Earlier this month I had the great pleasure to contribute my skills as an expert advisor at the Big Advice Day at City Hall organised by FSI (the Foundation for Social Improvement) during Small Charities Week, where a total of 456 hours of advice was given away to 79 charities through one-hour sessions throughout the day.
As I mostly work with bigger organisations, it was a privilege to spend time with some smaller charities and to hear at first hand the sort of issues they face on a daily basis. It provided a real insight into the governance issues they face and I wasn’t surprised to learn that their issues are really no different to those in larger organisations, just that their complexity is of scale and the gratitude that they feel for those who wish to spend time helping them achieve their mission.
So, by the end of a long day of talking, it was clear that there were some real MUST HAVES which were – on the whole – missing. And that’s not at all surprising, given the day-to-day pressures under which these incredibly dedicated people were working.
There is no prize for guessing that these included things I’ve talked about here unendingly:
* Trustees / Directors with the right level of skills and commitment who aren’t just turning up occasionally and expecting the organisation to be grateful
* Good governance structures to protect everyone; staff / clients / service users / volunteers
* Appropriate governance processes, procedures and policies to ensure that the right things get done at the right time and protect the organisation legally and financially.
I’ve already signed up to do the same again next year but, if you have an issue which your board needs to tackle or which can’t wait, then I’d love to help. Just give me a calland we will work out your next steps.