The charity governance code explained

29 October 2021

Good governance is a key feature of well-functioning charities. The successful delivery of their purpose/charitable function and serving their beneficiaries must be supported by an effective board (sometimes known as a governing body), showing leadership, good decision making, a grasp of risk and integrity in a climate of openness and accountability.

In recent years, charities and their trustees have come under closer scrutiny, partly in response to a number of unfortunate and highly public failings but also because being well-run is increasingly an important feature in all aspects of corporate life.

In common with other regulatory bodies, the Charity Commission devised and published a Charity Governance Code in 2017, refreshing it three years later. This outlines seven key principles that set out the behaviours needed to deliver them and suggest how charities can demonstrate to themselves, their supporters and beneficiaries and other external bodies the extent to which they are meeting these.

At Good Governance Institute (GGI), we have identified the potential for these also to be used as a diagnostic tool to help charities to change and improve. Our Charity Governance Code Explained is designed to support trustees and their governing bodies to understand and interpret the Charity Governance Code and to explore for themselves what steps they may need to take as part of rising to the challenge of improving so as to better deliver their objectives and services, especially to their beneficiaries.

This guide can be used to help governing bodies to set their agendas and development needs for both scrutinising day to day operations and continuing to refine their strategies, risk identification, risk appetite and tolerance, and mitigations.

Using the guide will help governing bodies to direct their organisation by ensuring their focus is strategic while having in place properly robust arrangements for them to be assured they are delivering their day to day business and objectives.

Meet the author: Peter Allanson

Principal Consultant

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