Good Governance and Trusteeship

Governance is defined as being: ‘The systems and processes concerned with the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation’ (Good Governance: A code for the Voluntary and Community Sector).

Ensuring we have the best stewardship for our charities is no new aspiration. It is a good balance of strong and capable management and effective and supportive governance, together providing a winning formula that creates opportunity and enhances the success of an organisation. Achieving this has to be the goal of every trustee, every chair and every senior manager of a managed charity.
While we are considering good governance, it is important to note there’s no such thing a perfect board; we are all changing, evolving, learning, adapting, improving and using best practice to make ourselves stronger and more sustainable as we go. We learn from each other as organisations and we learn from the skills our trustees bring to us.
Being a trustee should be satisfying and enjoyable, if not sometimes challenging. It provides an opportunity to share knowledge but also to develop new (and current) skills. Being a trustee is a serious commitment and so it’s important to consider the requirements along with what you can give before taking on such a role. If you are considering becoming a trustee, there is help and support available. The Charity Commission has produced a set of guidelines about who can and cannot hold trustee (and senior manager) roles: ‘Charity automatic disqualification rules: changes to the law’, along with a range of useful support guides including ‘Good governance: a practical guide for trustees, chairs and CEOs’.
Cumbria CVS can provide a range of support around roles and responsibilities of trustees and good governance and would be happy to support you in these areas. And remember, we are currently looking to recruit new trustees to our board (see next article). I would love to hear from you if you are interested.
Laura Cadman
Chief Executive Officer
Cumbria CVS