Governance Round Up: May 2021

Trustee Recruitment Lifecycle

Last month saw the launch of the Trustee Recruitment Lifecycle, a website developed by Reach Volunteering in collaboration with:

  • Association of Chairs
  • Small Charities Coalition
  • Getting on Board

Given that 70% of boards still recruit trustees informally, this guidance is clearly important to the sector. It’s designed to support boards to recruit trustees in an effective and inclusive way.

The site shares the experience of charities across the various stages of trustee recruitment and offers practical advice on the process. The focus is on an open, transparent, and rigorous process. This aligns well with the principles set out in the Charity Governance Code making this a great tool for any board seeking to recruit new trustees.

The site splits trustee recruitment into six stages:

Reflect/Prepare/Advertise/Shortlist and interview/Appoint and induct/Evaluate

NCVO members can have the benefit of using the tool in conjunction with NCVO’s guidance on:

The Charities Bill announced

In the Queen’s Speech, the government announced it will put forward a Charities bill, proposing a number of technical changes to charity law. These changes were first proposed in the Law Commission’s 2017 report. This made detailed recommendations on the technical issues in Charity Law.

At NCVO we have welcomed this as a positive step which should simplify the law. My colleague Chris Walker has set out the key things charities need to know from the Charities Bill. The Charity Commission’s Legal and accountancy director, Aarti Thakor, has also detailed five of the key proposed changes for charities.

Best of the blogs

  • Nick Smith, who works closely with students’ unions has been writing about his frustration that more sabbatical officers do not immediately go on to become trustees in the wider charity sector. Nick estimates that students’ union trustees make up 5% of all young trustees in the UK. Each year, because they stop being students or officers, he highlights that huge numbers of these move on from their positions. If you are a trustee of a charity looking to recruit younger board members it’s worth contacting your local students’ union before the end of June, which is when their outgoing officer team departs. You can read more on Nick’s thoughts about trusteeship here.
  • My colleague Alex Farrow has blogged about the Crack the Crises campaign. He talks about how it offers a real opportunity, ahead of the G7 summit in June, to explore the role charities and volunteering in addressing some of the biggest challenges. If you want your charity to be involved, read Alex’s blog and share with your trustees.

Returning to the office plans

With restrictions slowly easing, I know many charities will be considering what the future of work looks like for their organisation. Some will be making plans for mass office returns while others are considering how to best continue with remote or blended working. They will also be thinking about how this will work to maintain a strong culture and sense of team. It’s clear even from our experience at NCVO that there are mixed feelings from staff on the matter.

Emma Beddington has written a Guardian article calling for a time of reinvention and experimentation, to make sure that we don’t either return to bad old ways of office working or blindly adopting alternatives without considering their implications. It’s a great read for trustees or senior managers who are thinking about the post-covid world of work.

Training and events

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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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