New podcast – Charity governance: Strengthening your board

Effective governance is vital for a charity to operate in the long-term. Many of the high-profile issues we have seen with charities in recent years, the Kids Company case, fundraising scandals and chief executive pay have highlighted the importance of good governance and the board’s role in oversight of the organisation.

In practice, good governance in smaller organisations is distinct. Low income and limited reserves can inhibit an organisations ability to deal with challenges, and a lack of paid staff can increase the burden on volunteer trustees. Given this backdrop the new charity governance code has a separate set of recommended practice for smaller organisation and we need to think differently about what implementation looks like.

Increased awareness of the importance of good governance for charities means we have seen an increase in scrutiny of how charities as a whole approach governance, with politicians, the media, and sector bodies all taking an active interest in reform of governance best practice.

This episode…

For the third episode of our podcast pilot we look at some of the work that has been done in this area in recent months, and invite some governance experts to answer a few of the most common queries that we hear from small charities.

We spoke with Baroness Pitkeathley, chair of the recent House of Lords select committee on charities, to find out why politicians are paying such close attention to the way charities operate at the moment. We also hear from me – Dan Francis, NCVO’s senior governance consultant – about the new Charity Governance Code that was launched in July, and the ways that the cross-sector working group kept the needs of small charities at the forefront when designing the code.

Sarah O’Grady, former chair of Amnesty International UK, joined us to take a look at some of the most common governance queries that our smaller members seek advice about.

Let us know what you think

This podcast is the third in our pilot series of six episodes, and we would love to hear what you think about it, so do give us your feedback. Each episode explores a different topic affecting charities and volunteering – the first two focused on making volunteering more flexible, and what impact the results of the election may have on charities. We will be back in December, taking a look at how charities can use digital projects to increase their impact – ensure you don’t miss it by subscribing to the NCVO podcast on iTunes or a podcast app.


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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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