Friday, 27 November 2015

Have your Say: Opportunities for Play in Powys

Do you live in Powys and are you the parent, grandparent or carer of children/young people?

Is so, please could you take a couple of minutes to complete this short online survey? (It only takes 2 minutes to complete.)  Its part of work that PAVO is doing with Powys County Council to assess the sufficiency of play provision in Powys and your input as a parent, grandparent or carer would be greatly appreciated. 

The survey is anonymous and the information gathered will help in mapping the experience of Powys' children and young people as regards the opportunities they have for play and recreation, as well as helping inform future planning decisions about how this provision can be improved.



The survey is also for children and young people themselves, as well as parents, grandparents and carers, so please feel free to forward this message and the survey links to anyone you may feel would have an interest in it.

If you have any queries please feel free to contact PAVO on 01597 822191 or info@pavo.org.uk

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Charity Commission funding frozen until 2020

The Chancellor has today announced in the Spending Review a freeze to the Charity Commission’s funding over the next 4 years. The current funding for the commission in 2015/16 is £20.3 million. The new financial settlement for the next 4 years up to 2019/20 will therefore remain as £20.3 million.
The settlement could translate into a real terms cut should the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) index revert to an inflationary position over the period. However the commission’s capital funding has been increased by 10% to £1 million per annum over the first 2 years of the settlement, rising to £1.2 million over the latter 2 years. This builds upon the £8 million ‘invest to save’ funding given to us to transform the way we work.

William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, said:

This settlement - a freeze, not a cut - is recognition of the importance of the commission’s work. The recent high profile charity crises and the damage these have done to trust in charities shows the importance of an effective charity regulator.
The freeze will put more pressure on our staff. But we will continue to concentrate on increasing public trust and confidence in charities through being a strong and effective regulator.
We have already focused our expenditure on the highest risk work: fraud, safeguarding and counter-terrorism. We expect the new systems we are installing with the £8 million funding to deliver productivity gains, but there is little more we can do to reduce our costs without it affecting our regulatory work.
I am therefore committed to seeking a more sustainable funding base for the commission to ensure we can still protect individual charities from abuse and uphold public trust and confidence in the charitable sector. I will continue my discussions with charities to explore how this might be achieved.

(Source: Charity Commission)

GOVERNANCE UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2015

Here's a really useful Governance round up from NCVO.  It's well worth a read.

It includes information on:

  • Fundraising regulation reform
  • Company law changes
  • HMRC has published new model Gift Aid declarations
  • Independence of charities and trustee fiduciary powers and duties
  • A question of balance – a guide to the chair and chief executive relationship

http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2015/11/17/governance-round-up-november-2015/

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

PAVO TRUSTEE NETWORK

The voluntary sector in Powys would come to a standstill without the support and hard work that trustees undertake, in order to enable groups and organisations to operate safely, efficiently and effectively.
Governance is an issue that affects any group, no matter what size it is. PAVO along with the Charity Commission is wholly committed to championing good governance in the sector, and trustees play an enormous part in enabling this to happen. In recognition of this, PAVO is setting up a Trustee Network in order to provide mutual learning and support to trustees of voluntary or community organisations operating within Powys (including charity trustees, management committee members and not-for-profit company directors).

The virtual network will ensure that members are kept up to date electronically with news, information, and developments in the field of governance and trusteeship.

The network will also:
· provide the opportunity for trustees to share learning and information about their experiences in fulfilling their governance roles
· provide a forum for determining the training and development needs of trustees.
· allow trustees the opportunity to be consulted and feedback on strategic policy developments.
The network will meet on an annual basis, so watch this space for the date of the first meeting.

We want as many trustees as possible to sign up to become a member of the network, so don't delay, join today!

To register your details please click on the link below:
https://docs.google.com/forms/<wbr></wbr>d/<wbr></wbr>1uVGdIm8xt3ZCJK6RmrmhLK7xZZuO3<wbr></wbr>mcPQT6srGDiz54/viewform?c=0&w=<wbr></wbr>1&usp=mail_form_link

Friday, 20 November 2015

Charity Commission’s main responsibility is to the public, says Shawcross

The Charity Commission’s "main responsibility" is to the public and robust regulation is needed to ensure they trust charities, Chair William Shawcross said yesterday.

Speaking at ACEVO’s annual conference, Shawcross said the Commission had a responsibility “to assure the public that tax advantages and good faith bestowed on charities” were matched by the behaviour of trustees, employees and other volunteers.
“Some people in the sector have complained about increased charity regulation, but the public has not complained,” Shawcross said.
He said he thought the public favoured "robustness" in regulation.

Although 90 per cent of charities “behave extremely well”, the few that don’t run the risk of damaging the whole sector, he said.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

John Williams, vice chair of the Association of Chairs, has said that it is “extraordinary” that the Charity Commission does not recognise chairs as anything other than trustees.


Williams was speaking at the ICAEW’s annual conference for the charity sector on Shaping the future of the charity landscape, in a session called ‘Charities under scrutiny: new challenges for trustee boards’.
He said that the lack of guidance specific to chairs from the regulator is part of the reason why the Association of Chairs was set up in 2013.
Williams said: “The Charity Commission doesn’t really recognise chairs at all, it is rather extraordinary thing. There is CC3 - the essential trustee, but there is no essential chair.”
He said that being a chair is “a tough job and chairs tell us it is a very lonely job”.
He said: “It is pretty tough being a trustee but if you are at the head of all those governance pressures it is even harder.”

Charity Commission report shows ‘charities often overstate governance costs’

A report published by the Charity Commission has shown that many charities may “often overstate governance costs” in their public annual returns or accounts.
The report, published today by the Charity Commission as part of its Accounts Monitoring Review, identified 76 charities with incomes of over £500,000 that appeared to have high governance costs of more than 20 per cent of total expenditure.
The results suggest that only three of the 76 charities (4 per cent) reviewed had “a reasonable explanation for the figures they reported. Some 66 of the organisations (87 per cent) had incorrectly allocated costs to governance costs that should have been included in other categories of expenditure, including charitable expenditure."
The remaining seven charities were found to have incorrectly filled out their annual returns or accounts.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Trustees and Governing Documents

Here's an interesting article from the NCVO website:
Debbie Steventon is an online content designer at the Charity Commission. She has worked for the commission for over 12 years, in customer-facing roles such as the contact centre, managing a team of expert advisers.
The governing document is the ‘rulebook’ for your charity; it is an essential and legal document. Depending on your charity’s structure, your governing document is likely to be one of the following:
  • Constitution
  • Trust deed
  • Articles of association

What your governing document should tell you

A well-written governing document will tell you many of the things you need to know about your charity and will contain the answers to many frequently asked questions, such as:
  • what the charity exists to do (its purposes, as explained in its objects clause)
  • the kinds of activities that it can undertake to further those purposes, what powers it has and any limits on them
  • who the trustees are, how many trustees there should be and how they are appointed and removed
  • how to call meetings and what notice periods to give to call an annual or special general meeting (AGM or SGM)
  • how to change the governing document, and which rules can be changed
  • whether the charity has members and, if so, who can be a member and what their rights and responsibilities are
  • how to close the charity down.

Good governance

Time and time again, the commission finds that serious concerns about a charity have their root causes in weak governance. All too often trustees have failed to comply with their governing document.
You and your co-trustees are responsible for ensuring that your charity carries out its purposes and follows its rules. You can’t do this without knowing what your governing document says.
Trustees may need to review it from time to time, to ensure that it continues to meet the charity’s needs.
If your charity appoints a new trustee, give them a copy of the governing document and emphasise the importance of it. It should be regularly referred to and copies should be made available at AGMs and SGMs.
The commission’s guidance, The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do (CC3), highlights and gives practical examples of how to avoid some common pitfalls. By ensuring you understand your governing document, you can feel confident that you’re running your charity in a legal and effective way.

Contacting the Charity Commission

People often contact the commission with questions about the way their charity should be run – but their governing document contained the answer all along. Sometimes the commission can only find out the answers by reading your governing document, so it makes sense to check it yourself first and potentially save time.
Each year the commission get requests for copies of governing documents, and in some cases repeat requests. Which must mean that sometimes it’s being used for a specific purpose, then discarded. It’s really important for your charity to get into the habit of holding a copy of the governing document and to make sure that every single trustee has access to a copy.
If you don’t have a copy of your governing document, or don’t know what it is, ask your fellow trustees.
Remember that if you think you need to contact the commission, first:
  • discuss the matter with the other trustees
  • check your governing document.
If your charity doesn’t have a copy, of course it’s fine to ask the commission to provide one (if your charity is registered), but make sure you then keep that safe and take copies for all the trustees.

(Source: NCVO)

Monday, 16 November 2015

Why volunteer to be a trustee?




1. Name: Ian Charlesworth

2. Trustee of : PAVO


3. Reason for being a trustee: Having been involved with several community based, local groups it is interesting to be part of the county wide set up. PAVO is particularly strong on community development and I believe passionately in the power of such work to change lives for the better.


4. What is enjoyable about being a trustee? On a good day when it feels like you are making difference and part of team of like minded people.


5. What in your opinion makes a good trustee? Some one who understands what the organisation does, reads the papers for a meeting and brings their intelligence to the table.
.

6. Favourite colour: The enormous number of shades of green that surround us.


7. Favourite food: Depends on the season. Loving chicken and leek pie at the moment. There comes a time though when the first Pembroke New Potato or a garden strawberry is wonderful to look forward to.


8. Favourite place in Powys: Either Hay Bluff or tucked up by a pub fireside at one of the brilliant hostelries we have in Powys with a good pint close to hand.


If you were to give one piece of advice to a 'would be trustee' what would it be? Don't be afraid to ask what is going on. Everyone else around the table will be pleased you asked, then they will know as well!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Act in your Charity's best interests

How do you make sure that you act in your charity’s best interests? It’s not about protecting your position as a trustee or even the jobs of all your staff. It’s not really about preserving your charity forever (although planning for the future is important, of course). It’s about doing the right thing.
It really means doing whatever you and your co-trustees (and no one else) decide will best enable the charity to carry out its purposes, to make sure that you’re delivering the best possible benefit to the people that your charity helps.
It’s about making well-informed and well thought out decisions together. Before you make any decisions, you and the other trustees have a shared responsibility to make sure that you:
  • have enough information to hand
  • are acting in good faith
  • take account of all relevant factors and ignore the irrelevant ones
You also need to make sure that if there are any conflicting interests, such as a trustee receiving a benefit from the charity, the conflict has been dealt with (and any trustee benefit has been properly authorised).
You and your co-trustees can only comply with your duty to act in the charity’s best interests if you identify and deal with any conflicts of interest. This means ensuring that you prevent the conflict from unduly influencing your decision.
A conflict of interest is any situation where your personal interests could, or could appear to, prevent you from making a decision only in the charity’s best interests. For example, if you (or a person connected to you, such as a close relative, business partner or company):
  • receive payment from the charity for goods or services, or as an employee
  • make a loan to or receive a loan from the charity
  • own a business that enters into a contract with the charity
  • use the charity’s services
  • enter into some other financial transaction with the charity
Even when you receive no financial benefit, you could have a conflict of loyalty. For example if your charity has business dealings with your employer, a friend, family member, or another body (such as a local authority or charity, or a charity’s trading subsidiary) that you serve on.
Conflicts of interest (and conflicts of loyalty) are more common than people think. If you think one of your fellow trustees appears to have a conflict of interest or loyalty, don’t be afraid to say so. You are not accusing them of wrongdoing.
In deciding how to deal with a conflict of interest, think about what feels right, and also how others might view the trustees’ actions. Think about your charity’s reputation. Usually, at the very least it will mean the conflicted trustee taking no part in the discussion or decision.
Remember that if your charity failed to identify a conflict of interest, or to deal with it properly, it can have negative impacts on both the charity and individual trustees including financial cost and reputational damage. It could even be viewed as misconduct or mismanagement by the trustees.
Sometimes acting in the charity’s best interests can mean challenging perceived wisdom. It might not be the best thing to carry on doing something just because that’s the way you’ve always done it, or because the loudest voice in the room says so. Ask awkward questions. Say when you don’t understand. But when a decision is reached, it means going along with it (unless you are so sure it’s seriously wrong that you need to tell the commission, or even resign).
Acting in your charity’s best interests is one of the main duties of trustees. Read the commission’s recently revised The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do (CC3) for more guidance about your responsibilities as a charity trustee.

(Source Charity Commission)

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Top Tips for New Trustees

Here's a really useful article by Steve Palmer and Liz Scott which was first published in 2012 by the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network.

The information is still relevant now for anyone considering becoming a trustee.

We're both relatively new trustees; Steve started in 2011 and Liz earlier this year. But we feel strongly that people can be put off. It sounds a bit posh and overwhelming doesn't it? Remember that boards are the critical friends to organisations. With that in mind, during this, Trustees Week, we have collated our thoughts into a list of top ten tips, so that if you think you might be trustee calibre, but were too afraid to ask, then "come on in, the water's lovely". Honestly, charities may need people like you on the board.

1. Don't be intimidated

You have been invited/voted onto the board and you deserve to be there. You bring something the board/organisation/membership says it needs. You may need to take big decisions on the board, but they won't be all the time, you'll probably have plenty of warning, and, most importantly, you'll have lots of support. Scott says: "I work in an administrative role and was concerned that because I'd never been a manager, I wouldn't be taken seriously. However, I've worked in the charity sector for nearly ten years, in several roles and have also been a volunteer. I discussed it with Steve and realised that boards want a variety of skills and experience. With the right support and a bit of confidence, you can do it and, as it turned out, he was right!"

2. If you don't understand something, ask

You can save yourself time by clarifying something quickly, rather than pretending you know what you're talking about. It's OK to ask; you're not expected to be a specialist. Palmer says: "I used to be a school governor and I was always getting teachers to explain education jargon. Investing ten seconds now can save you lots of embarrassment and lack of knowledge on a subject in the future."

3. Run ideas and thoughts past people, especially before a board meeting

This will help you to prepare, and those whose help you seek, for instance other trustees, will appreciate it. Read the papers you are sent and think about how you can contribute to a meeting, including how to be a critical friend to the charity. Palmer says: "In the past I've had a quick email chat with a few trustees so that I'd done a bit of research, and when the item came up before the board, a few more board members have known about it and have bought into the concept."

4. Think about what you can bring from your day job

Think about the jobs that other people do in your department and bring your general knowledge about them to the board meeting. Scott says: "My background in admin actually really worked in my favour. Boards need good processes and governance procedures. BMy general background in the charity sector has also given me an understanding of funding, communications, marketing, events and co-production. A broad understanding of the sector can really help when, for example, your board is faced with some challenging issues."

5. Take opportunities to be an ambassador for your charity

For instance use social media to publicise something it's doing, or help to recruit new members and talk about it at every appropriate opportunity. Palmer says: "I use my Twitter account to update followers on @charitycomms developments, plus news from the sector. This week I've retweeted an interview with one of my fellow trustees.

6. Offer to take on a couple of tasks or responsibilities for your board early on

This will show you're keen and will help to build your confidence. Make sure they fit in with your work commitments though so that you don't feel overwhelmed or can't deliver. Scott says: "Think about where your strengths lie. You can't raise a million for your charity overnight but you can offer to help organise an away day or write up a report. Be realistic though; if you're snowed under in your day job, only take on what you can manage. They'll be plenty of time to contribute more when you have the space and time to do it. And, when you do make a contribution, your fellow trustees will really appreciate it."

7. Know when to take a step back

You can't do everything, nor are you expected to. A board is more than one person and you don't want to alienate your colleagues by involving yourself in everything. Palmer says: "I can talk for hours on end but I know that others' views are important. In my first board meeting I noted down every time I said something so that I didn't over-speak! That's far too formal I know, but for the first meeting it really helped me to make sure I didn't come across as a loud-mouth."

8. Keep in regular contact with your colleagues

If you see an article or tips which may be of interest and relevant, perhaps email it to them. Scott says: "Learn about trusteeship. Read articles, follow organisations on Twitter, link up with trustees in other organisations, look out for updates and innovative ideas. If you see an article which has particular relevance to your organisation, circulate it. Not only are you showing an interest in the sector; you're also developing your knowledge as a trustee and that of your colleagues at the same time."

9. Keep your knowledge up-to-date

Sign up for Charity Commission updates and take up any training offered. Palmer says: "Professional development is really important. Also, write down some of your achievements. I spent six years as a governor and I'm proud that during my time, and partly because of the governing body, our school had an outstanding OFSTED inspection. Be proud of achievements and write them down."

10. Use the knowledge you are gaining as a trustee in your day job

Remember this is a two way thing, put it on your CV. Scott says: "When your colleagues at work find out you're a trustee, they usually want to ask you more about it and possibly do it themselves. It also gives you the confidence to take on more responsibility in your day-to-day role. or contribute to a meeting in a meaningful way. Being a trustee is a brilliant way to develop professionally so it's a win-win situation."
Steve Palmer and Liz Scott both work at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). They "buddy up" regularly to discuss their roles as trustees – Palmer atCharity Comms and Scott at Vauxhall City Farm.
(Source: Guardian Sector Voluntary Sector Network)

Monday, 9 November 2015

Become a charity trustee – it changed my life

Here's an inspiring post for a wet and windy Monday morning!

Become a charity trustee – it changed my life

Starting with ActionAid, 40 years of volunteering has taught me valuable skills that have enriched my career and social network I began my career as a charity trustee 40 years ago, and while it’s difficult to know where I would be and what I’d be doing if I hadn’t taken on the role, I know that it set me on the path to the varied and meaningful life I have now.

When I was a young man, coming from a modest background, I knew I had to gain a skill that made me employable. I chose accountancy, because I was good with numbers. But by the time I was 35 and working in finance at a large, multinational business I yearned for something more values-based. That’s when I joined the charity ActionAid, and subsequently became chair of trustees.
The experience was invaluable. Like many other charities, ActionAid, an organisation that’s dedicated to giving people choices and eliminating poverty, had a complex range of stakeholders to deal with.

Discussions and debate with other trustees, and people who had very different backgrounds to me, helped me to understand the effect that behaviour, beliefs and commitment play in decision-making. I also began to understand that it wasn’t just technical skills and know-how that achieve results: you have to learn what influences people’s thinking.

Those lessons were put to great use when I became a human resources director of a company employing 40,000 staff, especially when I had to introduce a cultural-change programme. It also proved vital when, as head of a business that distributed a third of national newspapers, Fleet Street embraced new technology and we had to reach agreement with proprietors, unions and the media. We had to weigh up their different experiences and perspectives and find a way to progress.
Still, it’s fair to say working as a trustee hasn’t always been an easy ride. Having spent time on the boards of many third-sector organisations, there was one occasion when we were faced with a chief executive who simply was not being effective. It was then that I had to develop strong leadership skills. Overcoming challenges like this has made being a trustee even more rewarding.
Above all, the most important thing that being a trustee has given me is friendship. I very much doubt that I would otherwise have had the opportunity to meet such amazing people from all walks of life. Many of them have become firm friends. The difference it has made to my social network, something that’s so important to having a rich and happy life, is wonderful.

I think the best trustee role I’ve ever had is the one I’m currently working in. It’s chairing Getting on Board, a charity which helps a wide range of people to become leaders in their communities through volunteering on boards. Enabling other people with so many different personal attributes and life experiences to benefit from trusteeship, as I have done, is a real pleasure. Don’t hesitate if you’re considering it. It changed my life.

(source: Guardian Voluntary Network)

What's your story, would you like to share your experiences?  We'd love to hear from you, just leave us a comment and we'll get back to you.


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Charity Commission will not be able to do its job if it faces more budget cuts, says Shawcross

The chair of the Charity Commission has warned MPs that the regulator “wouldn’t be able to do the job at all” if it faces further cuts to its budget in this month's spending review.
William Shawcross (pictured) was speaking to the Public Accounts and Constitutional Affairs Committee during an inquiry on fundraising regulation. He said that the Charity Commission has neither the budget nor the staff to properly regulate fundraising on its own.  
He said that cuts to the charity regulator's budget and the resulting reduction in staff meant that the regulator was struggling to do its existing role, let alone take on something new.
He said that as a result of cuts to the regulator's budget it was looking to charge charities for its services.
“About 10 years ago, long before I joined the Charity Commission, the organisation had about 600 staff," Shawcross said. "Now it’s about 290 or 300.”
He that funding to the regulator has fallen from £40m to around £21m in the last few years.
“It is quite difficult for us to do our job as well as we’d like to at the moment,” said Shawcross. He warned that any further cuts to the regulator’s funding would mean the Commission “wouldn’t be able to do the job at all”.
Shawcross said that if the charity regulator was to be called upon to regulate fundraising, it would need “a new remit from parliament, new powers, new resources and time” but said he “really hopes it doesn’t come to that”.
When asked if the recommendations of the Etherington Review represented the “last chance” for fundraising self-regulation, Shawcross agreed and said “I hope it [implementation of the review] works so that the heavy arm of the state isn’t put upon the charity sector”.
Shawcross also said that the Charity Commission would second a member of staff to the new fundraising regulator for a period of six months once the chair and chief executive of the regulator has been announced.
The chair of the regulator also defended the Charity Commission over its actions during fundraising’s ‘summer of discontent’, saying that legislation in the Charities Act meant that it was not the role of the commission to regulate fundraising.
“We may well be the police force of the charity sector,” said Shawcross. “But we’re not the Stasi.”  
(Source: Civil Society)

Food for thought - do charities expect too much from their trustees?

Here's an interesting article - do charities expect too much of their trustees?

http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2015/nov/04/do-charities-expect-too-much-of-their-trustees?CMP=ema-1695&CMP=


What do you think?

(Source: Guardian Voluntary Sector Network)

TRUSTEE TRAINING OPPORTUNITY

Being a Trustee

Tuesday 17th November 2015 - full day
Cost:
£20 - PAVO members
£40 - 3rd Sector, non PAVO members
£60 - All other / individuals
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
  • Understand what it means to be a trustee, who can be one and what roles and responsibilities trustees may have
  • Appreciate what trustees can be liable for, and know how to limit potential risks
  • Understand the principles of good governance, the roles of specific officers, and the difference between a trustee board and its subcommittees
  • Have an overview of what is needed for effective trustee recruitment and induction
To book: click here

Are you a trustee of a community green space?

Have you heard about the Green flag Community Award?

The Green Flag Community Award® is a national award that recognises high quality green spaces in UK that are managed by voluntary and community groups. The Award is part of the Green Flag Award® scheme, the national standard for quality parks and green spaces and is managed by Keep Wales Tidy.

All community green spaces are eligible to enter as long as they are freely accessible to all and unlocked as much as possible although we understand this may not be every day and may be limited to regular, advertised open days.

You can find more information and apply online via the following link:

Online via the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.org/greenflag

(Source: Keep Wales Tidy)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

NEW: PAVO Trustee Network


2nd – 8th November 2015 is Trustees Week.
Trustees' Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.
The voluntary sector in Powys would come to a standstill without the support and hard work that trustees undertake, in order to enable groups and organisations to operate safely, efficiently and effectively.

Governance is an issue that affects any group, no matter what size it is.  PAVO along with the Charity Commission is wholly committed to championing good governance in the sector, and trustees play an enormous part in enabling this to happen.  In recognition of this, PAVO is setting up a Trustee Network in order to provide mutual learning and support to trustees of voluntary or community organisations operating within Powys (including charity trustees, management committee members and not-for-profit company directors).

The virtual network will ensure that members are kept up to date electronically with news, information, and developments in the field of governance and trusteeship. 
The network will also:
·         provide the opportunity for trustees to share learning and information about their experiences              in fulfilling their governance roles
·         provide a forum for determining the training and development needs of trustees.
·         allow trustees the opportunity to be consulted and feedback on strategic policy developments.
The network will meet on an annual basis, so watch this space for the date of the first meeting.

We want as many trustees as possible to sign up to become a member of the network, so don’t delay, join today!

To register your details please click on the link below:

Check out PAVO's Trusty Trustee blog today!  Go to:  http://trustypavo.blogspot.co.uk/ to see what trustee and governance is all about.



NEWYDD: Rhwydwaith Ymddiriedolwyr PAVO
Mae’r 2il i’r 8fed o Dachwedd 2015 yn Wythnos Ymddiriedolwyr.  
Mae Wythnos Ymddiriedolwyr yn ddigwyddiad blynyddol i arddangos y gwaith gwych sy’n cael ei wneud gan ymddiriedolwyr, ac yn amlygu cyfleoedd i bobl o bob cefndir i gymryd rhan a gwneud gwahaniaeth.

Byddai'r sector gwirfoddol ym Mhowys yn dod i stop heb y gefnogaeth a’r gwaith caled y mae ymddiriedolwyr yn ymgymryd ag ef, er mwyn galluogi grwpiau a sefydliadau i weithredu'n ddiogel, yn effeithlon ac effeithiol.

Mae llywodraethu yn fater sy'n effeithio ar unrhyw grŵp, waeth beth yw ei faint. Mae PAVO ynghyd â'r Comisiwn Elusennau yn gwbl ymrwymedig i hyrwyddo llywodraethu da yn y sector, ac mae ymddiriedolwyr yn chwarae rhan enfawr o ran galluogi hyn i ddigwydd. Er mwyn cydnabod hyn, mae PAVO yn sefydlu Rhwydwaith Ymddiriedolwyr er mwyn darparu dysgu a chefnogaeth gydfuddianol i ymddiriedolwyr mudiadau gwirfoddol neu gymunedol sy’n gweithredu o fewn Powys (gan gynnwys ymddiriedolwyr elusennau, aelodau pwyllgorau rheoli a chyfarwyddwyr cwmnïau nid er elw).

Bydd y rhwydwaith rithwir hon yn sicrhau bod aelodau yn derbyn yr wybodaeth ddiweddaraf yn electronig yn cynnwys newyddion, gwybodaeth, a datblygiadau ym maes llywodraethu ac ymddiriedolaeth.
Bydd y rhwydwaith hefyd yn:
· rhoi cyfle i ymddiriedolwyr i rannu profiadau dysgu a gwybodaeth wrth iddynt gyflawni eu rolau llywodraethu.
· darparu fforwm ar gyfer pennu anghenion hyfforddi a datblygu ymddiriedolwyr.
· rhoi cyfle i ymgynghori ag ymddiriedolwyr a modd i gyflwyno adborth ar ddatblygiadau polisi strategol.

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Trustees’ week – an opportunity to generate fear or enthuse?

Caroline Cook is the PQASSO Programme Manager at NCVO and offers some thoughts about how Trustees’ Week could be a prompt to use PQASSO. Caroline was previously a consultant for many years working with a variety of Boards around governance review, strategy and sustainability.
Trustees’ week – an opportunity to generate fear or enthuse?
2-8th November
Reinvigorating your Board
At its most basic there are two keys ways to generate change or activity amongst trustees – by instilling fear or building enthusiasm. Fear works well to remind what can happen if Boards aren’t functioning as they should be or where they’re not clear about their vital role in the organisation. But, it can also lead to knee-jerk reactions that mean things are not well thought through or that policies change but not the practice of how they’re implemented. Risk management becomes about a document, rather than an approach that builds the ability of the Board to make good decisions and to create an organisation that is able to look ahead, be flexible and respond to events or threats as they happen.
We’re all familiar with the drip-feeding of disaster stories and reports of bad practice amongst charities, so for a change, why not use Trustees Week to generate new interest, excitement and discussion about how trustees and the Board could do things differently? Enthusing tends to lead to a stronger Board and more effective individual trustees.
Ideas for generating enthusiasm
Trustees are generally good people who want to make a difference. Help them to be excited about being a trustee, whether they’ve been around for a while or are new to the role.
Remind them how vital their role is and thank them for giving their time
Reconnect the trustee role with the end experience of the service user or beneficiary
Generate discussion about organisational and Board culture
Ask the question ‘how could the Board do things differently?’
Offer PQASSO quality area 2 ‘governance’ as a tool to help review all aspects of how the Board operates

Remind them how vital their role is and thank them for giving their time
Organisations can lose sight of the importance of the Board’s leadership role and that trustees are an asset to be invested in. Let trustees know they’re appreciated. Say thank you.

Reconnect the trustee role with the end experience of the service user or beneficiary
It’s easy for a trustee to get caught up in being part of the Board, coming to meetings and losing sight of the original reason they decided to become a trustee with your particular organisation. Help them to reconnect with their original passion for the work, the belief that things can be different, that led them to come to work with you, rather than with any of the hundreds of other charities in their local area. Help the Board to really understand how the needs of users (whoever they might be) need to drive planning; how impact is created when actions are delivered against a very clear vision; how monitoring and evaluation help ensure you’re on track.
Generate discussion about organisational and Board culture
In my experience people get excited about the idea of culture. It’s an intriguing thing – sort of slippery and hard to get hold of, but key to everything about how an organisation and a Board operates. A culture that encourages review and reflection is one more able to change and adapt. An organisation that can change and adapt is giving itself the best chance to be sustainable and survive the many challenges that are out there.
Ask the question ‘are there things that the Board could do differently?’
How does the Board currently review itself and how it operates? How about asking an external person to help with this? At the simplest level, could you encourage trustees in sit in a different chair around the table at the next Board meeting? A simple way to demonstrate how quickly habits and patterns become established, which can lead to complacency or a lack of creativity. How could you help generate a curiosity amongst trustees about how and why they do things as they do?
In my experience when Boards promote the fact that it’s an exciting time of review or change, the message is clear that this is a with-it, forward-thinking board that is open to change, and that appeals to potential new trustees.

Offer PQASSO quality area 2 ‘governance’ as a tool to help review all aspects of how the Board operates
All of this of course leads to the question of how to do these things. One way that can work really well is to copy the PQASSO ‘governance’ quality area from the PQASSO Workpack and to suggest that the Board use this as a framework to help them review all aspects of how they operate.
‘The Board ensures that the organisation is governed effectively and responsibly. It demonstrates accountability to stakeholders, and has the skills and information it needs to achieve the organisation’s mission and uphold its values.’
This standard and the indicators which flow from it create the basis for the Board to reflect and self-assess itself, and to identify what needs to be happening differently for it to be the most effective it can. Also, to ensure its governance is legally compliant, safe and fit for purpose. And most importantly, that trustees are re-enthused about their role and feel excited about coming to Board meetings. If your trustees aren’t feeling this, then there’s work to be done.

For information about PQASSO and how it could help your Board
Trustees’ Week 2015 (2 – 8 November) celebrates the role of trustees and champions best practice in governance.

(Source: NCVO)