Trustees and governance

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.

It involves:

  • 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.
Who's responsible?

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 organisation's 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 it 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 KCSC

KCSC can attend a board meeting to provide advice, training or run a facilitated session (such as on strategic planning). Contact the Organisational Development team for more information on 020 7243 9807 or email [email protected].

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