five levels of nurses: enrolled nurse, registered nurse, clinical nurse, clinical nurse consultant and nurse practitioner. Supports can be provided under core (Assistance with daily life) or capacity building (Improved daily living skills) to allow for flexibility during the transition stage. There are 30 new support line items in each category. Different price limits apply, depending on the level of the nurse, and the time and day of the support. The definition of nursing levels is summarised in the Price Guide (page 47). Providers should always confirm with the participant that they have funding in core or capacity to pay for the support. In the long term, nursing supports will be funded through the capacity building budget.­­

Changes for Therapeutic supports

  • Therapeutic supports (registration group 128) are now also available through core funding (Assistance with daily life) including assessment, recommendation, therapy and/or training by a psychologist, physiotherapist, other therapist or a dietician consultation. We suspect that this is a transitional arrangement so participants can use core funding to access disability health supports. As done previously, other therapeutic supports should be provided under the capacity building line items (Improved daily living skills).
  • Exercise physiology (individual or in a group) in Improved health and wellbeing (support category 12) and in Improved daily living skills (support category 15) can also be delivered by therapeutic supports (registration group 128). Previously, these supports were restricted to registration group 126 (physical wellbeing). The support catalogue lists four new item numbers 12_027_0128_1_3, 12_028_0128_1_3 and 15_200_0128_1_3, 15_201_0128_1_3.
  • Improved daily living skills (support category 15) also includes dietician consultation and diet plan development (individual or in a group) both of which can be delivered by therapeutic supports (registration group 128). The support catalogue lists two new item numbers 15_060_0128_3_3 and 15_061_0128_3_3.
  • In light of these changes, registration group 126 (physical wellbeing) is only required for the delivery of personal training.

Changes for Early Childhood Early Intervention supports

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports are now also accessible through core funding (Assistance with daily life) as an alternative to capacity building funding (Improved daily living skills). We believe this is also a transitional arrangement. The ECEI support description is in the Price Guide (page  46) and the support line items have been updated to introduce the supports via the key worker model.

More changes from the October Price Guide and Support catalogue

  • The price limit for Capacity Building and Training in Plan and Financial Management has been increased to $60.16 (14_031_0127_8_3).
  • Support items relating to supports in residential age care facilities that were previously removed from the Price Guide have been reintroduced (01_049_0115_1_1 and 01_050_115_1_1).
  • Providers delivering quotable items and non-price controlled items cannot charge separately for travel, non-face-to-face, report writing and cancellation. Costs should be included in the quote to the participant.
  • A new list and definition of isolated towns that are now classified as remote locations is published in the Price Guide (page 11).
  • SIL providers must use the latest SIL tool template and can no longer submit quotes in the previous format (see page 25 of the Price Guide).
  • The Price Guide gives examples how providers should claim for participant transport (page 15).

Other changes for providers and participants

Removal of plan gaps

The end date of NDIS plans will now be automatically extended in case of delays with the plan review process. A plan that expires within seven days will receive an extension for a period of 28 days. Participants will be able to spend remaining funds, with core and capacity funding increasing in line with the days in the extension. The end date of existing service bookings will extend as well if the service booking end date is the same as the plan end date. Providers and participants will receive a notification about the extension in the portal. Providers will need to monitor the value of the service booking and communicate with clients as the allocated amount might have been used up towards the end of the plan. Service agreements do not automatically extend (unless specified in the service agreement). Providers and participants will need to communicate if the participant would like to continue existing support, if necessary funds are available and if the allocated amount in the service booking needs to be modified.

Plans that receive periodic transport supports cannot be automatically extended. If this is the case, the old plan will only be extended once the new plan is approved. Service bookings will also be extended once the new plan is approved. Providers can request payment under the old plan if services have been provided in the gap (however this is only if sufficient funds are available).

We hope you have found this analysis and summary of the newly released NDIS Price Guide and updates helpful. For feedback or consulting support, please contact Ellen:

Dr Ellen Schuler 
Business Consultant 
Phone: 1300 284 364

Economic and Community Participation (ECP) Grant 2019-2020 and Mainstream Capacity Building (MCB) Grant 2019-2020

The NDIA has opened up two ILC grant programs for economic participation and capacity building.

Economic and Community Participation (ECP) grant program

The Economic and Community Participation (ECP) grant program offers two streams to create opportunities for people with disability to contribute and participate in community life. People with disability experience higher unemployment rates, longer duration of unemployment and a lower level of income (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019).  The Economic Participation stream is targeted at employers to create new pathways to employment and increase their ability to employ people with disability and build inclusive workplaces. The grant program also offers funding for programs that foster entrepreneurship to create opportunities of successful self-employment and innovative approaches that lead to increased employment.

The Social and Community Participation stream aims to create opportunities for people with disability to participate in the same community activities as everyone else, with a focus on arts, culture, sport and recreation. Eligible activities include pilots for new pathways to leadership and civic participation, improved inclusive approaches of local communities, inclusive playgroups and/or staff and volunteer development to better work alongside people with disability.

Application that focus on activities for ILC Priority Cohort Groups (Aboriginal and Torrens Strait Islander communities, CALD communities, LGBTIQA+ cohort and communities living in rural and remote areas) are particularly encouraged to apply. The ECP grant program offers a total of $30 million over three years with a minimum funding amount of $100,000 per year. More information is available here.

Mainstream Capacity Building (MCB) grant program

The Mainstream Capacity Building (MCB) grant program funds activities that build the capacity of health organisation and services to ensure people with disability can use and benefit from the same mainstream health services as everyone else. Many people with disability experience difficulties in accessing mainstream health services. One in six people with disability have experienced discrimination by health staff (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017).

The grant program is designed to help remove barriers within the heath system, including better training for health care staff about disability and inclusion, better collaboration among different sectors and improved service culture and attitudes. The funding priorities vary depending on the jurisdiction where the ILC program will be delivered. Grants start at $100,000 per year or up to $300,000 for three years. The maximum funding amount that applicants can apply for is $750,000 per year (or 2.25 million over three years). Nationally, a total of $32 million will be awarded through this program.

More information about the Mainstream Capacity Building (MCB) Grant Program 2019-2020 is available here.

Specific guidelines for each program are available on Community Grants Hub and Grant Connect. Applications are open until 21 October 2019.

For questions or support please contact:

Dr Ellen Schuler
Business Consultant
Phone: 1300 284 364

Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability

First public sitting

The Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability (DRC) is holding its first public forums in September. The community forum in Townsville on the 9 September will be followed by the first public sitting in Brisbane on 16 September where the Commissioners are formally introduced. This will allow the public to hear how the Commission will operate, what the DRC hopes to achieve and how people can engage. Anyone can attend the events with prior registration. Live webcasts of both events can be accessed here.

Terms of reference

The Royal Commission was established on 4 April 2019 and will cover all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people living with disability, in all settings where they occur. The Commission is led by six Royal Commissioners and the Australian Government has committed $527.9m for the inquiry, which is expected to run for three years. In comparison, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was led by two Royal Commissioners for 1.5 years and a $110m budget. The large budget for the Disability Royal Commission recognises the additional support needs of people with disability to participate in the inquiry. It acknowledges the wide-ranging scope, which considers what can be done by governments, institutions, providers and the community to

  • prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • achieve best practice in reporting, investigating and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability.

People with disabilities and stakeholders will have many opportunities to provide evidence and information and share their experiences. Anyone can make a submission and can receive legal advice and advocacy assistance.

Reactive or proactive response?

The outcomes of this Royal Commission will impact on all sectors that are supporting people with disabilities and will hopefully lead to wide ranging recommendations and reforms. During the investigation people with disabilities will share traumatic events and experiences and organisations may be summoned as witnesses before the Commission to give evidence or produce documents and information. The Commissioners have wide ranging powers to interrogate and to obtain evidence which can involve rights of entry and phone tapping.

The way your organisation chooses to act in the lead up and during the Royal Commission is an individual matter, however it may be perceived as an indication of your true colours and attitudes towards best practices and protecting people with disability. 

You may choose to bury your head in the sand and pretend that the DRC is not happening nor impacting on your organisation.  Alternatively, you may take a ‘wait and see’ approach, and only react if needed.

Choosing a proactive approach by anticipating the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead will differentiate your organisation. Your response may help to protect your credibility, reputation and consumer confidence if you decide to choose a clear position on the issues and demonstrate this in your actions.

Is your organisation proactively preventing abuse and neglect? How does your organisation deal with incidents and risks? How does your organisation work to eliminate restrictive practices? How do you recognise and acknowledge mistakes and learn from them? Is everyone involved in the response, including the board? What is your organisation doing to actively support the outcomes of the DRC?  How do you support your clients and their families who may choose to speak out?  How do you involve and assist staff and other stakeholders? And how to you prepare in case you will receive a notice to produce documents, or your organisation will be invited as witness? Are your records in order and accessible? Who will lead a response and who can assist (insurance, legal support and communication)?

A disturbing finding from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was that organisations had passed their accreditation standards despite very poor standards of care. This is highlighting that quality and safety is more than a tick box exercise and requires oversight and on-going commitment to standards that uphold fundamental human rights.

Zero Tolerance is an initiative led by National Disability Services (NDS) to assist disability service providers to understand and prevent abuse. NDS is also providing information and workshops for disability service providers in preparation for the Royal Commission.

For questions or comments please contact:
Dr Ellen Schuler 
Business Consultant 
Phone: 1300 284 364

CBB Community Business Grants

Do you feel fully on top of the business-side of running your organisation? You might be delivering outstanding social impact, but are you confident that your business practices are fit for purpose?

We work with hundreds of not for profit organisations and we see first hand the challenges of juggling the operational realities of delivering community services with the management and planning needed to run a purpose driven business. We know that many organisations do not have the time – and sometimes don’t have the in-house skills – to invest in adequately planning ahead, managing corporate functions, and continuous improvement.

As part of our commitment to reinvest some of our own funds into supporting the sector to build its business capability, we are offering a series of Community Business Grants in 2019/20. Grants will be offered on a staged basis through 2019/20 and will take the form of pro bono consulting projects in areas such as understanding your market opportunities, and financial management.

The first round will open to applications soon. Sign up for news and updates on our Community Business Grant program here, including announcements as rounds open, and access to the grant guidelines.

For any queries on our Community Business Grants contact

Jane Arnott
General Manager, Consulting and Business Services
Phone: 1300 763 505


ILC Individual Capacity Building

The NDIA recently opened grant applications for Individual Capacity Building funding. This is the first of three ILC programs that will open in August and September, with forthcoming programs for mainstream capacity building and economic and community participation opening on 9 September.

The Individual Capacity Building (ICB) program is open to organisations run by people with disabilities and their families and carers, and for priority cohort groups working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and LGBTQIA+ communities. The focus on these groups reflects their challenges in accessing community, mainstream and NDIS services for people with disabilities. For example, the NDS Quarterly Report to COAG for June 2019, showed that only 8.4% of NDS participants were from CALD communities, indicating that they are underrepresented amongst NDIS participants.

Grants under the ICB program are intended to support individuals to build the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to set and achieve their goals. They will fund peer support and leadership and professional development opportunities that will help people to speak for themselves when accessing services and engaging in their communities.

The focus on organisations that are run by people with disabilities and people from the priority cohort groups sends a powerful message that the grant program itself is practising what it preaches when it comes to inclusion – the focus is on funding organisations run by people with disabilities to build the capacity of people with disabilities.

Welcome features of the program include the introduction of a small grant stream for organisations to access grants of up to $30,000 pa for three years via a simplified application process. These funds can be used to support small scale and pilot projects – allowing organisation to test ideas. The learning that will come from projects funded under this stream will be invaluable for scalable and system-based solutions to improve inclusion. Also welcome is small scale funding for peer led groups and for place based or community of interest capacity building. These local solutions are vital for engaging people in their own communities, and funding through this ILC program is important recognition of their value and the real costs of facilitating this kind of activity. Finally, the program includes funding for organisations run by people with disabilities and their families to develop their own organisational capacity, alongside the individual capacity building work. Funding based on project interventions rarely allows for organisational development, so this is a welcome aspect of the Individual Capacity Building grants and continues a practice from previous ILC programs.

CBB is currently running a program of support – ILC Ready – to help organisations to understand ILC funding and develop their ideas for a disability inclusion project. The release of this Individual Capacity Building round has clearly caused some confusion around eligibility for ILC funding amongst some of the organisations we’ve been working with. Although grants in the Individual Capacity Building program are limited to organisations run by people with disabilities and their families and carers, and for priority cohort groups, our expectation is that the eligibility will be broader for the forthcoming rounds of economic and community participation and mainstream services. Organisations that have an idea for a project, but aren’t eligible for Individual Capacity Building funding, should study the grant opportunity guidelines for the new programs when they are issued this month, to see if they offer a better fit. In addition, we expect further ILC funding rounds to be opened in 2020, so there will be more opportunities next year for organisations who don’t have a suitable, or sufficiently developed, idea for the current grant rounds.

For more detail on the Individual Capacity Building, please see our detailed analysis HERE. Applications are via the Community Grants Hub. Details of future ILC programs will be published on the Community Grants Hub as they are released.

Jane Arnott
General Manager, Consulting and Business Services
Phone: 1300 284 364


The importance of knowing what you’ll do with customer feedback – so you ask the right questions

We’ve recently been researching tools to measure customer satisfaction. We’ve heard all about the benefits of their software and how efficient their systems are. But each conversation has focused on measuring how well an organisation has performed, rather than how they can improve.

Wouldn’t it be great if the companies were forward thinking as well as retrospective? This article titled ‘rather than asking customers for feedback, ask them what you could do better in the future’ by Thomas Barta, it’s is a short but informative read.

Asking what you could do better in the future will allow you to understand the needs and wants of the market, allowing you to either start or continue on your journey to be market orientated. 

You can find out why being market oriented matters for your community in this article.

Even if these companies did change their focus, many of the products we reviewed cost over $15,000 a year, which is a hard sell into any CEO and board. But hope is not lost.  Although expensive software makes it easier, you can still collect useful information using free tools and a bit of common sense.

But before you can ask the questions, you need to know why you’re asking them.  That will depend on your planning stage and whether you have a marketing strategy.

Marketing strategy

At this point we must clarify that a marketing strategy is not the same as an engagement/advertising plan.  You cannot look at the 4Ps (product, price, place, promotion) until you have a marketing strategy.  Without it you will not know where to effectively spend your marketing budget to connect with existing and /or potential customers.

In order to create a marketing strategy you need to answer three seemingly simple questions:

  • What market segments will be targeted?
  • What will our position to those targeted market segments be?
  • What are our objectives to each of the targeted market segments?

If you are still developing your marketing strategy there is an opportunity to ask your existing customers what it is they like about your organisation; why they use your services; why they don’t use your competitors.  From here you can start to define your positioning for each of the targeted market segments.

Marketing tactics

If you already have a marketing strategy in place you can focus on the 4Ps.  In particular, questions around your product and what people need and want.  These will help improve your service to keep existing customers happy and attract new customers.

Understanding what people need and want will also help you decide if you should add any new products to your portfolio; and if so what these should be and when you can launch them based on your organisation’s core competencies.

Conducting the research

There are various ways of asking questions and collecting responses. If you have the budget you can reach out to a market research agency.  But if your budget is tight then we recommend saving that money and collecting the initial information yourself.  There is no point having the answers if you then can’t afford to do anything with the information.

Then, if beneficial, use a market research agency at the end of the process to test your positioning and new product ideas on your target segments via focus groups. Their expertise at this stage will be invaluable and worth every dollar of your investment.

Online surveys

If you, like many organisations, already collect a Net Promoter Score (NPS) this gives you a year on year comparison of how well you’re doing. We suggest adding in other questions based on what you’re trying to achieve. These answers will produce actionable insights, which when acted upon will allow noticeable impact to your organisation and the community you support.

If you don’t currently survey your customers, SurveyMonkey is a great starting place.  SurveyMonkey offers a free plan, which allows you to ask up to 10 questions and view up to 100 responses per survey, and offer other plans that allow you to add more team members, ask more questions etc.  But start with the free account and do a test to see if it’s for you.  There are lots of options out there that you may prefer (just Google ‘alternatives to SurveyMonkey’ and there are numerous comparison articles that you can read). 

Face to face surveys

Depending on the people you support a survey may not be the most suitable option. Asking people a series of questions or making the questions into a series of activities may be the best way to obtain the valuable information you require.

Survey Tips:

  • Keep it short – people are busy
    • You’re better off running a quick survey often, instead of a long survey once a year. If you’re willing to pay people to respond to your survey then you can make it longer.
  • Ask the right person
    • The person who decides which services to purchase with what organisation may not be the service user. For example if your organisation provides support to children, the child may be able to tell you what would make their experience more enjoyable.  But they will not be able to help you define the key drivers that makes a parent allow you to support their child.
  • Focus on one thing at a time
    • Before you start to write questions make sure you understand why you are doing this survey. Focus on what it is you need to know.  Make sure you write the answer down so you keep referring to it.  It’s easy to get side tracked as different ideas pop into your head.
  • Know what you are going to do with the answer
    • Sense check the questions you’ve written, by asking yourself if the answers will help you improve your organisation/service/customer experience.

If you want to find out more about how you can connect with your existing customers and / or potential customers, you can book a free consult.

Meg Drechsler
Senior Marketing Consultant



ILC Individual Capacity Building Program Grant Opportunity 2019-2020

The NDIA recently opened grant applications for Individual Capacity Building funding. This is the first of three ILC programs that will open in August and September, with forthcoming programs for mainstream capacity building and economic participation. See below for our summary of the grant program.

  • Grants for:
    • Disabled Peoples Organisations/ Families Organisations (DPO/FOs)
    • Priority Cohort Led (PCL) Organisations
  • Opening date: 19 August 2019
  • Closing date: 30 September 2019 11pm
  • Outcomes for people with disabilities to
    • increase the skills and confidence to participate in and contribute to the community and protect their rights.
    • feel motivated, confident and empowered to act.
    • increase participation in and contribution to community activities.

1.   Disabled Peoples Organisations/Families Organisations (DPO/FOs)

DPO/FOs are organisations run by or for people with disabilities and/or their families. For organisations with paid staff and a board, the participation of people with disability and/or their families as board or staff members (or both) must be at least 50%. If the organisation has no paid staff, at least 50% of the organisation’s volunteers must be people with disabilities and/or their families. The DPO/FOs must actively demonstrate their commitment to the social model of disability which seeks to remove barriers to access mainstream services and live an ordinary life.

Total funding available: $80 Million (excl. GST)


Individual Capacity Building (ICB)

  • activities that guide the capacity of people with disability by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to set and achieve their goals.
  • for the primary and direct benefit for people with disability, and developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability.
  • ICB activity maximum funding: $600,000 per year up to three years (total of $1.8 m)

 Organisational Capacity Building (OCB)

DPO/FOS who apply for Individual Capacity Building (ICB) activities can in addition apply for Organisational Capacity Building (OCB) activities.

  • OCB activity maximum funding: $50,000 per year up three years to (total of $150,000)
  • Smaller organisations can alternatively apply for small grants up to $30,000 per year (GST excl.) for up to three years by using a simplified process (without the requirement to demonstrate the capability of the organisation). The grant can be used for ICB activities only or for a combination of ICB and OCB. The total of $90,000 for the grant life cannot be exceeded.

2.   Priority Cohort Led (PCL) Organisations

a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or organisations, who must be registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporation (ORIC)
b) Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities

Total funding available: $20 Million (excl. GST)


Individual Capacity Building (ICB)

  • activities that guide the capacity of people with disability by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to set and achieve their goals.
  • for the primary and direct benefit for people with disability and developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability.
  • ICB activity maximum funding: $600,000 per year up to three years (total of $1.8m)

Smaller organisations can alternatively apply for small grants up to $30,000 per year (GST excl) for up to three years using a simplified process (without the requirement to demonstrate the capability of the organisation). The grant can be used for ICB activities only. The total of $90,000 for the grant life cannot be exceeded.

What activities can be funded?

Individual Capacity Building

  • Peer led support groups for people with disability
  • Peer led support groups for parents, carers and siblings of people with disability
  • Capacity building activities that enable people to speak for themselves
  • Leadership and professional development activities (individual or group based)
  • Other activities to develop the capacity of individuals with disability
  • Scaling or extending previously ILC funded individual capacity building activities

Organisational Capacity Building

Only DPO/FOs can apply for three of the following activities, in addition to their Individual Capacity Building activities:

  • Upskilling, training or developing existing or potential staff, volunteers, board members
  • Developing and delivering strategies and activities to strengthen the involvement of people with disabilities and/or families and careers
  • Developing and delivering strategies and activities to support knowledge and skill transfer between board members
  • Establishing and maintaining partnerships to collaborate with other organisations
  • Improving organisational systems or processes to deliver organisation efficiencies
  • Strengthening the quality of organisational activities
  • Strategies to upskill the organisation
  • Developing organisational strategy
  • Scoping and developing a business case for revenue generating services that lead towards financial independence

Grants up to $90,000 over total grant period

Projects are likely based in local communities and provide support for

  • existing peer led groups for the costs associated with running the group
  • small scale projects or pilot projects that contribute to building the capacity of people with disability in the community
  • capacity building of a place-based community or community of interest, while also strengthening the infrastructure of the group.

Applicants who are currently receiving ILC funding through a previous ILC grant round may apply under this grant, however they cannot apply for funding that duplicates activities or projects that have already received ILC funding to deliver. Applicants can submit a maximum of two applications under this grant round when they apply once in their own right and the second application as the lead of a consortium. Acting as an auspicor does not count towards the number of applications that an organisation is eligible to submit. The detailed grant requirements are outlined in the Individual Capacity Building (ICB) Program Grant Opportunity 2019-2020 here.

Dr Ellen Schuler 
Business Consultant 
Phone: 1300 284 364

Get ready for the upcoming ILC grant rounds

The NDIS has announced the upcoming ILC grants totalling up to $222 million across three grant rounds.

  • Individual Capacity Building Program 19 August – 27 September 2019
  • Mainstream Capacity Building Program 9 September – 18 October 2019
  • Economic and Community Participation Program 9 September – 18 October 2019

If your organisation is planning to apply for an ILC grant it is advisable to review potential fit now and start planning ahead. Grant applications will only be open for five to six weeks and good preparation can help reduce the stress of preparing and writing your grant application. Specific details of each program will be available in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines on the Community Grants Hub when the grants are open for application.

Need help with an ILC idea?

We’re running a series of free workshops across South Australia in August 2019 for organisations that are interested in applying for an ILC grant. 

Register now.

Individual Capacity Building Program:

  • Focus on organisations run by and for people with disability (DPOs) or their families and carers (FOs).
  • Organisations who are not DPOs/FOs may be funded if they support a specific community of people (so called Priority Led Organisations) e.g. cultural or linguistically diverse groups.
  • Grant application period: 19 August – 27 September 2019
  • Grants will start in February 2020 and can provide funding for up to three years.

The grant activities seek to achieve outcomes for people with disabilities to:

  • have the skills and confidence to participate and contribute to the community and protect their rights.
  • have increased motivation, confidence and empowerment to act
  • participate in and benefit from the same community activities as everyone else.

Activities must build the capacity of people with disabilities by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to set and achieve goals. Activities must be for the primary and direct benefit of people with disabilities and developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability.

DPO/FOs can also apply for funding to improve their organisational capacity to deliver their mission and the ILC program. The Organisational Capacity Building funding is exclusive to DPOs/FOs and can only be funded as part of a broader project to build the capacity of individuals with disability.

Mainstream Capacity Building Program

  • Focus on mainstream health interfaces
  • Grants application period: 9 September – 18 October 2019
  • Grant will start as of March 2020 with funding up to 2 years.

The grant activities seek to achieve outcomes for people with disabilities to use and benefit from the same mainstream services as everyone else.

For this round, activities must support improvements in the delivery of accessible and inclusive mainstream health services. They should help overcome barriers to inclusion such as lack of knowledge, information or skill, attitudes and culture, governance and administration, infrastructure and resources, communication or remote location.

Economic and Community Participation Program

  • Economic participation stream focus on employment
  • Social and community stream focus on community life
  • Grants application period: 9 September – 18 October 2019
  • Grant will start as of March 2020 with funding up to 3 years.

The grant activities seek to achieve outcomes for people with disabilities to:

  • participate in and benefit from the same community activities as everyone else
  • actively contribute to leading, shaping and influencing their community
  • have the skills and confidence to participate and contribute to the community and protect their rights

Activities in the Economic Participation Stream include capacity building for employers, pathways to employment and fostering entrepreneurship.

The Social and Community Participation Stream seeks activities that establish education resources for the community sector to improve contemporary understanding of pathways to participation and leadership. Activities could also enhance the capacity of local communities to identify areas to improve inclusion practices and to create tools for change. Funding is also provided to increase awareness and understanding of disability, e.g. in sporting associations or specific sectors, or to create networks that connect people to opportunities. Training for volunteers to better relate to, or work with peoples with disabilities can also be provided through this grant program.

We expect a third Economic and Community Participation Program potentially this year and more grant rounds available in 2020/21. The Activating Community Inclusion stream aims to address community attitudes towards disabilities and provide opportunities for people with disabilities to be included in everyday life. 

The outcomes of the National Information Program (which closed in May 2019) have not yet been announced.

To date the ILC program has awarded 350 grants to community organisations to a value of $138.5 million (GST exc.).  More information about the ILC program is available on the NDIS website and CBB webinar series.

CBB will be running free workshops across South Australia in August helping organisations learn how to design and plan for an ILC project. Following the grant announcement from NDIA we have extended the registration dates.

Organisations can also apply for one on one support which, is designed for organisations who need more time and input to develop their project proposals, ready for when the 2020 grant rounds open.

If you have any questions on the program, please just drop us an email at

Dr Ellen Schuler 
Business Consultant 
Phone: 1300 284 364