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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Sullivan

What is Governance?

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

What is Governance?

You may well ask.

According to the dictionary, Governance is the action or manner of governing an organisation.

Yeah, thanks. But, what?

OK, here’s the thing. Governance itself isn’t all that exciting. But it is essential, nevertheless.

It’s about running organisations and charities within the law, ensuring direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability.

Again, what?

Governance is something that every organisation must think about. It is the process of staying legal, doing the right thing, being efficient and accountable and dealing with any problems in the best way possible.

Governance is generally carried out by trustees or members of a board or governing body. Governance is NOT the day to day management of an organisation and should not be confused as such.

Imagine having a friend with whom you discuss the really important decisions in your life. You don’t ask them to carry out any jobs you need to do, you simply talk through your thoughts and plans with them to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. You draw on their expertise to make sure you haven’t missed anything – that’s how trustees and governance works.

Governing is about:

* setting the purpose of the organisation

* deciding on strategies to move the organisation forward

* accounting for the organisation’s performance

* making sure the organisation does everything it should to operate within the law

The management of the organisation then implements the strategies laid out during the governance process.

Governance within charities

It is usual for a charity to be run (or governed) by a board of trustees. The board is responsible for the operation of the organisation and decides how it will be run. A trustee is someone who sits on the board and helps with the decision-making processes.

The board will have overall responsibility for making sure the charity is heading in the right direction, achieving the goals it sets itself, writing and implementing policies to ensure efficiency, operating within the law and in a responsible manner, and being accountable to all those who have an interest in the organisation.

The Charity Commission regulates all charities in England and Wales, with OSCR doing the same in Scotland and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland in Northern Ireland. These bodies provide a host of information on their respective websites for new trustees, as well as for employees of charities.

Trustee training and board development

At MiraGold we have a collective expertise of working with charities, trustees and boards which comes from more than 30 years of experience in this sector. We specialise in training trustees and charity board members to gain the greatest benefit for their organisations.

We understand the complexities of governance and enjoy passing on that knowledge to new trustees or exploring new avenues with existing and experienced board members.

Our governance and trustee training packages offer a range of development opportunities for your organisation. We take the stresses out of ensuring good governance and can access funding to carry out any level of development required.

Whether you’re looking for training in the basics of governance, advanced progression or anything in between, we’ll work with you to create a bespoke training package for your organisation.

Find out more about our governance training packages or contact us to see how we could work together to take your organisation forward.

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