Cost of living

The cost of living crisis will affect every charity – whatever their size or cause. If you need support or guidance, we're here to help. Find out more

Governance and trusteeship

  • Is your board providing purpose, clarity and vision?
  • Are trustees adding value and using their time effectively?
  • Do board meetings feel all talk and no action?
  • Is there a clear sense of areas for development in the organisations governance?
  • Is there clarity over the role of the CEO and the role of the board?

In recent years charity governance has been firmly in the spotlight. Trustees’ approach to management, their response to the global pandemic, as well as their oversight of safeguarding practice, fundraising and executive pay, albeit in a small number of cases, have been the subject of scrutiny and negative coverage in the media.

Given this backdrop, the case for good governance – charities led by trustees with a clear understanding of their role, appropriate skills and ability to deliver on their organisation’s purpose – has never been stronger.

How NCVO can help

Our governance work focuses on both defining what effective governance in the voluntary sector looks like and in supporting trustees to implement these standards.

NCVO has an experienced governance consultancy team who benefit from the support of our policy and research departments. Our team have undertaken reviews and training for a wide range of clients, including major household name charities and small local community groups.

We have also been central in the development of the Charity Governance Code which creates a set of guiding principles applicable and scalable to any size organisation. We use the code to provide a robust basis for all of our governance work and to provide our clients with a meaningful and recognised framework for development.

Governance reviews and health checks

At NCVO our governance consultancy team can offer a range governance review exercises bespoke to your needs and specific context.

Governance wheel

Linking directly to the Charity Governance Code, we have created the Governance Wheel – our central diagnostic, development and evaluative tool. The Governance Wheel provides a clear framework for boards to stay in effective and demonstrable control to achieve your charitable purpose. We regularly use the Wheel to support governance reviews.

Training and workshops

NCVO runs a variety of governance training, for beginners to experienced board members.

Training is available in bespoke form for your organisation and as an open programme attended by multiple organisations. In response to social distancing rules we have adapted our courses for remote online delivery.

Take a look at our events listing for more details.

They can be adapted for inclusion in a facilitated away day or we can develop a fully bespoke package in consultation with you.

Individual and team development

NCVO’s governance coaches work with chairs and other organisational leaders through focused learning to achieve rapid improvement and sustainable effectiveness in their position. Our coaching targets high performance usually focusing on specific skills, knowledge and goals.

There is significant evidence to suggest that developing openness, trust and an effective team is a central component of effective governance. Our team building uses workshops and analytical tools to develop shared goals and to implement effective governance processes. We work with trustees and staff to identify complementary strengths and leadership styles to get the best out of the governance team for your organisation and your beneficiaries.

Support with partnerships and mergers

There has been a growing interest in merger among voluntary and community organisations. This is in response to a combination of internal and external factors along with the impact of the global pandemic.

Our consulting team at NCVO can help your board:

  • Decide if merger is right for your charity
  • Explore merger with another organisation and establishing priorities for the newly merged charity
  • Agree a transition strategy and operating plan
  • Establish how decisions will be made in respect of the merger process
  • Identify the required trustee skills and board composition and governance structure for the merged charity
  • Design a new organisational structure

We do not advise on the legal aspects of merger or due diligence on the process. These are areas we can recommend expert legal advice.

Contact us

If you have an issue that you think we may be able to help with, please get in touch.

Complete our enquiry form or email

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