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Charity Governance

The latest version of the Charity Governance Code was published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) two years ago, for charities registered in England and Wales, providing a clear set of principles for trustees to adopt in order to meet the standards that are expected of them. There are two versions of the Code to cater for larger and smaller charities.

Although the Code has been well received, take up by smaller charities has not been as great as hoped. Such charities may have modest budgets or rely entirely on volunteers and have lacked the resources necessary to implement the Code.

In order to encourage higher standards of governance the NCVO has published a new toolkit designed to support micro and small charities adopt the Code’s principles, describing the kind of practice a smaller charitable organisation should aspire to implement. Aimed at charities with an income of less than £100,000 a year and no paid staff, it seeks to make it easier for well-meaning trustees to demonstrate a level of good governance appropriate for organisations of this size. Available to download free of charge, the toolkit also contains many free tools and resources which can be used and adapted when implementing the principles of good governance.

In Scotland, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has created a Good Governance Checkup document to be used in conjunction with the Scottish Governance Code for the third sector, to help trustees regularly review their governance. The board can use the checkup to identify areas for improvement and monitor and record the journey to good governance.

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