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How voluntary organisations are governed to ensure they are effective, accountable and have direction.

Charities are generally governed by a trustee board that takes overall responsibility for its work. Governance is a term used to describe the trustees’ role in:

  • the long term direction of the charity, including its objectives or purposes 
  • implementing policies and activities to achieve objectives
  • complying with legal requirements 
  • accountability to those with an interest or 'stake' in the charity

Good governance should happen throughout a charity. The trustee board is responsible for good governance but they rely on many different people to be able to govern well: staff, volunteers, advisors and stakeholders.

These knowledge bank pages introduce you to the foundations of good governance, effective boards and constructive trusteeship.

The Charity Commission also has extensive guidance for trustees to ensure compliance with charity law and regulation. 

Further governance help and resources from NCVO

  • NCVO members can download a range of model governance documents and sample role descriptions in our Tools & Resources section under Board Basics.
  • Try our online governance video training in the Study Zone section (free for NCVO members)
  • Book one of our face-to-face training days either at NCVO or at your own organisation:

- Charity Trustee Induction and Refresher training

- Financial Intelligence for Trustees

- The High Performance Board

- Supporting Good Governance

Page last edited Jun 01, 2017

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