2. Leadership

Principle

Every charity is headed by an effective board that provides strategic leadership in line with the charity’s aims and values.

Rationale

Strong and effective leadership helps the charity adopt an appropriate strategy for effectively delivering its aims. It also sets the tone for the charity, including its vision, values and reputation.

Key outcomes

  1. The board, as a whole, and trustees individually, accept collective responsibility for ensuring that the charity has a clear and relevant set of aims and an appropriate strategy for achieving them.
  2. The board agrees the charity’s vision, values and reputation and leads by example, requiring anyone representing the charity reflects its values positively.
  3. The board makes sure that the charity’s values are reflected in all of its work, and that the ethos and culture of the organisation underpin the delivery of all activities.

Recommended practice

  1. Leading the charity
    1. The board and individual trustees take collective responsibility for its decisions.
    2. The chair provides leadership to the board with prime responsibility for ensuring it has agreed priorities, appropriate structures, processes and a productive culture and has trustees and senior staff who are able to govern well and add value to the charity.
    3. In the case of the most senior member of staff (e.g. CEO) the board makes sure that there are proper arrangements for their appointment, supervision, support, appraisal, remuneration and, if necessary, dismissal.
    4. The board’s functions are formally recorded. There are role descriptions defining responsibilities for all trustees that differentiate clearly those of the chair and other officer positions and outline how these roles relate to staff.
    5. Where the board has agreed to establish a formally constituted subsidiary organisation/s, it is clear about the rationale, benefits and risks of these arrangements. The formal relationship between the parent charity and each of its subsidiaries is clearly recorded and the parent reviews, at appropriate intervals, whether these arrangements continue to best serve the organisation’s charitable purposes.
  2. Leading by example
    1. The board agrees the values, consistent with the charity’s purpose, that it wishes to promote and makes sure that these values underpin all its decisions and the charity’s activities (see also Principle 1).
    2. The board recognises, respects and welcomes diverse, different and, at times, conflicting trustee views.
    3. The board provides oversight and direction to the charity and support and constructive challenge to the organisation, its staff and, in particular, the most senior member of staff.
    4. The board, through its relationship with the senior member of staff, creates the conditions in which the charity’s staff are confident and enabled to provide the information, advice and feedback necessary to the board.
  3. Commitment
    1. All trustees give sufficient time to the charity to carry out their responsibilities effectively. This includes preparing for meetings and sitting on board committees and other governance bodies where needed. The expected time commitment is made clear to trustees before nomination or appointment and again on acceptance of nomination or appointment.
    2. Where individual board members are also involved in operational activities, for example as volunteers, they are clear about the capacity in which they are acting at any given time and understand what they are and are not authorised to do and to whom they report.
  1. Leading the charity
    1. The board and individual trustees take collective responsibility for its decisions.
    2. The chair provides leadership to the board and takes responsibility for ensuring the board has agreed priorities, appropriate structures, processes and a productive culture and has trustees who are able to govern well and therefore add value to the charity.
    3. If the charity has staff, the board makes sure that there are proper arrangements for their appointment, supervision, support, appraisal, remuneration and, if necessary, dismissal.
    4. If the charity has volunteers, the board makes sure there are proper arrangements for their recruitment, support and supervision.
    5. The boards functions are formally recorded. There are role descriptions that define trustees’ responsibilities for all trustees that differentiate clearly between the responsibilities those of the chair and other officer positions and outline how these roles relate to staff or volunteers where they exist.
    6. Where the board has agreed to establish a formally constituted subsidiary organisation/s, it is clear about the rationale, benefits and risks of these arrangements. The formal relationship between the parent charity and each of its subsidiaries is clearly recorded and the parent reviews, at appropriate intervals, whether these arrangements continue to best serve the organisation’s charitable purposes.
  2. Leading by example
    1. The board agrees the values, consistent with the charity’s purpose, that it wishes to promote and makes sure that these values underpin all its decisions and the charity’s activities (see also Principle 1).
    2. The board recognises, respects and welcomes diverse, different and, at times, conflicting trustee views.
    3. The board provides oversight and direction to the charity and provides support and constructive challenge to the organisation and where they exist staff and volunteers.
    4. The board supports any staff or volunteers to feel confident and able to provide the information, advice and feedback necessary to the board.
  3. Commitment
    1. All trustees give sufficient time to the charity to carry out their responsibilities effectively. This includes preparing for meetings and sitting on board committees and other governance bodies where needed. The expected time commitment is made clear to trustees before nomination or appointment and again on acceptance of nomination or appointment.
    2. Where individual board members are also involved in operational activities, for example as volunteers, they are clear about the capacity in which they are acting at any given time and understand what they are and are not authorised to do and to whom they report.