The Blog

April 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Charity Governance Consultancy

You may not have been waiting with bated breath for the House of Lords to produce its report “Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society”, but here it is, all 156 pages, published for weekend reading on Sunday 26th March 2017 – and usefully summarised for you here.

Is this of any real practical use to you and your trustees? – Answer “YES.”

Even is yours is (almost) the smallest of small charities? – Answer “YES.”

The report is far-sighted and in places controversial, such as its recommendation of “time off from work for your charity trustees and volunteers” – admirably aspirational but unlikely to happen.

Your “must haves”

Much more helpful are these “must have” items for every charity:

  • A regular audit of your trustees’ skills, knowledge and experience
  • Training & development for your trustees
  • Turnover and diversity in your trustee board
  • Governance vs. management – your trustees knowing the difference
  • Adopting a Governance Code for your charity – see my blog “Is being a charity trustee a nightmare?

And one more, which deserves a closer look: transparency, accountability and impact evaluation for your charity

Easier than you’d think

Sounds rather hard work – but not so:

All charities – your charity included – should have a website, however small and simple, or at least a public social media page.

Hey presto – transparency!

And if you want advice on social media marketing and promotion, let me know and I can put you in touch with just the right person.

Make your website / social media page newsy and informative, with plenty of inside information freely available, recounting actions your charity has taken over the year in the context of the Governance Code you follow. Be sure to include them in your Annual Report and Accounts.

Hey Presto – accountability!

And work worth doing

Impact evaluation is not quite a ‘hey presto” item but it’s really not too difficult.

Ask yourselves “what is our charity trying to achieve?, “how do we recognise success?” and “how shall we measure our success?” And then get measuring.

You can find in-depth help on impact evaluation here.

Impact Evaluation is a really powerful tool for your charity – use its results internally as a yardstick of your charity’s effectiveness and externally to enrich your charity’s life-blood – your funders, stakeholders, volunteers and supporters.

To achieve trustee excellence

And these three – transparency, accountability and impact evaluation – make a good trustee mindset.  Make sure they feature in the agenda for your next charity trustees’ meeting.

This way YOURS will be a Stronger Charity for a Stronger Society.

Not a bad Sunday afternoon’s work.  If you haven’t already taken Good Trustee / Bad Trustee – The Quiz, this might be a good moment to see if you can pat yourself on the back with an excellent score…

And if you’d like some help with any of these “must have” items or any other governance questions at your charity, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The following two tabs change content below.

Geoffrey Hand

Geoffrey Hand is a charity governance consultant, offering governance consultancy and training. He also provides legal services management, helping charities get better value for money from their lawyers. Geoffrey has extensive experience in the charity and legal worlds, and his mission is to help charities deliver good governance.

Leave a Reply