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Good governance is rewarding

By Alex Miller 9 December 2020 3 minute read

Throughout this crisis, NPC has offered advice to trustees on various topics. We have shared guidance on how charities can adapt their strategies to build resilience; we have advised trustees to consider organisational culture, maintain measurement and evaluation, and implement user involvement; and we have spoken about the need for trustees to assess their reserves policy at this difficult time.

Undoubtedly, the pandemic has made it harder for trustees to ensure that their charity is delivering its services well, working in line with its mission, and having a positive impact in the communities it seeks to serve. However, charities with good governance on their side have found strength in their high-quality trusteeship.

Governance that gives back

With this in mind, some charities will be looking to reward their trustees for their work during this period and many more will want to learn from those that demonstrated resilience during the pandemic. That’s why we are delighted to once again be in partnership with the The Clothworkers’ Company for the Charity Governance Awards 2021.

We know that good governance pays off and these awards showcase exactly why that is. Winners from previous years have told us how their trustees helped them harness risk, improve their digital capabilities, and improve their board’s equity, diversity and inclusion. In a year where there has been very little to smile about, we are looking forward to this year’s winners sharing their Covid-19 success stories with the sector. If you think your good governance over the last year deserves recognition, entering the awards is easy and entries are open right now.

In the latest instalment of our State of the Sector 2020 research programme, How charities have reacted to Covid-19, we set out how charities have shifted their activities to respond to this crisis. Charities are broadly either having to narrow the range of services they offer, deliver services in new ways, or widen their activities to meet new needs and to reflect existing needs that have become deeper and more complex. These circumstances have naturally had an effect on charities’ strategy and impact, but good governance will help them to stay close to their mission, whilst also addressing the changing needs of their beneficiaries.

NPC leads on the improving impact categories at the awards and, with our latest research in mind, we are really looking forward to seeing how charities have increased their impact in relation to their causes and values, despite all the adversity that this year has thrown up. We are really pleased that two of the awards (one for charities with 0-3 staff and one for charities with 4-50 staff) recognise charities that have markedly improved their impact, we look forward to hearing from organisations that are continuing to do incredible work and that are punching above their weight when it comes to impact. We want to shine a light on such organisations and celebrate their ability to learn from their work and to adapt accordingly.

Rewarding your trustees

But of course impact isn’t the only charitable area that this pandemic has affected and that’s why there is a new category at this year’s awards which recognises trustees that have championed their charities’ response to Covid-19. Many charities have recently created new opportunities and exploited them for the benefit of the communities they serve, and they have also delivered services in totally new and unfamiliar ways, for the benefit of others.

How charities and their boards have reacted to Covid-19 needs rewarding, not just because of the effect that their decisions have had on the immediate crisis but because of the lasting effect that these decisions will have. At this time, it is important that the charity sector shares its achievements and that we learn from one another’s good governance, so that we can all be more resilient in the future.

So, is your charity governance award-winning? It’s time to recognise the achievements of your trustees by entering the Charity Governance Awards 2021. The winner of each category will receive a £5,000 unrestricted grant as a prize. For the first time this year, runners-up will receive a £1,000 cash prize and all shortlisted charities will be offered a one-year membership to the Association of Chairs for their board as well as a complimentary place on a Cause4 Trustee Leadership Programme for a new trustee. Entries close on 25 January 2021. You can find more info on all the award categories and how to enter here. Good luck!


Reward your trustees for their work during this crisis by entering the Charity Governance Awards 2021. The winner of each category receives a £5,000 unrestricted grant. More info here: Click To Tweet