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Taking decisions and getting work done

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Agreeing on who has the right to make which decisions in your non profit organisation and how exactly the decisions should be made.

When it comes to governance on decision making, you will need to follow your governing document but you may need to add more to it. 

Key things to remember:

  • Responsibility for the organisation ultimately rests with the governing body.
  • Charity trustees are required to act collectively. Decisions do not have to be unanimous, but they must be supported by the majority.
  • Decisions can only be delegated if properly authorised by the board (and if your constitution gives you power to delegate).

You may want to consider:

  • Clear rules for meetings: frequency, who attends, how many trustees are needed for a quorum, dealing with conflicts of interest, agreeing meeting dates well in advance.
  • Agreeing a work calendar for the board (for example, you might agree that your December board agrees the budget, and your July board considers the training and development needs of the board).
  • From time to time you may wish to set up a time-limited working group or a ‘task and finish’ group to focus on a specific issue. Be clear about what its remit is.
  • Subcommittees: In larger or more complex organisations it may be appropriate to have subcommittees, but make sure you are clear about its purpose and powers.


Page last edited Nov 24, 2016

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