The coronavirus pandemic has transformed all our lives, and as we move to recovery, it’s time for trustees to rethink and rebuild and steer their organisations through new challenges. The future is uncertain, with reduced income, increased demand for services, and the need to safeguard beneficiaries, staff and volunteers. We know our sector is #NeverMoreNeededand good governance will be vital to ensure resilience and a sustainable future. That’s why we’re running a new series of free Good Governance Webinars which will look at what trustees have learnt from the last few months, and how they can move forward to deliver their organisational mission, and stay true to their purpose and values.

Our first webinar on August 26 will look at Good governance and risk management. Trustees are responsible for identifying, prioritising and managing risk, and the pandemic has highlighted the need for a flexible approach to risk that can adapt and evolve. Remote working and the re-opening of premises, along with cashflow, fundraising and cyber security, are just some of the risks that require regular review. This webinar will look at the need to explore differing attitudes to both risk and opportunity amongst trustees and senior management, and the importance of communication, compliance, controls, and collective decision making.

Governance in uncertain times means you need to be ready to respond quickly and appropriately to changing circumstances and make good collective decisions. With social distancing, board meetings will continue to be held online and this brings its own unique challenges. Our September webinar Good governance and effective virtual board meetings will explore how board dynamics are changed in a virtual environment. We will look at creative ways to chair and facilitate, offering technical tips to help trustees engage and actively contribute to board discussions.

Increasing board diversity was important before the pandemic, but now as we rebuild and recover it has to be a top priority so leadership is more inclusive and representative of our beneficiaries and wider society. Diversity in all its forms drives better decision making, but trustee recruitment can be difficult, and many organisations still rely on word of mouth and existing networks. With more people now looking to volunteer, under representation of BAME people and young trustees, now is the time to look at how to get a broader mix of skills, knowledge and experience on your board. Our October Good governance, diversity, and recruiting new trustees webinar will look at recruiting for the future, and offer suggestions on how to induct new trustees in a virtual world.

As government support schemes such as furloughing end, and fundraising and trading activities remain uncertain, trustees have a duty to protect assets, manage risk, and ensure their organisation stays true to its organisational purpose and values. These are difficult times, and trustees will have to make difficult decisions in the coming months as they face challenges such as redundancy, insolvency and restructuring. Trustees may not have all the information for making what can seem like impossible decisions. But good governance means acting in the best interests of your organisation, looking after your beneficiaries, and making the right decision at the right time. Join us in the final webinar of this series on Good governance and difficult decision making to explore the issues you need to consider.

The months ahead are uncertain, and recovery has been likened to a marathon rather than a sprint. Trustees need to be in it for the long haul, and we hope these webinars will offer an opportunity to explore the issues you face, and share your learning and experience.