The Charity Governance Code: Principle 7 – Openness and Accountability

23rd February 2022

The Charity Governance Code: Principle 7 – Openness and Accountability

We conclude our series focussing on The Charity Governance Code as Kirsty McEwen focusses on Principle 7 – Openness and Accountability

What is Openness and Accountability?

The board must lead the organisation in being transparent and accountable. The charity should be open in its work - unless there is good reason for it not to be.

Why is it important?

  • The public place a high level of trust in the charity sector. Operating in a way which is transparent and open prevents reputational damage to the charity sector.
  • Legitimacy is maintained through celebrating successes and demonstrating willingness to identify and learn from mistakes made.
  • It is an expectation that charities place their aims and purposes at the heart of all their activities. Being transparent will allow the public to be certain that the charity is guided by its ethics and values.

How can Higgs LLP help?

Our experienced and knowledgeable charity and not for profit team can offer advice on a huge range of issues, including:

  • Communicating and consulting effectively with stakeholders
    • We can help create an appropriate strategy for regular and effective communication with stakeholders and others.
    • We can create processes for accountability which the stakeholders can use to hold board members accountable.
  • Developing a culture of openness within the charity
    • We can help create an effective process for handling complaints to ensure they are dealt with constructively and impartially.
    • We can advise on data which should be published for openness and accountability purposes. In addition, we can recommend which data is not necessary to publish. 
  • Member engagement
    • We can create clear policies on who is eligible for membership of the charity.
    • We can recommend processes for keeping records clear and accurate.

Other tips:

  • Regular communication with stakeholders about the charity’s activities will allow stakeholders to measure the charity’s success and identify areas requiring improvement.
  • The board should keep a register of interests for board members and senior staff which is transparent.

Click here to read the previous six parts of the series

Get in touch with Kirsty on or 01384 327322 to discuss.


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