DGMT NGO Commons - A Resource for Enhancing Good Governance and Accountability

A Resource for Enhancing Good Governance and Accountability

Why it is important to have a Governing Body: Governance vs Management

Just as in business, governance of an NGO is critically important. Governance refers to how your organisation is guided or directed by its Governing Body such as a Board of Trustees (Board). The Board, therefore,

  • gives direction on the organisation’s vision, policies and strategies for meeting its main goals, for example, what it hopes to achieve and how it will serve the specific need identified in a community;
  • has broad oversight of the organisation through regular monitoring of activities and the spending of funds;
  • gives input on fundraising and other resources that may be targeted/utilised to ensure the organisation’s future survival.

It is important not to confuse Governance with Management. A useful distinction is to think about Governance as determining the “what” – what the organisation does and what it should be in the future. Management controls the “how?” – how the organisation will operate to reach its stated goals and aspirations. Management, therefore, focuses on the operational side of the organisation, which is equally important.