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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.

Further information

If you are a trustee or work with a governance board you may be interested in the NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2016: Governance in the spotlight on Monday 7 November. It is the leading annual event for charity trustees, and provides essential legal and regulatory updates on governance as well as practical tools and guidance in a range of expert-led workshops.

Page last edited Oct 17, 2016

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