community sector governance

By: Social Services Waikato  06-Dec-2011

Governance is the structure an organisation uses to set goals, monitor performance, maintain viability and ensure compliance with legal requirements and ethical standards

The main tasks of the governing body of an organisation (the board, committee, collective etc) are:

  • Ensuring the organisation meets its contractual, ethical and legal obligations
  • Ensuring resources are sufficient and well managed
  • Ensuring the organisation's objectives/mission are developed and sustained
  • Planning and monitoring organisational achievements in relation to these objectives/mission
  • Ensuring the ongoing viability of the organisation.

A good governing body should not:

  • Interfere with the day-to-day functional aspects of an organisation
  • Manage the administrative functions (some of these tasks might be done by committee members working as volunteers, this is not 'governing').

Good governance allows an organisation to:

  • Have a 'big picture' vision and appropriate strategies to realise that vision
  • Be accountable to its members
  • Achieve its stated objectives
  • Support its employees to pursue the full range of their job descriptions.

The governance board/committee does this by:

  • Understanding the organisation's philosophy and objectives
  • Being organised, efficient and responsive
  • Understanding its responsibilities
  • Understanding the objectives, programmes and work of the organisation
  • Demonstrating inclusive and fair processes
  • Setting goals and priorities and monitoring progress on these
  • Ensuring the committee is diverse, relevant, skilled and representative of the organisation's membership.
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Policies and Procedures

Contact one of our community here at Community Waikato for some one on one assistance in this area.The 'Community Resource Kit', available at and the ‘Nine Steps to Effective Governance’ which can be purchased or viewed online at are both very useful resources when developing policies and procedures. The procedure gives guidance on how to enact this- such as performance of hazard checks, evacuation plans and meeting first aid requirements.


Planning - Community Waikato

It helps to identify potential problems, communicate plans to stakeholders and guide the organisation to work towards a common vision. The advisors from Community Waikato understand that planning is a dynamic, evolving process that is unique to each organisation. Planning helps groups to establish attainable goals and sets out who and how they will achieve them.


Finance - Community Waikato

Throughout the course of your funded project collect any reports etc and save these in your funding folder ready to include with your accountability. Department of Internal Affairs Community Funding Advisors can help you with a wide variety of information and advice. Your Local Council will have someone available to discuss your funding needs. Not meeting your accountability requirements will impact on further funding.