Effective governance is a hallmark of any strong organisation and produces clarity of goals, strong ways of achieving those goals and accountability within the organisation. At its simplest, it helps to define what is going to be done, who is going to do it and ensures that it gets done well. Much literature has been produced in recent years to help not-for-profit and charitable organisations to be effective at what they do. The following documents generally use registered charities as their frame of reference. However, the apply equally well to committees and non-registered groups. There are also further links to resources and information provided.
It should be noted that references to law and legal obligations refer to the country of publication.
A Practical Guide for Board Members of Arts Organisations: The Arts Council
Guidelines on the role and functions of members of the boards of arts organisations produced by The Arts Council of Ireland, updated in July 2015 to take account of the new Companies Act and the Charities Act.
Download the guide here.
The Governance Code (A Code of Governance for Community and Voluntary Organisations)
Governance refers to how an organisation is run, directed and controlled. Good governance means an organisation will design and put in place policies and procedures that will make sure the organisation runs effectively. There are separate codes for each of three types of organisation. Visit the Governance Code website to find our more.
Guide to Board Membership: Boardmatch Ireland
This guide may be out of date relative to new legislation under the Companies Act 2014. However, the principles are still relevant.
Compiled by Arthur Cox, the guide gives an overview of directors’ roles and responsibilities and good governance practice within charitable companies. The guide is intended primarily for people either thinking about joining, or already volunteering on the boards of voluntary or charitable organisations.
Download the guide here.
Boardmatch Ireland supports the development of the community and voluntary sector (the not-for-profit sector) by strengthening boards and management committees. Boardmatch does this primarily through:
- Building links between corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors, by encouraging people from corporate and public sectors to sit on not-for-profit boards.
- Enhancing skills sets on not-for-profit boards.
- Developing and providing training packages and other supports for boards and board members.
- Building the governance capacity of not-for-profit boards.
Boardmatch Ireland provides a web-based matching service where people can register their interest in volunteering on not-for-profit boards. These candidates are then matched, based on location, skills and preferred area of interest, to not-for-profit organisations who have also registered their board opportunities. Boardmatch Ireland also provides bespoke supports to boards of not-for-profit organisations through its Training and Executive Search services.
Visit Boardmatch Ireland.
Care, Diligence and Skill: Scottish Arts Council
This guide contains much nuts-and-bolts advice on the practicalities of running a board and being a board member, a discussion of ‘Business parallels and differences’, advice for the chair and much more.
Download Care, Diligence and Skill here.
Introductory Pack on Funding and Finance | Guide to Financial Management: Finance Hub
This guide describes what is meant by ‘financial management’ and how voluntary and community organisations can plan for, and move towards it. It outlines some sensible objectives, useful concepts and techniques for analysing situations, and guidance for actions and decision- making. It also highlights how all decision-making is dependent on sound judgement and outlines how financial management seeks to inform that judgement.
Download Introductory Pack on Funding and Finance here.
The Case for Better Community and Voluntary Sector Governance in Ireland: Boardmatch Ireland and The Wheel
This document is a summary of a seminar on governance and outlines the reasons why boards are important and the critical issues involved.
Download the document here..
The Hallmarks of an Effective Charity: Charity Commission (England and Wales)
This guidance sets out the standards that will help trustees to improve the effectiveness of their charity, and the principles that our regulatory framework exists to support.
Download the document here.
Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector: Charity Commission (England and Wales)
Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector is a practical and easy-to-use guide to help charities develop good practice.
Download the full code here.
Download the summary of the code here.