Governance round-up: October 2018

Trustees’ Week 12 – 16 November

Trustees’ Week is the annual celebration of trustees. Like volunteers week it serves as an opportunity to support existing trustees in their roles and encourage new people to become board members.  This year we will be dropping our member wall allowing open access to all our online member governance tools and resources for the week. We are also offering some unique discounts on training and publications as well as sharing sharing new tools and resource, so stay tuned and all will be revealed in next month’s blog.

NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference

Our annual Trustee Conference will take place in the week running up to Trustees’ Week and places are still available for the unique event. What better way to get in the spirit of the week? Join us as we use the charity governance code to explore the key principles of good governance and how to embed them across your organisation. Using the code we will give you practical tips and guidance on how to support your charity to follow best practice in governance and help you to develop in your role as a trustee.

Charity Governance Awards

The Charity Governance Awards are open for nominations. The awards which celebrate outstanding governance in charities both small and large present a unique opportunity to champion best practice across seven award areas. The winning charity in each category will receive £5,000 and entries must be submitted by midday Tuesday, 22 January 2019.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week

If you can’t wait until November for Trustees Week then fear not, Charity Fraud Awareness Week is kicking off on 22 October. The campaign is led by an international partnership of over 40 charities, regulators, professional representative bodies and others working together to combat fraud against charities. The campaign website contains lots of information about activities as well as useful resources which includes a fraud checklist and guidance on fraud prevention published by the Charity Commission.

Macquarie 50 Award

A new £50m fund for community development projects launched to celebrate Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award, a global initiative to fund five non-profit projects that will deliver lasting community benefit. Find out more about the fund. Apply by 17 November. #Macquarie50Award

In the news / blogs

Board monitoring and diversity at Save the Children

Civil Society has reported on the independent review conducted by Save the Children which found that 28% of the organisations staff say they have experienced discrimination or harassment in the last three years.

In its recommendations, the review suggested that the board should have more ‘people management data’ to enable them to ‘monitor progress’.  It also said that there should be ‘greater ethnic and social diversity’ on the board. These are steps also encouraged in the charity governance code which recommends that boards consider appointment, retention and accessibility as well as monitoring and establishing diversity objectives when considering their own composition.

The review praised the current leadership’s commitment to transparency and openness and said it was “great willingness to learn from the past and eagerness to move forward without delay”.

Use of the charity governance code

In a blog on their website our co-sponsors for the Trustee Conference, Zurich, have shared some examples of how the charity governance code is being adopted and implemented in two charities. Drawing on practical examples from Youth Concern and Adoption UK, Zurich help to de-mystify use of the code and share learning from its use.

From the Commission

The Charity Commission has published a new Statement of Strategic Intent, which sets out its core purpose and priorities for the five years to 2023. It has said it will work to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.  My colleague, Aidan, has given a detailed run down of the statement in his blog, welcoming the intention to partner with the sector and be ‘more than just a regulator’.

Trustees will be particularly interested in the commission’s new strategic objective to give charities the understanding and tools they need to succeed as well the emphasis placed on communicating good practice and to support collaboration and mergers. How the commission achieves this given its current resource issues and the upcoming spending review is yet to be determined.

Deadline for submitting 2017 annual return

If your charity has a 12-month accounting period, then the deadline for submitting the 2017 annual return is 31 October. The Commission has prompted charities yet to complete their returns to do so before the deadline to avoid a default being displayed to the public on the charity register.

NCVO training and events

If you want more information or to attend our expert led workshops you can register here.


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

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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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