Governance and Your Organisation

 Good governance is essential for the health and efficacy of not-for-profits.

Authored by: iClick2Learn Team

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Governance and Your Organisation

The governance of a not-for-profit organisation involves decisions and management by the board or committee. As opposed to the everyday work of your organisation, governance is the process of strategic leadership that directs, oversees, and manages.

Good governance ensures accountability and promotes better outcomes within your not-for-profit (NFP). Further, it creates well-defined responsibilities and roles, thorough financial knowledge, and transparency to members, stakeholders, and shareholders. 

Benefits of Good Governance

In Australia, there are around 600,000 NFP organisations. They include church groups, charities, sporting groups, support groups, and more. Typically, NFPs are primarily supported by a volunteer force. 

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) determines and regulates charities in Australia. Within their regulatory framework, the ACNC requires specific governance standards for all registered charities. They define governance as “the processes, activities, and relationships that make sure your charity is effectively and properly run.”

There are many benefits of good governance within your organisation:

  • Better engagement and communication between members and stakeholders
  • Increased likelihood of delivering on your purpose
  • Overall improved operational effectiveness
  • Better organizational strategies and plans
  • Improved regulatory compliance
  • Increased accountability, transparency, and trust

Governance involves overseeing your organisation’s performance and making important strategy and policy decisions. Primary best practices include aligning your strategies and goals, building a reliable board, managing risk, and clearly defining roles and responsibilities. 

Governance Self-Reflection: A Checklist

One of the best and simplest ways to reflect on your organisation’s governance is with a comprehensive checklist. Being a board member can be incredibly challenging but equally rewarding. A thoughtful governance checklist helps members assess how healthy their governance strategies are. 

Governance self-reflection questions include: 

  • Do you understand what your organisation does to achieve its goals?
  • What are your membership qualifications?
  • Do you know the legal structures of your organisation?
  • Do you have a copy of your organisation’s most current constitution?
  • Do you know what grievance processes are in place for members?

You can find a comprehensive governance self-reflection checklist HERE. Take your time answering thoughtfully and covering all aspects of the list. Clearing up confusion in any area can be immensely beneficial for your organisation in the long run. 

Governance and Your Organisation: Conclusion

Practicing good governance will keep your organisation aligned on goals, roles and responsibilities, and much more. Good governance is essential because it ensures the day-to-day work of your organisation aligns with your purpose.

With good governance, your organisation can better achieve its purpose. As an NFP board member, you carry a lot of responsibility. Understanding the organisation, activities, and management of your organisation is critical. Best practices support trust, accountability, and transparency so you and your organisation can be proud of the excellent work you’ve achieved. 

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