The need for Good Governance

The new Charity Governance Code (the Code) was published in July 2017 and has been described as “Essential reading for all trustees by the Charity Commission.

“Good governance in charities is fundamental to their success. It enables and supports a charity’s compliance with the law and relevant regulations. It also promotes a culture where everything works towards fulfilling the charity’s vision.” Source: Charity Governance Code.

So, why is it so important?

Given the negative press that charities have had over the last few years – think Kids’ Company and Oxfam as two most noteworthy ones, it’s increasingly important that charities have good governance.

It’s also been shown that the Charities that have the best governance and follow best practice, are the ones who are succeeding where others don’t.

Good governance unlocks the potential of charities – where there is good governance, you have a well led charity with a clear strategy that delivers the best for its benefactors (and employees).

Conversely, charities with less efficient governance can struggle with being ineffective, inefficient and at risk of abuse and having their brand damaged.

The code covers seven main areas – organisational purpose; leadership; integrity, decision-making, risk and control; board effectiveness; diversity; and openness and accountability.

How do you review the effectiveness of your governance?

There are three ways you can do this:

1. You assess it yourself
Unfortunately this can be very difficult to achieve – it can be very time consuming and difficult when you ‘mark your own homework’ to prove independence

2. You pay consultants to review your governance on your behalf
This can be expensive and again quite time consuming for you to provide all the relevant details

3. Online review tool – Digi-Board™
Digi-Board provides a pragmatic solution that allows you to assess your governance without diverting staff/trustee/volunteer focus.  And it can be done at a far more cost effective price than the equivalent of engaging a consultant. It also has the benefit of being specifically built around best practice, i.e. the Charity Governance Code, along with some additional areas.

In all cases, you should be able to identify what your charity is doing well and to highlight areas where there is room for improvement.

And whilst it’s great having a report and identifying those areas, you can be left wondering – what next? It’s all very well understanding you might have areas for improvement, but it’s not always easy to see what needs to be done about them.

How we can help you?

We are an official Consulting Partner of Digi-Board™ .

Charity governance has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent times and charities struggle to get to grips with what they need to do about it.  Digi-Board™ de-mystify governance for charity boards so everyone can contribute to this important agenda irrespective of their experience of governance.

Digi-Board use digital technologies to educate and guide charity boards to assess their governance against best practices of the Charity Governance Code.  The outcome is a report that clearly identifies a charity’s governance strengths and weaknesses to inform the discussion about what they need to do about it.