8 practical governance tips for charity Chairs and Chief Executives

Fiveways is motivated by making a positive difference to society through working with charities so that they can be even more effective and do more good. The most effective and impactful charities are well governed, but good governance, like a decent football referee, is barely noticed.

Our experience of helping charities to improve in this area (and from being senior leaders and trustees of charities), tells us that the barrier to providing good governance is not necessarily one of skill, knowledge or intention, but often one of priorities and time. We also know that charity leaders cannot be perfect and that the context they work within can be challenging, but that critical friends are often more useful than either critics or friends.

To help, Fiveways has produced a set of 8 practical tips to help charity Chairs and in particular Chief Executives guide their organisation in ways which are efficient, effective and proportionate.

Tip 1: Know the key parts of your Mem and Arts
Tip 2: Get your head(s) in the right place about governance
Tip 3: Write down who is responsible for which decisions
Tip 4: A trustee is for life, not just for meetings… so keep in touch
Tip 5: Get the trustees involved in operations
Tip 6: Write a plan for ineffectual trustees
Tip 7: Be clear what transparency means to your organisation
Tip 8: Get some help.

Not all tips will be relevant to all charities, and even if the issues we write about resonate, they will not create an effective charity overnight. The hope, however, is that by sharing our learning we can help you further your mission, and stop the referee taking centre stage.