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Good Governance

Key Information


How you govern your charity is incredibly important. There are several rules and regulations around running a charity and ensuring that your governance is comprehensive and complete is vital. 

Governance is the systems and processses concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation. 

Good governance ensures:

  • compliance with law and regulation
  • that an organisation is well run and efficient
  • that problems are identified early and dealt with appropriately
  • the preservation of the reputation and integrity of the sector
  • that charities make a difference and the objects of the charity are advanced 

Governance in charities

Usually a charity is governed by a trustee board that takes overall responsibility for its work. Governance is a term used to describe the trustees’ role in:

  • Securing the long term direction of the charity (furthering its objects or purposes as set out in its governing document)
  • Ensuring that policies and activities achieve those objects
  • Ensuring the charity is run in a way that is legal, responsible and effective
  • Being accountable to those with an interest or 'stake' in the charity.

Good governance runs throughout a charity. The trustee board is responsible for good governance, but they rely on many different people to be able to govern well – staff and the chief executive in particular, volunteers, advisors and others with an interest or stake in the organisation (stakeholders).

Some Key resources you may find useful when setting up or reviewing your charities governance:

NCVO's Introduction to Governance

The Charity Governance Code

The Cranfield Trust

The Good Trustee Guide


Published at 11:17 am Thu Apr 8th, 2021

The Charity Excellence Governance Framework

Published at 11:09 am Thu Apr 8th, 2021

'My Community' Resource Database