Governance round-up: October 2019

Free trustee advertising for NCVO members through Trustees Unlimited

We’re excited to announce that we’ve been working with our partners Trustees Unlimited to offer all NCVO members the opportunity to promote trustee vacancies. You can do this by posting an advert on their new website for free.

Given the specialist and focused nature of Trustees Unlimited’s work and the investment in their new website, we’re confident this will help our members reach a much wider pool of talent. This will be an improvement on our existing Trustees Bank which we’ll close in the coming months.

Trustees Unlimited, a collaborative venture between NCVO, Russam and Bates Wells, also offer preferential pricing for NCVO members on their trustee recruitment and search services.

NCVO launches safeguarding tools

Last month NCVO launched a new suite of free online resources, which detail simple steps that voluntary organisations can take to improve safeguarding. In doing this, we hope to ensure that these organisations are run in a way that actively prevents beneficiaries, staff and others from suffering harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect. Keeping people safe is important and all organisations need to do safeguarding well. It’s important to remember that everyone needs to be involved in this, including trustees.

There’s a dedicated section on the kinds of questions that trustees should ask and the role boards should play.

Free webinar: How charity sector trends can inform your next board strategy

On November 19, I’ll be hosting a webinar with our research team which will explore what boards can learn from our UK Civil Society Almanac. We’ll be talking about the size and scope of the voluntary sector and the challenges faced by small and large organisations. We’ll also look at where charities get their money from and what it’s spent on, the make-up of trustee boards and potential skills gaps in staff. The purpose of the webinar is to highlight how trustees can use the data to drive their decision making in a strategic way. Sign up to join us for free!

Trustees Week 2019

Trustees week 2019 take place on the week commencing 3 November. This is the annual celebration of trustees and an opportunity to showcase the great work that voluntary boards do and to share resources and guidance. It’s also to highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference at board level.

At NCVO we’ll be:

  • Running our annual Trustees Conference with Bates Wells. We’ll be joined by hundreds of trustees to explore a wide range of governance topics and are delighted to welcome some exciting and inspirational speakers. It’s still not too late to book your place.
  • Promoting the consultation into the review of the Charity Governance Code, to see how we can tweak and innovate the code.
  • Making all of our online tools and resources free to access for non-members.
  • Offering a 10% discount to all governance training booked during the week.
  • Launching new guidance on individual trustee review.
  • Announcing the winner of the Winifred Tumim Memorial Fund.

If you have big plans for trustees week then we’d love to hear about them.

Last opportunity to apply for the NCVO governance innovation fund

In the summer we launched applications for the new Winifred Tumim Memorial Fund for innovation in charity governance. This fund offers a grant of £1000 for work which supports innovation in good governance. We will close applications during trustees week and so this is your last opportunity to apply.

In making the grant, particular attention will be paid to how any output supports the adoption of the Charity Governance Code and uses new or innovative approaches to tackle common challenges. Find out more information on the criteria and how to apply here.

In the news and blogs…

Charity accountability

Simon Gillespie, who will shortly step down as CEO of the British Heart Foundation has argued that much of the good work of charities is undermined by questions over to whom they are really accountable to and how they demonstrate that accountability. He goes on to applaud those who embrace collaboration, joint working and mergers.


Civil society has reported on findings that more than half of fraud affecting charities is committed by people known to the organisation. As I mentioned in my last blog, Charity Fraud Awareness Week is between 21 and 25 October, and offers an opportunity to share best practice in preventing and managing such issues.

Now give something back

Now give something back, a website dedicated to recruiting lay trustees of students’ unions, has launched another round of recruitment. If joining the board of an organisation which is membership led, political, vibrant and full of young people who are working hard to deliver change for their members is something that appeals to you – then you should consider applying.

Training and Events


Governance training

Dan Francis is NCVO’s Lead consultant for governance. 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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