Governance, in simple terms, means outlining a clear set of rules and good practices for carrying out the aims and objectives of an organisation. Good governance is about ensuring an organisation runs well and stays true to its purpose. Governance involves deciding who leads the organisation, how decisions are made, and how everyone involved works collaboratively to make a positive impact.

Good governance involves choosing a board or a committee to guide the organisation. It means having a clear constitution that outlines the organisation’s purpose and how it operates.

Transparency and accountability are essential – keeping clear records, sharing information, and being open about actions and decisions. Financial management includes wisely handling finances, appointing a treasurer, and making sure funds are used for the stated purpose.

Producing a set of written guidelines is important. The real value of a constitution or governance document lies in helping everyone understand the organisation’s purpose and objectives, as well as its direction and how will operate.   

Good governance also means fostering a positive environment where everyone feels listened to and their contribution valued. The active involvement of members and the wider community, considering their views, needs and expectations is also key to good governance. Ensuring decisions align with diverse perspectives and local needs is important.

From small voluntary groups to national charities, good governance can mean the difference between success, making a real positive impact, or not.