Virtuous circle of good charity governance: the role of the governance professional

London, 16 September 2021 – The Chartered Governance UK & Ireland has today published a white paper outlining how governance professionals can help charity boards to develop and embed a virtuous circle of good charity governance to further the charitable aims of the organisation and deliver positive change.

Louise Thomson, author of the white paper and Head of Policy (Not for Profit) at the Institute says:

“Ensuring that a virtuous circle of good governance is in place can really help to drive positive outcomes for a charity and the charity sector as a whole. Charities rely on the support of the public to deliver positive change. Support is only given when the public has confidence that the charities they fund are well run and willing to be held to account. Governance professionals can help charities to implement a virtuous circle of good governance by helping charity boards to map what their charities are doing against five key good governance outcomes. A diagnostic tool has therefore been developed which shows governance professionals how they can best support their board in this endeavour.”

The tool highlights the following good governance outcomes and identifies the Charity Governance Code’s principles each outcome supports:

  • Demonstrating sound management
  • Improving public trust and confidence
  • Welcoming accountability
  • Generating sustainable support
  • Delivering positive change.

The tool suggests a number of actions a charity could adopt in order to demonstrate and assess the impact of good governance. These actions are categorised as primary, secondary and tertiary depending on the ease with which they can be implemented and the level of impact they are likely to support. The support that a governance professional can bring to the board and the charity is clearly laid out in terms of the competencies, actions and expected behaviours required for each outcome.

“The skill of the governance professional is to know what aspects of good governance practice are most likely to support the aims of the charity, while respecting the needs of different stakeholders, recognising good practice from elsewhere and being willing to adapt it for the benefit of the organisation and changing things when they no longer support the board and the entity,” concludes Louise.

The white paper, which was launched earlier today at the Institute’s annual Charity Governance Summit, can be downloaded for free at

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For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager: 
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland is the professional body for governance and the qualifying and membership body for governance professionals across all sectors. Its purpose under Royal Charter is to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’ working with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and providing qualifications, training and guidance. As a lifelong learning partner, the Institute helps governance professionals to achieve their professional goals, providing recognition, community and the voice of its membership.

    One of nine divisions of the global Chartered Governance Institute, which was established 130 years ago, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland represents members working and studying in the UK and Ireland and in many other countries and regions including the Caribbean, parts of Africa and the Middle East.
  2. The ‘Virtuous circle of good charity governance: the role of the governance professional’ follows on from ‘The virtuous circle of good charity governance’, which was published by The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland in 2020. That white paper promoted a model for a virtuous circle of good charity governance that could be used by those in the sector to increase understanding of the benefits of good governance and how that, in turn, can deliver public confidence and trust, enhance sustainability and deliver greater impact for society. The model produced combined good governance outcomes with hard and soft governance drivers. ‘The virtuous circle of good charity governance’ can be viewed at 

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