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Do you feel confident that you run your charity or community organisation well? Do you understand all of your responsibilities in running a charity effectively?

“Good governance – what you need to know to be effective” is a two-hour session that covers the basics of what it means to be a management committee member or a trustee. It’s aimed at people who are new to this, but is also suitable if you feel in need of a refresher too. Not sure if it’s right for you? Look through this check-list of questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you involved in running a charity or community organisation, but unsure if you are a trustee? Trustees can also be called directors, committee members, governors or something else. Your charity’s governing document (often called a constitution or trust deed) will explain which legal entity has ultimate responsibility for governing the charity. If you are a member of that, then you are automatically a trustee. This means that you share equal responsibility for the charity with all other trustees and committee members, not just the Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. It is an important role and one which carries legal responsibilities.
  2. Did you know that The Charity Commission expects trustees to take their role seriously and they offer guidelines for good practice as well as the essential legal requirements? These guidelines don’t just apply to registered charities; they include community organisations too. If you are a running a charitable organisation that is not required by law to register, or a charity that has not yet registered with the Charity Commission, then you still need to fulfil your role as a trustee according to these guidelines.
  3. It is important that you take the time to understand your duties as a trustee, but do you know what they are? If you are a trustee then you are legally required to act in your charity’s best interests, make sure that resources are managed responsibly and act with reasonable care and skill. Charity law protects trustees who have acted honestly but those who breach their legal duties can be held responsible for the consequences of that breach. It is important that you take the time to understand your duties.
Being an effective trustee can make a difference to a charity’s success and longevity, so why not come along and see how you can improve the way things are run in your charity or community group?

Governance, law and policy can feel like dry subjects but they are the foundation for every charity and community organisation. Good governance helps things to run smoothly whilst abiding by the law but is also essential if you are thinking of applying for any funding.

Running a charity comes with a lot of responsibility but it is also a rewarding opportunity to use your skills and experience to make a difference to a cause that you care about, learn new things, work with new and interesting people and enhance your quality of life, as well as your future employability.