How to keep your Board diverse, effective and accountable

Meeting Agenda

The recent Grant Thornton report on good governance emphasised the need to recruit and maintain a diverse and effective Board of Trustees with a broad range of trustee skills, knowledge and experience.

This will help charities to be fair and open in the way they deliver services and to be more accountable for their actions all serving to increase confidence in their work.

The report based on a study of the Annual Reports of the UK’s top 100 charities highlighted many good examples of diversity – not least the 31% representation of women on their Boards compared to 22% on the Boards of the UK’s top 100 companies.

It also highlighted the important connection between having polices for good governance and being accountability though providing full information about these in Annual Reports. Being seen to adhere to good governance principles and practice can be as important as good governance itself. There is a symbiotic relationship with the discipline of having to describe in the Annual Report the system for good governance compelling charities to concentrate on how they can bring about and maintain good governance in the first place.

The report sets out a number of recommendations for good governance and good operational practice in areas such as Board succession planning and sets out ideas for what should be covered Annual Reports such as:

  • how trustees are recruited, inducted and trained
  • information on the skills, diversity and attendance of board trustees
  • more detail on the nature of the risks charities are exposed to and how trustees are addressing these risks.

All charity trustees would learn something of benefit about how to make their charity even more effective by reading this well-researched and presented report.

A retired journalist, Robin now looks after Reach’s press and PR functions on a voluntary basis.
March 28th, 2013 by