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Governance and Leadership Resources

Governance relates to all processes that affect the decisions made on how the organisation is run. This includes the leadership and decision-making entities (including management, board and staff), operation and strategies of the organisation, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the nonprofit remains sustainable and goal-focused.

In this section, you will find articles that relate to some of these different aspects of governance, covering topics like nonprofit sustainability, board involvement and leadership.

Board Matters – conflicts of interest and breaches of duty

Nicole Copley
It is generally known and accepted that board members who may have a ‘conflict of interests’ between their personal interests and those of the organisation on whose board they serve: should act in the best interests of the organisation and not for their personal benefit (the heart of the fiduc...

What is an independent board member and why do we need some?

Nicole Copley
A crucial component of credible governance is a measure of independence on the boards of organisations. The founding documents of organisations may call for a proportion (often the majority) of the board to be ‘independent’- but what does this mean? The CIPC online system differentiates between ...

Government employees as board members of non-profit entities

Nicole Copley
We often come across instances where government employees who are involved  or wish to be involved (in a volunteer capacity) as board members of an NGO, are informed that they are not permitted to do so.   The first thing to be noted, here, is that anyone who is engaged as a full-time e...

Removing a member of the board of directors

Nicole Copley | NGO Law
Boards of NPCs often find themselves in a position where, for one reason or another, they would like to remove one of their number from the Board. If the MOI of the NPC stipulates terms of office for directors (and if those terms of office are usually observed) then the easiest route may be to w...

Some thoughts on minutes and agendas

Nicole Copley | NGO Law
Organisations often use standard formats for agendas and minutes but, if you are considering ways to make meetings more effective, we think it better to make up your own format and procedure, to be sure that they suit your organisation and support and invigorate the way it is governed. Standard ...

The first step to becoming a well-organised NPO

Advertorial from Dr Seelan Naidoo | Public Ethos Consulting
Well-organised NPOs are always more impactful and sustainable than those that are poorly organised. Paying attention to the organisation is crucial not only for administrative efficiency but, much more importantly, for enhanced impact and sustainability. A surprisingly common leadership approach...

Five agenda items for NPO Boards

Ricardo Wyngaard | The NPO Lawyer
The King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa (King IV) was published on 1 November 2016 and includes a sector supplement for non-profit organisations. One implication is that the corporate governance environment in South Africa has changed. NPO boards should consider whether this d...

To keep going or to close down?

Seelan Naidoo | Public Ethos Consulting
The hardest of NPO Board decisions is how to face an organisational existential crisis. There is no doubt that the COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc among non-profit organisations. Many NPOs now face the harrowing prospect of deciding whether to keep going or to close down. Boards of Trustees are...

Governing through a crisis

Ricardo Wyngaard | The NPO Lawyer
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), in their Strategy 2020 document, states that: “A disaster or crisis may arise as a sudden emergency or it may be slow onset. In either case, it is our basic obligation to be well prepared to use all effective means to he...

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