Governance round-up: February 2017

Charity Governance Code consultation

The consultation on the new draft Charity Governance Code closed earlier this month.

Among the responses to the consultation was a submission from the Charity Commission who welcomed efforts to make the code more rigorous in response to changing needs and public expectations. The commission also said it would propose to withdraw their publication The Hallmarks of an Effective Charity (CC10), and instead refer charities to the code as the guide on setting out relevant standards of good practice.

I met with the code’s steering group last week to begin the process of looking through all of the responses. Overall, we are pleased with the broad support for the draft, while also recognising that there’s some valuable feedback we must respond to.

We are just beginning our analysis of the consultation and I’ll of course be keeping you updated through this monthly round-up blog post as we progress. In the meantime, at our next Members’ Assembly we will be hosting a final opportunity to feed in any thoughts on the current draft.

Contribute to major research into trustee support

In my last round-up I announced an exciting piece of research as part of the Trustee Awareness Project. Working with The Cranfield Trust, CASS and the Charity Commission we are exploring how trustees understand their roles and where they can access support.

If you or your organisation provides support to trustees in any form and on any subject then we want to hear from you and time is running out! The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete and will only be available for the next week.

We hope that by publishing this research, more charities will be able to find support appropriate to their board and that organisations providing information, advice and training will be able to tailor their services effectively and target potential gaps.

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead is our annual analysis of the changing operating environment of the voluntary sector. It identifies and explains forces and trends that are shaping the sector, and that are likely to have an impact on the future of voluntary organisations.

We think that trustees and managers would benefit from using the analysis to explore the implications of these issues for their organisations when planning for the medium term. As such, it may be worth sharing the document with your trustees and setting aside time in a board meeting for discussion around the headline topics.

Personal information and fundraising guidance

The Fundraising Regulator has released its Personal information and fundraising: Consent, purpose and transparency guidance, it aims to help charities and their trustees better understand their responsibilities in relation to donor consent, data protection and legitimate interests. They have also published a check list to support the guidance.

A key recommendation is that charities should only contact people who have opted in to receive fundraising communications as it’s the ‘clearest’ and ‘safest’ form of consent.

The charity commission has its own guidance for trustees on fundraising more broadly. This outlines six key areas of responsibility and its worth ensuring that your whole board has had the opportunity to read this guidance.

In the news

New draft charities bill expected in the summer

Civil Society has reported on the Law Commission’s expected publication of a draft charities bill in the summer, containing its proposals for the reform of charity law. The commission has proposed a number of technical changes to charity law, governing issues (including how Royal Charter charities change their objects), and guidance for charities on changing their purposes, rules governing mergers, rules governing charity names, and certain powers of the Charity Tribunal.

NCVO training and events


For more regular updates follow me @mynameisdanfran or @NCVO on Twitter.


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Avatar photo Dan is responsible for NCVO’s governance consultancy offer, focusing on governance reviews, board performance and trustee training. He joined NCVO from the National Union of Students (NUS) where, as a long standing consultant, he supported the organisational development of local students’ unions as charities.

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