Governance workshops for community organisations: better governance, better community outcomes September 2019

First Governance Bites Workshop (Aug 2019)

"The cross-pollination of ideas and problem solving was really valuable”

Over 30 people attended the first of a series of 10 workshops on governance, initiated and hosted by Volunteering Northland, funded by The Northland Foundation, and led by Sandy Thompson from LEAD, Centre for Not-For-Profit Governance and Leadership. A wide range of community organisations were represented; some participants came as a board group, some came on their own; some participants were in management roles.

Diversity, as always, is a strength, providing a rich source of learning for many. “It was good to talk to people from different organisations. The cross-pollination of ideas and problem solving was really valuable”, said one participant. Another commented that “being in the room with so many volunteers from so many diverse organisations was inspiring.” Another found that the real value for her “was being with the other people. It made for really meaningful, really interesting discussion.”

Coming along as a Board group provides a different but no less valuable experience. The workshops provide opportunity for Board members to reflect on their practice together. “It brought up a lot of things for us as a Board. I think it will make a difference to how we work together”, said one participant.

Sandy encourages people in management roles to come along as well. Understanding the governance role helps managers to understand their roles and how the whole organisation functions. “It helps to reduce managers’ frustrations if they understand what Boards are and aren’t doing and why,” says Sandy.

Those in governance roles can expect to develop greater confidence, skills and knowledge over the course of workshops. They can expect to develop greater clarity about their roles and responsibilities. “When people know what their job is, what the purpose of a Board is, they are much more able to add value,” says Sandy. “If the Board is working well the whole organisation will function well, and when organisations are well led the outcomes for communities are better”.

The next workshop is on September 9th. It’s free and there are still places – make the most of this great opportunity. Go to for all the information.

For those that can't make the sessions on site, Volunteering Northland working with CNorth are live-streaming the workshops so you can ask questions and intact 'live'. We recommend you still do this with your board and/or other community governance members. Not free on Monday? Check for the on-demand recorded session on our FaceBook Group for up-to-date info and alerts.
(We recommend everyone join the FaceBook Group)

Helen Frances – Volunteer reporter for Volunteering Northland