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Getting your Strategy and Governance right

From the charity's perspective, not only are trustees often uncertain of their roles and responsibilities, but they also continue to be faced with a barrage of press stories which have damaged the goodwill that the sector has traditionally had with the public. How do you as trustees and your executive team work together to ensure that does not happen? How do charities get the right strategy in place? How do they ensure effective governance?

Lessons from these bad news stories are many and to a right-thinking trustee often avoidable. Yet, from my experience of working with charities there is still much for l charities to do, no matter what their size. Among the issues that you face, these might include:

  • lack of reserves.

  • lack of trustee skills in the purpose of the charity.

  • no real long- term strategy and even when there is a strategic plan it is often just a wish list rather than a properly costed plan that you can present to potential funders.

  • weak governance.

  • lack of ability to react to reputational damage.

  • lack of financial control.

  • lack of a working connection between the trustees and the executive team and most recently as well demonstrated during the recent Pandemic, inability to react in a crisis.

In addition, both trustees and the executive team are having to cope with a continually evolving Charities SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) which impacts on charities of all sizes, particularly in dealing with the Trustee or Governance Report. There is more emphasis now on explaining the risks that you incur and how you deal with them; your reserves policy, how it is calculated and why at the levels stated, how you reward your staff; how you have performed in the year (both good and bad news); how you are trained and your future plans.

Likewise, when was the last time you looked at your constitution? It was clear that during and even after the Pandemic, so many constitutions were not fit for purpose to enable a charity to pivot to an online world or inflexible in its objectives.

You are being held to account not only by charity law but sometimes, held hostage by your own constitution.

If this sets off alarm bells or even makes you uncomfortable because of a lack of discussion at board level on some or many of these issues, why not telephone us on 0116 478 2871 or email; and one of our directors would be happy to discuss your concerns and see how we can assist you to put your mind at rest

We work with charities of all sizes both local and national and would be happy to have a no obligation initial meeting either online or in person

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