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Governance capability

Strategic governance is a foundation element of robust, flexible and sustainable organisations that are clear about the contribution they make to people and communities.

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Boards and governance

Many New Zealand not-for-profit organisations identify governance issues and the role of their Board as a primary area of concern, second only to fundraising issues.

In today’s complex environment of change, where results and accountability are paramount, Boards are increasingly challenged to find the best way to respond to their external environment. A strategic governance Board is focused on the future, while operating in the present.

An effective Board operates in a transparent and accountable way to:

  • oversee and protect the organisation’s vision, mission, values and resources
  • recognise environmental indicators of change, uncertainty and opportunity
  • identify and manage opportunities, risks and legal compliance
  • support the organisation to adapt and remain relevant
  • drive the organisation’s future direction, including shifts in focus and/or positioning to meet changing needs.

Good Governance workshops

As part of the Health & Disability NGO Council’s strategy to improve sector capability, we organised 10 free ‘Good Governance’ workshops in 2014–15 in Auckland, Tauranga, Whanganui, Hastings, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. These provided practical support to 302 volunteer board members from approximately 163 non-profit organisations – helping to increase their understanding of good governance for not-for-profit organisations and evaluate the effectiveness of their Boards.

Topics covered in the workshops include:

  • Governance and management defined
  • Board members – roles, rights and responsibilities
  • Key functions of the Board
  • How Boards can add value
  • Challenges, pitfalls and dilemmas for Boards
  • Board – staff relations
  • Effective meeting

No further workshops are planned at this stage, however there is an excellent online learning module available from Sport NZ, which is relevant to any NGO board member. Visit the Sport NZ website to enrol.