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What is the future for NGO governance? : research report Centre for Social Impact and Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business

Contributor(s): Centre for Social Impact | Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Centre for Social impact, 2019Description: electronic document (35 pages) ; PDF file.Subject(s): COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT | COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS | RISK MANAGEMENT | SOCIAL SERVICES | NEW ZEALANDOnline resources: Click here to access online | Access the website Summary: 114,000 non-government organisations (NGOs) operate in New Zealand, generating an estimated $20 billion in annual income. Not only do NGOs represent a sizeable part of our economy and workforce, the services they provide underpin many aspects of our lives. Many of us contribute to NGO boards through helping to develop strategies and secure funding. Few of us have had any training and many of us receive limited support in these roles. NGO boards are facing a range of opportunities and challenges now and into the future. This report outlines the critical ones. Recruiting, inducting and retaining members with the diverse skills and experience needed at the board table is a challenge. Ensuring that board cultures are inclusive is another. The role of the Chair was identified as pivotal. Barriers to good governance include the behaviour of individual board members, poor processes around decision-making, and the complexity of the NGO context. The low value and low profile of NGO governance is a further barrier. Increasingly, high-performing NGO boards are investing in more strategic thinking, collaboration with other NGOs and across sectors, building whanaungatanga within their organisations, adopting technology and building stronger connections with the communities they serve. NGO boards in the future will need to be alert to the opportunities and challenges arising from digital disruption, the changing nature and expectations of their communities, changing patterns of giving and volunteering and the impacts of external, global forces on their services. Effective boards will seek to collaborate, be diverse and inclusive, and be strategic, connected and agile. In order for them to do so, there will need to be considerable investment in NGO governance capabilities. This will include supporting board members to understand the basics of governance, building a cohort and community of excellent governors, providing practical support for Chairs, and connecting boards with tools (such as board self-appraisal and stakeholder mapping tools) to enhance their performance. (Executive summary). Record #6387
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114,000 non-government organisations (NGOs) operate in New Zealand, generating an estimated $20 billion in annual income. Not only do NGOs represent a sizeable part of our economy and workforce, the services they provide underpin many aspects of our lives. Many of us contribute to NGO boards through helping to develop strategies and secure funding. Few of us have had any training and many of us receive limited support in these roles.

NGO boards are facing a range of opportunities and challenges now and into the future. This report outlines the critical ones. Recruiting, inducting and retaining members with the diverse skills and experience needed at the board table is a challenge. Ensuring that board cultures are inclusive is another. The role of the Chair was identified as pivotal.

Barriers to good governance include the behaviour of individual board members, poor processes around decision-making, and the complexity of the NGO context. The low value and low profile of NGO governance is a further barrier. Increasingly, high-performing NGO boards are investing in more strategic thinking, collaboration with other NGOs and across sectors, building whanaungatanga within their organisations, adopting technology and building stronger connections with the communities they serve.

NGO boards in the future will need to be alert to the opportunities and challenges arising from digital disruption, the changing nature and expectations of their communities, changing patterns of giving and volunteering and the impacts of external, global forces on their services.

Effective boards will seek to collaborate, be diverse and inclusive, and be strategic, connected and agile. In order for them to do so, there will need to be considerable investment in NGO governance capabilities. This will include supporting board members to understand the basics of governance, building a cohort and community of excellent governors, providing practical support for Chairs, and connecting boards with tools (such as board self-appraisal and stakeholder mapping tools) to enhance their performance. (Executive summary). Record #6387

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