David Saint

Dec 5, 2017, 10:41 AM

Simple Governance Review – here’s one I prepared earlier!

Andrew Betts, Director of Advantage Africa was very quick off the mark, by turning the piece in our last issue  into a self-assessment questionnaire for his trustees. He converted the list of issues into a spreadsheet, changed the text around a bit to give more open questions to aid self-assessment, then sent it to his trustees with the following email:

Dear all,

There’s some useful stuff for charity trustees here from our ex Chair David Saint and his organisation Action Planning.  I wondered if it might be useful for everyone to do a five-minute self-assessment exercise on the list of nine things that the Commission say commonly goes wrong in failed charities’ governance?

I suggest you mark yourself in column B and then mark the entire board of Advantage Africa in column C.  So if, for example, you are entirely unfamiliar with our governing document other than knowing we have one and perhaps what form it takes, you could score yourself 1/10 for this, but if you believe all the other trustees can recite it word-for- word from memory, and therefore the board is collectively strong and have this issue well covered without you, you could award 9/10 in the next column.

Please be honest! This is not about giving ourselves a pat on the back but making an assessment of where we might do better to reduce the risks of failing where other charities have.

I will collate and analyse the responses and if clear weaknesses emerge we could perhaps ensure they are addressed at future trustees’ meetings?

Andrew said he’d be happy for other organisations to use this as well, so you can click here to go to the spreadsheet, then adapt it to suit your own circumstances.

Simple, yet very effective. Thanks, Andrew!

David Saint

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