Non-government organisations (NGOs) in New Zealand employ around 100,000 people and generate an estimated $20 billion in annual income. A report into the future of governance in the NGO sector has recently been completed by Foundation North’s social business, the Centre for Social Impact, in partnership with the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business.
“NGOs touch our lives in all sorts of ways,” says report author, Dr Jo Cribb. “They provide services to the elderly, youth, and vulnerable families and whānau, and deliver much of what holds our communities together, such as sports, arts, environmental and cultural programmes. None of this would be possible without the tireless work of tens of thousands of people, usually volunteers, who sit on boards and committees and govern these groups.
“In this report, we looked at what good governance looks like in the community sector and what future practices are needed to support those who bravely volunteer for a board or committee role.”
The report concludes that there is a need for a co-ordinated and collaborative community-led national strategy for community governance. Such a strategy would need to ensure there is widespread relevant support for board and committee members, practical advice, coaching and mentoring and a mechanism to ensure there is a pipeline of diverse leaders ready for board roles.
The report, What is the Future for NGO Governance? is now available on the Centre for Social Impact website. It builds on the Superdiversity Institute’s report Diverse Thinking Capability Audit of New Zealand Boardrooms in 2018, which explained what “diverse thinking” really means for governance, and how to create a diverse thinking boardroom culture and governance practice for peak performance and better decision making.