Entries are now open for the 2021 Charity Governance Awards, with a new category to celebrate the best examples of charity boards responding to Covid-19, and prizes for runners up this year as well as winners.
The Charity Governance Awards is now in its sixth year and returns with a new look, and new categories. Free online entry for the 2021 Awards opens on 2 November, with national and local charities, large and small, all invited to enter.
The winner of each category will receive a £5,000 prize as an unrestricted grant. And, for the first time runners-up will receive £1,000, with all shortlisted charities also receiving a paid one-year membership to the Association of Chairs for their board and offered a complimentary place on a Cause4 Trustee Leadership Programme for a new member of the board.
Michael Jarvis, who chairs the Awards for the organisers The Clothworkers’ Company, said:
“Now, more than ever, boards across the country are being challenged to lead their charities effectively through crisis and change. Good governance will be the key to sustainability across the third sector. We know that the spirit of learning and collaboration thrives here, which makes sharing brilliant achievements even more important. Such resources can help our colleagues across the charity community as we navigate our way through this pandemic and its aftermath, which will have an impact on society for years to come.”
The deadline for entries is 25 January 2021. Shortlisted entrants will be announced in April, with the winners revealed in May 2021. Case studies of the shortlisted charities will be featured on the Awards website and free guidance to all charitable boards is offered under the ‘Advice and Resources’ page. Big winners in the 2020 Awards included Sport 4 Life UK, the Smallwood Trust (pictured), and the Muslim Women’s Network UK.
The Charity Governance Awards are sponsored and hosted by The Clothworkers’ Company in partnership with NPC (New Philanthropy Capital), recruitment specialists Prospectus, and volunteer matching charity Reach Volunteering.
The categories explained
To enter, a charity must have been established before 31 December 2017 and be registered in the UK. Charities can submit a single entry into only one of the following categories:
- Board Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (previously Board Diversity and Inclusivity)
Janet Thorne, CEO of Reach Volunteering, explained, “The tumultuous events of the last year have really raised awareness of the importance of equity, and we are expanding this category to reflect this. Shortlisted charities from previous years have been great examples of how boards can show leadership in tackling the roots of inequity, and we want to celebrate this more fully.”
- Transforming with Digital (previously Embracing Digital)
Jessica Stockford, Associate Director of Prospectus, explained, “The past year has been brutal for the sector; for many charities, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated years of planned-for change into short months. 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.”
- COVID-19: Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk
Borge Andreassen, Managing Director of Prospectus, explained, “This award is for boards that have championed their charities’ responses to COVID-19, found opportunities and exploited them for the benefit of the communities they serve during this period of unprecedented challenges. At this time, it is important that the charity sector can find a way to collectively share and learn from one another, and we hope we can contribute to that by bringing together the most inspirational examples of effective board leadership.”
- Improving Impact (0-3 Paid Staff) and Improving Impact (4-50 Paid Staff)
Dan Corry, CEO of NPC explained, “This category is for boards that can demonstrate their role in supporting learning and improving impact. This year we have chosen to focus on those organisations with fewer resources and paid staff. These organisations are doing incredible work, and many are punching above their weight when it comes to impact. We want to shine a light on such organisations and celebrate their ability to learn and adapt.”
Main image: Smallwood Trust – winner of 2020’s Managing Turnaround category.