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Entries open for the Charity Governance Awards

The Charity Governance Awards are back for 2023, so join us in celebrating excellence in governance across the UK. 

At NPC we’ve worked with the Clothworkers’ Company over many years to support and promote good governance, something which is critical to improving charities’ impact. The Charity Governance Awards shine a spotlight on the best charity leadership across the sector and demonstrate how effective governance can transform both a charity and the lives of the people it serves. 

We’re delighted to again be supporting the awards by judging the entries for the Improving Impact category. This is split into two awards: one for charities with less than four members of staff; and one for charities with between four and thirty staff members. 

As demands rise, incomes fall, and costs soar, understanding what makes an impact has rarely been more important. It is imperative that we maximise our resources to make lives better. 

As NPC’s Chief Executive Dan Corry set out at our annual NPC Ignites conference, our sector needs to approach evaluation in a balanced way, combining top-down and bottom-up approaches to understanding impact. Top-down is about professional expertise, analysis, data, and research. Bottom-up is about lived experience, community knowledge, and user involvement. 

For example, does your charity work to understand what your community needs and values, and how well does your charity meet that need, as well as delivering services effectively that receive some positive feedback? Have you trialled a new way of gathering feedback data that gives your community a voice, rather than staff and volunteers speaking on their behalf? Or, as a board, have you incorporated user voice into your governance processes, in addition to seeing performance against KPIs? 

We understand that approaches to impact vary by charity, and that what is feasible for a volunteer-led organisation is radically different to what is feasible for a major charity. However, whatever your size, this principle of balanced evaluation remains relevant and is something we will be looking for as we judge this year. 

We’re also particularly interested in how impact practice is being led by the board. Trustees should be the guardians of charitable purpose, impact, and sustainability, and should not neglect purpose and impact in pursuit of funding or personal preferences. While staff teams may be responsible for the operational aspects of impact measurement, trustee boards should be setting a culture that values impact, scrutinizing practice, and making strategic decisions that respond to impact data. 

Find out more about the Improving Impact awards and our judging rubric. Other categories for 2023 include Board Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Transforming with Digital; and From Systemic Challenge to Meaningful Change. 

Do you want to shout about how great your board is in one of these areas? Apply to the Charity Governance Awards by 8 February 2023. All shortlisted charities receive £1,000, free Association of Chairs membership and a free ticket to the Trustee Leadership Programme; and winners receive £5,000! Enter on the Charity Governance Awards website. 


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