How effective is your charity board?

Giles Kerkham

With MHA, we have created Keeping Your Charity on the Right Track, a 12 month programme to help you improve your organisational governance in a stepped and measured way. Each month’s article covers an area of charity governance for review.

To be effective, charity board members must fully understand their role. This includes what they should be involved in, where the boundaries are and when they should delegate to allow management the space to run the organisation. Month 1 of Keeping Your Charity on the Right Track covers board effectiveness, and includes the following suggestions of areas for a charity to look at:

• Ensure you have the right mix of skills on the board and that you work effectively as a team – perform a board skills audit.

• Develop strategy to ensure delivery of your charity’s objectives – does your organisation have a detailed strategy document?

• Monitor policies and exercise effective control – consider how you are doing this and, if necessary, introduce a formal procedure for monitoring.

• Be a sounding board and source of advice for the Chief Executive – consider implementing board appraisal processes.

• Do not interfere – respect the role of staff and let management manage – test yourself on this: if you are a board member are you a critical friend or an interfering presence for the Senior Management Team; is the balance correct?

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Larking Gowen Not for Profit team on 01603 624181 or charities@larking-gowen.co.uk