Governance is about how your organisation is run – the structures and systems and understandings that enable you to make the right decisions and set the right course. It's not the same thing as management – what the Board does is governance; what the CEO does is management, although the two functions can overlap to some extent at the upper levels.
Governance isn't your actual policies, either, or your mission or your direction; it's how your organisation decides what that mission and that direction and those policies are.
The Board is at the head of the organisation's structure of governance. The Board has total authority, under the law, until some of that authority is parcelled up and given away (delegated) to others. Final decisions on important issues must always pass by the Board. It is up to the Board to create the other organisational structures that will make it possible to carry out the mission.
We will work with the Board to ensure that they can:
- Establish a clear mission and vision
Set up the light on the hill that will guide the organisation in dark times
- Identify the organisation's core values
What are the guiding principles that drive the organisation's response to events?
- Define the organisation's programs and services
Assessing the need in the community, analysing opportunities, and developing a strategic plan based on your resources
- Obtain needed resources and community support
Board members need to be comfortable selling the mission of the organisation and participating in fundraising activities. Board members may also be prepared to donate money themselves.
- Provide financial oversight and ensure the organisation meets its legal and financial requirements
Approving budgets, monitoring program activities by tracking key performance indicators, managing investments, and reviewing financial statements
- Develop appropriate risk management practices
Gaining an understanding of the risks the organisation faces and its ability to obtain insurance for some of those risks.
- Select leaders for management positions
Choosing the CEO and monitoring their performance. Governance is not necessarily about doing: it is about ensuring things are done. The Board must be definite about its performance expectations, must assign these expectations clearly, and must check to see that these expectations are being met.