Charity Governance

Specimen report cover sheet for charity board meetings

Of interest to those involved in charity governance.

Introduction

Good decision making is the cornerstone of a robust governance framework, and the quality of information presented to boards can prove essential as a catalyst for constructive challenge and discussion resulting in high quality decisions. Each trustee should have sufficient information, of appropriate detail, to be confident the charity is well run. Board packs should not be so detailed as to stray into operational matters, nor so voluminous that trustees find it hard to tell what is important. Board information should be framed in a manner to support the decision making of the board, and not merely present management data with little or no supporting narrative, context or visual aids. Board packs should also be provided to trustees in a timely manner, usually five working days before the meeting. 

Purpose of this guidance

Trustees should regularly review the quality and quantity of board packs and decide what information they require and in what format in order for them to fulfil their legal duties. Unquestioningly accepting the range, quality and detail of board papers does not necessarily mean that the best and most appropriate information will be provided to support the most effective decisions to be made. Trustees should also be prepared to make their own enquiries of how the organisation is run and operates rather than just rely on the information provided to them.

The purpose of a cover sheet is to allow senior managers and other staff to present information in a consistent manner and to highlight key issues, including (if relevant) pertinent changes in circumstances since trustees last discussed a topic. Trustees should read all the information presented to them and not rely solely on an executive summary or cover sheet.

This document includes:

  • Specimen cover sheet for charity board meetings

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