GGI releases third sector good governance maturity matrix

07 October 2021

Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of GGI’s third sector good governance maturity matrix – a new free tool designed to help third sector organisations self-assess whether they are applying the key principles of good governance practice across their organisation.

Using the new matrix will provide reassurance to charity leadership teams that they are meeting the standards set out in the Charity Commission’s governance code, which was updated in December 2020.

The matrix is designed to help charity leaders demonstrate that they have a good grip on the full breadth of their activities across the code’s seven categories: organisational purpose; leadership; integrity; decision-making, risk and control; board effectiveness; equality, diversity and inclusion; and openness and accountability.

Challenging times

Charities are being forced to adapt to address the challenges presented by a combination of factors, including a changing and increasingly complex regulatory environment, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the digitalisation of the economy.

The coronavirus has forced many to furlough employees, presenting a major operational challenge for charities of all sizes. It has also had a significant impact on their income, with fundraising events cancelled to conform with social distancing regulations and ongoing financial uncertainty causing many donors to reconsider their giving plans.

These latest developments follow the disruption caused by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the 2019 Code of Fundraising Practice released by the Fundraising Regulator and the Charity Commission.

The advent of integrated care systems also presents a fresh challenge for the sector, which will have to learn how to operate with long-established partners in entirely new ways.

The Good Governance Institute is here to help charities during this challenging period. Throughout October, GGI is focusing on the third sector and exploring how good governance can help it thrive. We’ll be launching new tools to add to the existing range of services we offer to support third sector leadership teams and boards – you’ll find more information about these services here.

How the maturity matrix works

Our new third sector good governance maturity matrix describes the key elements of third sector governance along the y-axis and sets out graduations of organisational maturity on the x-axis, helping organisations to come to an objective view of their own level of maturity.

For each of the key elements, there are indicative statements to help with this self-assessment process. The nine core areas covered by the matrix are:

  • Culture and behaviour
  • Purpose and leadership
  • Structures and business flow
  • Skills and capacity
  • Finance and resources
  • Risk and agility
  • Stewardship and standards
  • Engagement and voice
  • Impact and reach

The new third sector good governance maturity matrix is free to download now. If you have any questions or comments, or would like to know how we can help improve your organisation's governance, please call us on 07732 681120 or email

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