Over the years I have held many roles in organisations. I cannot empathise enough the importance of having clear governance structures and processes in place to underpin your day to day operations, show that you are well run and can be held to account as you work towards achieving your vision.
It can seem daunting, with many groups working tirelessly to understand and put in place all the necessary governance requirements. But does it have to be hard? Let’s start with the big questions:
What does Governance mean?
Governance means the overall guidance, direction, oversight and administration of your organisation.
It ensures you have in place structures, policies, procedures and processes to meet legal requirements and ensures your staff and volunteers understand their roles and responsibilities in carrying out their duties and your group is run efficiently and effectively, not just today but for the long term.
Why do I need Governance?
Governance is not just there in case something happens, it is there to help on a daily basis.
Doing it well gives you more time to focus on what is important. It can help create a stable environment for your volunteers and staff by making them more effective.
It manages risks to protect your members, volunteers and staff and can provide necessary requirements for funding applications.
What do I need and how do I begin?
You can start by exploring Groop’s Governance Resources.
Regularly checked and updated, our governance resources documents have been through an internal and external quality assurance process, providing you with an extensive and supportive one-stop resource base.
Not all of our resources will be applicable to your organisation. However, we would encourage every group to read through our library to check which ones are applicable. There may be some, such as Safeguarding and General Data Protection (GDPR), which are both a MUST for clubs and groups that work with children and young people and/or vulnerable adults.
We provide a range of policies to support governance and the resource base is laid out in the following way to support you:
- An Introduction giving a synopsis of the policy.
- A ‘HOW TO’ element explaining how to go about amending the example policy to suit your group and help with any supporting documents.
- An example policy to amend for your individual organisation.
- Further supporting example documents such as reporting forms, checklists, procedures and guidelines.
- A list of the related topics and useful websites, which are hyperlinked so that you can access them with one click.
All of the above is included with access to the Groop platform.
Do have a read and spend a little while exploring the different categories and the tools which Groop provides. They may not be an exact match for your specific situation, but if we can get you 90% of the way there then you will have more time to focus on other areas of your work with individuals and in communities.
Remember, governance is important. It guides, protects and develops your organisation and the people in it.
It isn’t scary and it helps everyone achieve what they set out to achieve in the first place.