Charities - the business of the board

Are your trustees running out of time for the real work of the board? Charity Governance 2020 encourages boards to be less process driven, instead devoting their time to generating ideas and affirming the key strategic priorities for your organisation.

For a trustee, time is a scarce resource and a significant proportion of it will be spent in board meetings. Therefore, it is critical that they are well-timed, effective and focus on the critical issues if the time spent on a charity’s affair is used to its greatest effectiveness.

Far too often, a board can attract highly skilled and experienced individuals, but a bland or ill-thought out agenda, or poor chairing of the meetings itself, does not fully utilise those qualities. The way in which board meetings are run is a common complaint by trustees about their own organisation. Charity governance 2020 and the business of the board should leave trustees feeling fully engaged in their most significant time commitment – the meetings. Creating an engaging agenda is fundamental but so is going beyond the humdrum policy and process of meetings in order to drive the strategy of the organisation.

Good governance indicators

  • Meetings are run in accordance with the requirements of the charity’s governing document particularly in being quorate and complying with voting rules.
  • Consideration has been given to the optimal timing and frequency of meetings.
  • Sufficient advance notice is given for meeting and consent agendas are employed.
  • Sufficient time is allowed in meetings for debate not simply following a repetitive agenda.
  • Minutes of meetings are circulated to attendees on a timely basis. 

Download the full charity governance 2020 report