Governance can be confusing, but it is important you get it right.

Effective governance is key to ensuring that your organisation achieves its purpose and makes a difference in a sustainable way. Collectively, the board is responsible for the reputation of the organisation and must ensure you are operating within relevant laws and regulation. If you would like to identify areas of development for your organisation and ensure you are operating as effectively as possible, have a look at our online Healthcheck Tool.

The NCVO give more details about board responsibilities and provide guidance specifically on the legal duties of trustees. In addition, the Charity Governance Code is a useful tool to ensure you are covering all the bases. To make sure you are compliant with all your legal responsibilities download this legal checklist for boards of charities and other voluntary organisations.

NCVO have also published Charity Ethical Principles, which can be used alongside the Charity Governance Code.

You can discuss your specific governance issues on a one to one basis in our free support sessions. We also have a number of events throughout the year for trustees and other members of the board, and offer further support for charity leaders with our expert support services.

The FSI also offer training and advice on governance. Membership of the FSI is free to charities and community groups with a turnover of less than £1m.

The Cranfield Trust works with business volunteers to put their skills to work for charities as pro bono consultants, to help non-profit organisations change and grow. Some charities and organisations may be eligible for their free management consultancy.

Useful tools to help with organisational governance

Board Effectiveness

Are you getting the most from your board? Do you organise yourselves effectively and do the processes you use help or hinder? Find out about running an effective board with the NCVO Knowhow Guide: Board Effectiveness

Use this Charity Commission checklist to review your charity’s effectiveness at AGMs, trustee meetings, awayday discussions or planning meetings.

Is your board of trustees having problems? Are you struggling to identify, understand or resolve them? The  NCVO Knowhow: Board appraisal toolkit will help you diagnose the problems of your board and give you training to tackle them without any outside help.


Good Governance

The Kingston Smith: A toolkit for Good Governance  aims to help the board of trustees meet best governance practise by setting out six key benchmarks for good governance and provides a checklist of questions for each, to match against your own charity’s operations.

The Directory of Social Change (DSC) have created a brand new Governance App which is a free and easy way for your Board of Trustees to review and improve their governance, together.

Image courtesy of Wheelpower