Humanities 21 is a member organisation, reflecting the founders’ view that its objectives are best achieved through the active participation of fellow-enthusiasts. Humanities 21 will actively seek members’ engagement by:

  • Encouraging as many people as possible to become members at an affordable price
  • Communicating to members all important policies and plans and inviting feedback
  • Encouraging a high level of attendance at Annual General Meetings at which the Committee of Management is elected
  • Listening to member input throughout the year.


Humanities 21 does not seek to compete with organisations that offer events and activities in the Humanities, rather to help them build their following and attendances. To this end:

  • We will decide which events to promote on merit rather than provenance
  • We will seek mutually beneficial partnerships with other organisations that are involved in managing and promoting relevant events
  • Our own programs will be designed to fill gaps in the market place and will be transferred as soon as practical to any other willing organisation that wishes to take them over.

Partnering arrangements must not compromise Humanities 21’s independence from individual universities.


Humanities 21’s financial policy is to:

  • Provide information and events to a broad audience at a low cost or free
  • Engage new audiences with self-financing events and programs
  • Direct any surplus after administrative costs to teaching and research programs, positions and scholarships that promote engagement with the community.


  1. Commercial Revenue.
    It is important to demonstrate that the humanities can be promoted without subsidy. It is Humanities 21’s medium term aim to cover all its administrative costs through commercial sources, including:

    1. Events and seminar programs for which participants or their employers will pay. For such events Humanities 21 will aim to pay speakers an attractive rate, likely to vary with the size of the audience, and retain any balance after venue expenses.
    2. Sponsorship for the newsletter and the website.
    3. A paying membership that will provide secure recurring income. 
  2. Donations.
    We do not seek to compete with University fund-raising efforts. On the contrary, we believe that the increased engagement between academia and society that Humanities 21 seeks to encourage is essential to increasing the success of University fund-raising and lobbying. However, until commercial income grows Humanities 21 is dependent on donations to cover its operating costs. Any surplus after these costs will be allocated to projects that support our objectives, including increasing the number of free events offered and funding projects that increase community engagement with the humanities.


The major category of expenditure will be staffing costs. Other expenses will include IT providers, telecommunications and space. We shall seek to cover incremental expenses for most events out of ticket prices. If and when the organisation can afford it, the first priority will be to increase the proportion of time for which we can employ an Executive Director.

We shall look to leverage the Executive Director’s time in three ways:

  1. By employing, on an occasional basis and at modest cost, humanities students who would relate well to our objectives and would benefit from the work experience.
  2. By nominating champions for particular projects to support the Executive Director with advice and contacts.
  3. By appointing individuals to market and organise specific programs on a commission (variable cost) basis.


Any funds held from time to time will be kept in a cash account or invested in liquid securities backed by the Australian government or one of the four main Australian banks.


Revenue will be managed in two ways:

  1. Commercial income will be deposited directly to Humanities 21’s bank account.
  2. Donations will be received through the Australian Business Arts Foundation, unless otherwise determined by the Committee of Management.

Expenditure: The Executive Director may spend and reclaim up to $250 per month on Humanities 21 matters, subject to the approval each month of the Treasurer and one other member of the Committee of Management. Requirements above that amount need to be approved by the Treasurer, the President and one other member of the Committee of management. This delegation and those to do with cheque-signing will be reviewed by the Committee of Management at least once per year.

Surplus: If and when Humanities 21 has secured its medium term future and there is a surplus that can be put towards projects, a special meeting of the Committee of Management will be held to determine how it should be allocated. The process will include canvassing the views of members.


The Executive Director will report all revenue and expenditure items each month to the President and Treasurer. The report will include accumulated year to date income and expenditure.

A professional auditor will review accounts quarterly.

If at any time sums owing exceed or appear likely to exceed cash in hand, the Executive Director will notify the President and Treasurer, or in their absence two other members of the Committee of Management.