What is governance?
Governance essentially refers to the way in which your organisation operates. It is about ensuring that your organisation runs effectively and follows good practice.
- an agreement about the purpose of your voluntary or community organisation
- an agreed strategy for fulfilling or working towards your organisational goals
- accountability for your successes and failures
- a responsibility for ensuring your organisations complies with the law.
Usually, responsibility for ensuring good governance rests on a select group of people. At the Social Council we commonly refer to them as your "trustees". However, they are just a likely to be called a "management committee", "board members" or "directors".
Regardless of the name, the trustees are the group of people who comprise the ultimate decision making body. They must have a right to sit on your organisations leading body/committee and have the right to vote on its decisions.
Charity trustees have specific legal responsibilities. These include:
- a responsibility for directing the affairs of the charity
- ensuring its is solvent and well-run
- ensuring it delivers the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which is has been set up
- ensuring the charity complies with charity law, its own governing document and other relevant legislation
- ensuring that the charities funds and assets are use only to further the objects (or purpose) of the charity
- to avoid undertaking activities that might place the charity’s funds, assets, endowments or reputation at risk
- to act with integrity and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets.
Governance and trustee support from the Social Council
The Social Council can attend a board meeting to provide advice, training or run a facilitated session (such as on strategic planning). Contact Tom or Brenda for more information on 020 7243 9807.