Sign up for ourGOVERNANCE

Log in to ourGOVERNANCE


Offer extended!! – 50% discount!!! Equip yourself to be a Board member of a Non-Profit Organisation?

As part of our contribution to assisting NPO’s, who we know their budgets are under pressure, we are offering a 50% discount on the programme which is normally charged at R1200 per person. You can register for only R600. Offer valid until 31st October 2021.

ourGOVERNANCE © is an e-learning programme for governing body members of Non-Profit and social impact organisations. The objective of the programme is to provide governing body members of these organisations with the understanding, guidelines and information they need to enable them to manage their organisation, its affairs and undertakings effectively and efficiently, comply with legal and legislative requirements, and to fulfil the obligations and expectations incumbent upon them as governing body members.

The e-learning programme is grouped under four modules covering fifteen sections in total, and the registered participant has one year to complette the programme.

Module 1 – Introduction to corporate governance and the nature of the Non-Profit Organisation

Module 2 – Duties and functions of a governing body.

Module 3 – Governing Body effectiveness.

Module 4 – Statutory requirements and code of conduct.

For more information click here:

When prompted during your registration process, input the following code- at the PayFast check out:


Alternatively should you prefer to be invoiced, use the same code in the subject line and send an email to:

 Course completion flow chart.

Back to TSI

Third Sector Insights Malcolm Boyd speaking on Compliance in the ‘Third Sector’…

Third Sector Insights Malcolm Boyd speaking on Compliance in the ‘Third Sector’…

Far from boring, compliance in an association is an essential element of our existence as an association. Malcolm Boyd has developed learning insights to help association executives to fully understand and embrace their responsibilities. Malcolm also does a great job in this conversation, of demonstrating the huge economic value of associations as well as the board members, association leaders and volunteers and the work they do to add to the economic growth of a country, even though most of that value is unacknowledged and certainly not accounted for.

To listen to the podcast follow this link:

#futuresalchemist and #futurespodcast

Snapshot on ‘A crucial collaboration – The relationship between The Board Chair and CEO – Leading in a V.U.C.A world.’

TSI’s Malcolm Boyd is looking forward to and privileged to be facilitating the Institute of Directors in South Africa (IoDSA) and Third Sector Insights NPT snapshot on ‘A crucial collaboration – The relationship between The Board Chair and CEO – Leading in a V.U.C.A world.’

Please register early to avoid disappointment.

Registration closing date: 03 May 2021



So, what is governance?


There are many different definitions and forms of governance, from corporate to public governance. When it comes to non-profit governance, we are usually referring to the governing of non-profit governing bodies.

In my experience governance gets a bad rap and is viewed as a hugely complex structure. It is amazing that generally when you raise this topic in conversation you notice people’s eyes glaze over. Albeit, one can complicate this subject, my belief, however, is that the essence of governance is rather simple.

It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, and verify performance. In the case of a non-profit organisation, governance relates to consistent leadership, management, cohesive policies, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility.

Since governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented, an analysis of governance focuses on the formal and informal actors involved in decision-making and implementing the decisions made, and the formal and informal structures that have been set in place to arrive at and implement the decision/s; plus track the actual implementation of the decisions and their outcomes. It requires robust management information reporting systems (MIRS and M&E – Monitoring and Evaluation), being presented in clear dashboard format which allows for the governing body to apply their minds and  have rigorous engagement around the key strategic imperatives, pass resolutions and assign actions.

Nonprofit governance has a dual focus of achieving the organisation’s social mission and ensuring the organisation is viable. Both responsibilities relate to fiduciary responsibility that a governing body of trustees (sometimes called directors, or Governing body, or Management Committee—the terms are interchangeable) has with respect to the exercise of authority over the explicit actions the organisation takes. Public trust and accountability is an essential aspect of organisational viability so it achieves the social mission in a way that is respected by those whom the organisation serves and the society in which it is located.

Good non-profit governance is all about focusing on the processes for making and implementing decisions that will continue to advance an organisation’s principles and mission, providing strategic leadership to a non-profit organisation.

The primary functions of governance are:

  • Governance: Direction, decision making, continuity, accountability
  • Leadership: Inspiration,  empowerment – responsibility
  • Management: Effectiveness, organisation, delivery

With additional core functions as follows:

  • Outreach: scanning for trends, needs, expectations, problems
  • Stewardship: ensuring vision and evolution
  • Oversees operational structure and operations: ensuring accountability, responsibility, policy implementation, operational effectiveness, financial sustainability
  • Ambassadorial and legitimising: promotion, networking, representation
  • Self-reflection and assessment: internal reviews, trust-building

Questions governing body members should ask during their due diligence process:

  • How ethical are our current practices? (management and governing body structure, internal code of conduct, reporting and transparency, etc.)
  • How do we prove they we doing what we say we do?
  • Are we continually improving on what we do?
  • What is the role of governance in our organisation?
  • Who are we accountable to?
  • Does triple bottom line reporting (the King Report on Corporate Governance – reporting against an organisation’s perceived social, economic and environmental responsibilities) apply to us?

Governing bodies and governance.

NPOs need strong, active and committed governing bodies. Governing bodies have a critical role to ensure financial sustainability and accountability to internal and external stakeholders. Good governance protects the organisation from losing its focus. Good governing bodies protect the organisation’s values and resources. There should be clear role demarcation between CEO and governing body. Governing body members require training – a lack of skills and leadership leads to inconsistency in applying good governance principles. Good governance can be achieved through better utilisation of resources.

The application of good governance principles must be visible in the values of the organisation and in the way the organisation utilises its resources.

 Some critical questions NPOs need to ask themselves in applying good governance principles

  • Do our governance structures ensure that there is consistency in what we do and what we say we do?
  • Is there a clear understanding of the organisation’s value system?
  • What is the result and impact of our work as NPOs?
  • Fiduciary responsibilities – how are these handled?
  • Do we ensure better stakeholder participation – how to account to beneficiaries, peers and donors through better governance systems?
  • Do we have the correct governing body composition
  • Do we have an updated skills matrix?
  • Do we have a proper CEO, Chair and governing body member’s succession plan?
  • Is our strategic plan linked to our succession planning?

So, if you are currently serving on a NPO governing body, or thinking of joining one, be sure to conduct your own due diligence around the organisations governance and ask the right questions.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on should you require any further information.



Registration is open for the #ThinkGood2020: Please register now to avoid disappointment. Registration is FREE!!!!  –

The events of 2020 have irrevocably changed the way the world does business and if non-profits are to survive and thrive, they need to navigate this new reality.

To help you prepare, #ThinkGood2020 has gone virtual for the first time! Bringing you a day-long online seminar, offering 15 presentations that will be hosted by South African experts in their fields and packed with invaluable information, tips and trends. There are five topics to choose from in each session and it promises to be our best yet! From the latest in social media trends to fundraising post-Covid-19, there is something for everyone.

This year’s theme is Towards a New Horizon, reflecting our hope for and commitment to the South African non-profit sector, and those who serve it.

Looking forward to see you all there online.

CONTACT US                                                                                                               In association with     

Paarl, Cape Town 7646

Suite 283, Private Bag X22, Tygervalley, Cape Town, 7536

Cell: +27 76 186  7940


Copyright Third Sector Insights 2013