Recently, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to focus on the Charity and not-for-profit Goveance and Company Secretarial employment market. It’s been exciting as there has been a rapid change occurring in the past 18-months across this ever-important sector. The Charity Goveance Code (third edition), published in July 2017, sets out seven principles for striving towards good goveance. It offers the guidance for teams and boards to operate in a standardised way, working towards this ‘good goveance’. Partially due to these guidelines, goveance has become an important lynch pin in charitable organisations and this growing trend is becoming common place leading to effective and exciting change within the industry.
Proper goveance is especially important within charitable organisations as it ultimately offers protection to the charity trustees themselves and can protect and enhance their reputations. As charities and NFP’s begin to understand this, team sizes are increasing, and companies are seeking employment resources from the private sector. More not-for-profits than ever are bringing their Company Secretarial and Goveance in-house with a dedicated person or team sitting as senior management in the business as opposed to outsourcing this function, traditionally as a part-time position.
It is leading a change from the dreaded ‘Charity Goveance’ as a career path which inhibits movement back into the private sector and working with a high-level team. The Charity Goveance Code changes have made these changes possible. Many NFP’s are regulated entities and now operate at a ‘best practice’ level comparable to private financial service companies. As team sizes are generally smaller, NFP’s are able to offer a wider breath of individual roles while also providing the altruistic benefit of working for a company with an ultimately good and socially positive cause.
The Charity sector is a huge enterprise in the UK with around 170,000 charities bringing in over £50 billion annually. The UK Govement and public have been known to give generously to charities. Thus, a pre-requisite for UK not-for-profits is a need to operate at a high standard of goveance, to adhere to regulations not only set out by law, because it is the ‘right’ thing to do and because charities often fall under more scrutiny than a for-profit organisation may.
We are rapidly seeing how much focus and importance charitable boards are putting on corporate and charity goveance, how seriously they take this function and that it is crucial in the running of a successful enterprise.
The changes over the last two years have resulted in teams often being made up of equal part public and private sector professionals and are driving charities and NFP’s into a new age of goveance with larger NFP’s running at a similar level of strict regulated goveance as financial services companies. It’s creating more efficient business plans with clearer goals and more effective boards.
Having watched the changes start in the larger, asset focused NFP’s and charities and move into the smaller developing goveance functions of charities, it has been a wonder to behold.
The charity sector now offers almost everything the private sector does with an added social purpose. It provides wonderful opportunities for goveance professionals to find challenging and rewarding positions that also provide extreme job satisfaction, progression and breadth of experience. Those in NFP’s get earlier and unparcelled access to board level work. It’s important to reiterate that those who spend time in the charity sector now longer have extreme difficulty retuing to the for-profit sector.
If you would like to discuss the market in the NFP and charity sector or discuss whether this could be an option for your career, please contact me at email@example.com or message me on LinkedIn.