Charities are generally governed by a trustee board that takes overall responsibility for its work. Governance is a term used to describe the trustees’ role in:

  • the long term direction of the charity, including its objectives or purposes 
  • implementing policies and activities to achieve objectives
  • complying with legal requirements 
  • accountability to those with an interest or 'stake' in the charity

Good governance should happen throughout a charity. The trustee board is responsible for good governance but they rely on many different people to be able to govern well: staff, volunteers, advisors and stakeholders.

Our resources support and enable good governance and effective leadership in the voluntary sector. NCVO member organisations benefit from discounts on some of our resources. Not an NCVO member? Find out more about NCVO membership.

Events and training

The annual NCVO Trustee Conference in association with BWB is the leading trustee event for the voluntary sector. Join over 500 trustees and improve your knowledge, learn new skills, network and develop exceptional governance within your organisation.

NCVO also run a number of training courses around governance. Take a look at our events listing to find out about upcoming events of get in touch with us for more information.

Knowhow Nonprofit

Knowhow Nonprofit is our main advice and support website and the ‘go to’ place for social learning in the voluntary sector. You'll find anything from expert advice and top tips to crowd-sourced how-to guides and online training courses on any area of voluntary sector management.

View our governance resources on Knowhow Nonprofit.

Studyzone video training courses

Studyzone is our video training platform, and is free to NCVO members. Our practical, bite-sized videos are delivered by top trainers and consultants and cover all areas of voluntary sector management. Watch our courses on governance straight from your desk:

How-to guides

How-tos are practical, step-by-step guides written by our KnowHow community. Here's the current top five how-to guides on governance:

Consultancy support

At NCVO we offer specialist training and consultancy on governance to voluntary and community organisations striving to make a difference.

Trusted partners

Trustees Unlimited offers voluntary organisations a professional and cost-effective service to recruit trustees from across the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Lucas Fettes provides employers with the information and expert support they need to comply with the forthcoming pension reform. As part of this service, they have produced a quick guide to pension reform for trustees and have produced a series of bulletins that form a complete reference guide to Pension Reform.

Want more from NCVO?

Take a look at the benefits our 12,000 member organisations already use to make a difference. Find out more about becoming an NCVO member.

Setting up a charity?

If you are thinking of starting a charity, there are a number of resources available to you. 

KnowHow Nonprofit has an entire section dedicated to setting up a charity from starting out to finding out your legal status. 

The Charity Commission also has lots of useful information about starting a charity, the registration process and much more. 

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