Good governance awards offers £35,000 in prizes to small charities

The annual Charity Governance Award scheme has opened for 2022, with £35,000 in prizes available to reward good practice among small charities.

Recognising excellence in board level diversity, using digital, embracing opportunities amid Covid-19 and improving impact are being recognised in this year’s awards, which is now in its seventh year.

“When the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, we knew that charities would be dealing with the fallout for years to come,” said Deepak Nambisan, chair of the 2022 awards.

“This year, we’re particularly interested in how charity boards have embraced the long-term impact of the pandemic on their work – a situation forced upon them may have transformed their strategies for the better. These are stories that the whole sector will find inspiring."

Nambisan added: “We’re also shining a light on the smallest charities operating today, with two refocused Improving Impact awards. These are often organisations working under the radar, with limited staff and resources, carrying out incredible work that has lasting impact within their communities. Whatever their story, I encourage all charities to share their successes and enter the Charity Governance Awards.”

The awards are sponsored and hosted by the Clothworkers’ Company in partnership with think tank New Philanthropy Capital, recruiters Prospectus and volunteer matching charity Reach Volunteering.

Entries must cover work undertaken in the last five years, focus on the main board, not sub-committees and be signed off by the charity’s chair or chief executive.

The deadline for submitted entries is 26 January 2022.

Regarding the ‘transforming with digital’ award, Prospectus associate director Jessica Stockford said: “We want this category to showcase the phenomenal efforts of the sector – before, during or since the pandemic – and shine both hope and inspiration on what might be achieved with digital.”

NPC chief executive Dan Corry says that the two improving impact categories explore “the role that boards play in improving outcomes, and learning”.
He added: “Small charities are at the heart of communities, tackling inequalities and supporting change. Change is a constant for these organisations, and we want to celebrate the way their boards help them to learn and adapt and so improve their impact."

There are a total of five categories, with each winner receiving £5,000. Runners up will receive £1,000 and shortlisted charities will receive a paid one-year membership of the Association of Chairs for their board as well as a complimentary place on a Cause4 Trustee Leadership programme for a new board member.

2021’s winners included Talk, Listen, Change in the board diversity category. Meanwhile, Muslim Women’s Network UK won the transforming with digital award.

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