Governance round-up: August 2018

Launch of the Winifred Tumim Memorial governance prize

NCVO has opened entries for this year’s Winifred Tumim Memorial Prize for best practice in charity governance. There are a series of prizes available, including £1000 for the winning organisation. Nominations are now open and will close on 7 September.

The prize was established by NCVO in honour of the work done by Lady Winifred Tumim, chair of NCVO from 1996-2001, to improve the quality of charity governance.

All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference on Monday 5 November 2018 free of charge where the winners will be announced at the evening drinks reception.

Entry criteria

  • Be able to demonstrate, through the application process, how they have improved the effectiveness of their governance and delivered greater public benefit as a charity in line with the Charity Governance Code.
  • Be a charity based in England (even if your organisation operates across the UK, your headquarters must be based in England)
  • Cover work carried out over the last year

Entries are welcome from charities of any size and decisions will be made based on their achievements irrespective of the resources expended.

The judges will assess all entries received and will use the Code as a framework for their decision making.

Free webinar: Get your board involved in fundraising

The role of boards in fundraising is sometimes a contentious issue. Many experienced and effective board members and chief executives are intimidated when it comes to asking for a donation. Staff also can experience real anxiety despite years of experience. While the recent fundraising review made clear that boards take responsibility for ensuring practice is in line with standards and values, few trustees feel comfortable being actively involved in fundraising. What can be done?

At this free webinar on 13 September we welcome Carol Weisman, an experienced board leadership and consultant from the USA. Carol will explore the roles of boards in fundraising and share tips and lessons on how to get everyone involved in fundraising. Following her presentation, I will be interviewing Carol on the commonalities and differences between the UK and the USA.

In the news

Launch of the civil society strategy

The government launched its new strategy for civil society on 9 August. The strategy aims to set out the government’s long term version for its work with civil society. It’s intended to recognise the role that civil society has in tackling some of today’s greatest challenges, and the need to make sure it is involved in developing new solutions. You can read Elizabeth Chamberlain our head of policy’s take on the strategy here. There may be value in discussing with your board what these plans will mean for your organisation.

From the Commission

2018 charity annual return online submission open

Following last year’s consultation the Charity Commission have introduced a tailored annual return for 2018. This year’s return will involve new questions around pay, overseas income and spending.

Changes to automatic disqualification

On 1 August 2018 charity automatic disqualification rules changed. These include new disqualification reasons for trustees and some charity senior manager positions (chief executives and finance directors – and those in equivalent roles).

New reasons for disqualification include being in contempt of court, being named under particular anti-terrorism legislation or being on the sex offenders register. Read my colleague Douglas Dowell’s blog on the new rules.

Launch of ‘Phenomenal You’ project

Consultant and facilitator Tesse Akpeki has launched a dynamic action leadership course that brings the uniqueness of organisations, individuals and teams together. Phenomenal You: Leading for Success is about using collective intelligence, co-creation, co-design, and collaboration. Of interest to leaders and emerging leaders, Phenomenal You offers something different.

NCVO training and events

NCVO/BWB Trustee conference

Registration is open, so join us on 5 November at the leading annual event for voluntary sector trustees and anyone who works with them. Through expert led workshops and plenaries we will explore the key principles of good governance and how to embed them across your organisation.

Forum to discuss cross-sector governance

There are still spaces available at NCVO’s Governance Forum on the morning of 17 September at Clothworkers Hall. Register here.

The next forum will provide an opportunity to explore NCVO’s Almanac data and what this means for trustees. We will also receive an update from the Charity Commission on their areas of focus and priorities. We will also discuss the #R29 campaign which has emerged from a recent RSA report into school governance titled Who governs our schools? The report recommends a cross-sector commission on governance.


Dan Francis is NCVO’s senior governance consultant. For more regular updates follow @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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