Our story is a common one. We saw the need for a new approach to charity governance and decided to do something about it. The founders met on the Financial Times’s Non-Executive Director diploma course where they gained a deep understanding of the importance of good governance in organisations. We researched the sector and found it was mired in controversy. This was undermining public trust and confidence and the sector’s reputation, with a knock-on impact on fundraising. High-profile media attention with the failure of Kids Company, the sad case of Olive Cooke and Oxfam all highlighted poor governance as a common theme. We looked at the sectors approach to governance and the appetite for a digital solution.
In July 2017 a revised code of governance was launched with the support of the Charity Commission and the UK government. The code recognised the importance to society of having a strong, sustainable and well run third sector. We used the Code as the basis for our questionnaire along with other aspects critical to good governance. In partnership with a specialist governance firm in the City of London we developed an affordable digital solution for the sector that was also aligned to the Charity Commission's drive to encourage adoption of digital services.
An intervention was clearly timely as we also found governance was not an easy discussion for those involved. Our goal was to find a way to support charity boards and not-for-profit organisations to self-assess their approach to governance. We wanted to make it easier to understand and so we designed an online questionnaire that shows how to put good governance into practice specifically for the charity sector. Our approach is educational and sets the scene for thinking about governance as a process for improvement. This also lends itself to a discussion about governance that is easier to participate in and relate to.
Digi-Board was born - a digital (online) self-assessment service that supports trustee boards to learn about and develop their understanding of their duties and responsibilities and most importantly deliver good governance for their charity.
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