Governance

Governance is about how an organisation is led and guided by its governing body. It is also about the ethical considerations that inform the decision-making within an organisation. It involves an acknowledgement of the technical aspects of governance, e.g. registration and legislation, and the commitment to transparency and accountability. The board’s governing role includes oversight of the organisation; giving strategic direction; and ensuring sufficient resources. The board accepts fiduciary responsibility and exercises oversight on financial, legal, ethical and performance matters. Effective governance necessitates a good relationship with the organisation’s director or CEO. This category features articles on various issues of technical governance in South Africa such as legal entities and registration; effective governance including recruitment, roles and responsibilities of a board; and tips on improving relationships between your governing body and executive leadership.

Having a Code of Governance

Why are we talking about governance? Given the funding issues non-profit organisations in South Africa are struggling with, surely governance is the last of a number of many important topics we should be looking at?

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What is governance and why is it so important?

The board governs your organisation by giving direction on things like vision, policies and strategies; fundraising and other resources to keep the organisation going; and monitoring performance and spending of money.

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The role of the board in managing risk

The environment within which the non-profit sector operates is constantly changing. There are always new developments and trends to monitor in terms of impact and effect on non-profit organisations. It is important for every organisation to be aware of the environment in which it is operating, as changes bring with them not only new opportunities but also new risks.

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Some Good reasons to have a Board

“Your board is like a ship’s captain responsible for steering your organisation through stormy or calm waters, and keeping an eye on your NPO’s future survival and improvement.” Attracting Support Kit for NPOs: Book 1. There are many reasons to have a board and Mignon Hardie, Executive Director of FunDza Literacy Trust shared 8 reasons.

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Fundraising, Sustainability and Risk

One of the key leadership areas noted in the Independent Code of Governance speaks to Fundraising, sustainability and risk. It is the Board’s responsibility not only to monitor expenditures and appropriation of funds, but also to ensure that the organisation remains adequately funded; and that it will be in a position to meet its anticipated costs and commitments to employees, beneficiaries and, importantly, to SARS.

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