Trustees’ Week: the importance of good governance

Community Action: MK is committed to providing support and advice to local community groups and organisations to help them run in an effective, transparent way, with the aim of making the local Voluntary and Community Sector as strong and resilient as it can be.

As an organisation, we are fully committed to the principles of the The Code of Governance for Charities, which is a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance.

What is the Charity Governance Code?

The Charity Governance Code is not a legal requirement, however it represents a standard of good governance practice to which all charities should aspire. Charity Commission recommends that all charities read, follow and apply it proportionately to their circumstances, and we encourage all not-for-profit groups to refer to its recommendations.

How do you start in reviewing your governance?

Trustees week (running from 4th -11th November) is a great opportunity for the existing board of trustees or group committees to review their own governance structures and reflect on the seven principles of the Code of Governance, which are as the below diagram illustrates:

If your board is interested in taking on this exercise, Community Action: MK can offer an easy online governance self-assessment tool, which we have developed over the past year with support from MK Community Foundation, and tested for the benefit of numerous local groups and organisations (please follow this link to see an example).

To complete the self- assessment, please follow this link to an online form, which will take you through some key questions based around the principles of The Code of Governance. Completing the form will take up to 15 minutes, however we recommend that the self-assessment is undertaken as a group exercise for your board or a committee – e.g. as part of your meeting.

What happens after the self assessment?

The form will give you and your fellow trustees some useful prompts to discuss the strengths of your organisation, and identify areas of improvement, and – based on this discussion – you will be able to score your performance.

Once you have submitted the form at the end of this process, we will take time to explore your answers and look into your governance documents.
If necessary:

  • we will come back to you to clarify any gaps in knowledge and, following this assessment;
  • We will provide you with a set of recommendations, including a number of useful resources to refer to and training opportunities;
  • We will consider how we can help you to improve your governance structures by providing support, 1-2-1 sessions and/or sign-posting you to other specialist services.

To find out more about the self-assessment tool , please follow this link to our Good Governance project page. Alternatively, if you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of our team, please either e-mail us on support@communityactionmk.org or call us on 01908 621 661.

Blog Post

Let’s Talk Good Finance Milton Keynes: free event about social investment for local groups

Please follow this link to see the event’s programme.

Guest speakers:

Investors:
Jo Wedderspoon, CAF Venturesome (unsecured loans)
Jaishree Mistry, Homeless Link (blended finance – part grant, part loan)

Hear from a Peer:
David Lett, Co-founder & Operations Director, ToolShed

Blog Post