In October, the NPC a charity think tank and consultancy and the Clothworkers’ Company held a seminar examining the role of trustees in developing an organisation’s strategy. The seminar highlighted the crucial role that Trustees play in developing a charity’s strategy and also examined how this can be a challenge for trustees who are unsure of how to balance their input with that of the management executive. The NPC have now produced a useful briefing paper from this seminar that can be downloaded from their website: Developing an effective strategy: An introduction for Trustees
Explaining why it is important for charities to have an effective strategy in place and the role of Trustees in developing them, Russell Hargrave, Media Manager at NPC said: “So much in the charity sector comes down to trustees. The good ones know when to get involved and when to step back, when to be a shoulder to cry on for a stressed Chief Exec and when to be a critical friend. If there’s an effective strategy in place, it should be easier to make these calls, because everyone from the trustee board downward shares an idea of what the charity is trying to do and how it’s going to get there. This isn’t an easy process – few things in the charity sector are – but you do need your trustees to keep on top of things.”
A useful tool: NPC’s strategy triangle brings together a number of different models and frameworks in a tool which has been specifically tailored for the charity sector
The briefing paper also considers Trustee and executive relations, the key elements of a good strategy, practical tips, case studies, planning tools and a reading list to support Trustees now and in the future. The importance of context and how trustees must take into account key stakeholders when developing a strategy is also covered.
“The context in which charities operate is very important, but sadly it can be easily overlooked,” said Andrew Weston, a Researcher at NPC. “Many of the greatest opportunities and threats to charity arise from the external environment. This is especially key right now, amid ongoing cuts to civil society and difficult press for the sector and pressure for charities to prove themselves is as high as it’s ever been. However, this is also a chance for innovative charities to really shine, by showing how they can survive and thrive in such a difficult environment.”
Developing An Effective Strategy: An introduction for Trustees by NPC can be downloaded in PDF HERE