Entrepreneurial Not-for-Profits and Accountability

Author: Jill Hooks, Massey University

Abstract: Not-for-profit organisations that are public benefit entities are subject to public accountability. They have an obligation to provide financial and non-financial information in sufficient detail for stakeholders to gain an understanding of their objectives and performance. This paper evaluates the reporting of an entrepreneurial not-for-profit entity with business and social goals. It examines the annual report of the Wellington Zoo 2009/10 to determine how well the story is told and whether stakeholder expectations of accountability are being met. The annual report of a similar Zoo, Perth Zoo (2009/10), is used as a basis for comparison. Although there are some identified shortcomings in the annual report of Wellington Zoo, it is well-placed to provide an exemplar of good reporting to other not-for-profit entities who have multiple funders and multiple stakeholders particularly when public money is involved.