Inyathelo's Get Resourceful Session on Governance Structures and Practices! featured a live Q&A session via Twitter (#GetResourceful) to make our Governance experts available to people who were not able to attend the session. Two threads quickly stood out in the Q&A: the Code of Governance and the role of a governing board. The resulting conversation produced a useful FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on NPO governance in South Africa. Edited highlights are transcribed below.
The Code of Governance
Q:What is the Code of Governance?
A: The Code of Governance was developed specifically for South African nonprofits, taking local laws into account. It’s a set of values and principles to guide the way organisations are managed and conduct their affairs.
Q: NPOs are struggling to keep up with M&E & legislation compliance work. Does the Independent Code not burden people more?
A: The code is voluntary, NPOs are not forced to comply with it. Signing up gives the NPO community more donor credibility and public confidence.
Q: What is the relevance of the Code for the non-profit sector?
A: The code is the first of its kind to be collectively developed by NPOs themselves. It is a common framework for any NPO to use.
Q:How does a strong governance structure change the support a non-profit organisation receives?
A: The Code logo lets funders know that an organisation is being run and managed according to Code principles and support can therefore increase.
Q: How does an organisation become a Code signatory?
A: NPOs can subscribe by signing the commitment & undertaking to support the values and principles in the Code. Signatories are given a special logo. Go to governance.org.za.
The Board of Directors
Q:What is the role of the Board in a non-profit organisation?
A: The role of the board is not merely to nod and say yes, it is to lead and give constructive feedback, and to make sure the organisation thrives.
Q:Where does organisational strategy come from - the CEO or board?
A: It can come from both, especially when CEO and staff develop strategy and consult the board.
Q: Can a CEO also be a board member?
A: Yes, a CEO can be a board member, but it would be a non-voting position and they would not be a chairperson.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our first live Twitter Q&A. Look out for our next event on 13 May which will focus on Financial Management.