How to establish Effective Governance in Your NGO


Want to learn about establishing effective governance in your Non-Government Organization (NGO) and gain knowledge on effective Governance? Let’s start with this article which will explain and elaborate on the importance and its exact implementation and details of establishing effective governance for your NGO.


The term ‘governance’ comes from the Greek verb κυβερνάω [kubernáo], meaning ‘to steerEvery institution, be it public, private, or third sector, needs governance to function and run successfully. There are formalized forms of governance, and the most formalized one is the ‘government’. NGOs also need good governance for effective functioning, growth, and sustainability. The principles of good governance hold true in the dynamic environment the NGOs face today as the issues of accountability, transparency, responsibility, disclosure practices, and organizational relationships among the board and stakeholders have come to the forefront in the case of NGOs.

It is thus advisable for NGOs to follow good governance practices, strengthen their own internal structure, avoid any crisis arising out of poor governance, and establish the public image and credibility of the organization by exhibiting transparency, accountability, and responsibility. Though there is no ‘one size fits all approach that can be taken here, a guide for NGOs to put together good governance principles into the structure and functioning is here for your use.

  1. Vision, Mission, and Objectives:

An NGO must have well-defined statements of its mission, vision, and objectives. These statements define why the NGO was started in the first place. These must be clearly defined, written, and must be revised from time to time. Known as the ‘governing documents, the mission, vision, by-laws, and objectives of the organization, these are instrumental in giving direction to the organization and form the basis of the governance. The board and the management must be involved in drafting or re-drafting these, in a participatory manner.

  • Democratic selection:

The NGO must have clearly defined and transparent policies for appointing the board of directors. They must be elected by a democratic process. Further, the selection or election of the chairperson/ president/ treasurer and others must be well-defined in the policies of the organization. This will ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in the process. Further, the basic details of the governing board must be made public on various platforms like annual reports, and websites.

  • Policies and processes for accountability of leadership:

For ensuring good governance by the organization, the NGO must ensure that the accountability of the leadership (board) is well-drafted in the policies. But this is not enough, having a policy is one thing, and having it operational is another. So, the next step is to ensure that functional systems are in place, for grievances redressal, attending to any issues, and ensure that actions are taken thereafter, are periodically analyzed, and informed to all. The Board must function to address organizational matters and should play an active role in organizational planning, financial planning, engagement with the larger society, and must involve in the constant learning process of the organization as per monitoring and evaluation of all efforts of the NGO.

  • Annual general meetings:

The annual general meetings (AGM) are very important platforms for getting all the key stakeholders together to discuss the journey so far and plan the way ahead. Various important issues like programmatic, administrative, and financial, are discussed during the AGMs. To make an AGM successful, the two key things are ensuring adequate participation and frequency of the same.

  • Decision-making systems:

The organization must define who makes the decisions, like important and strategic decisions, or routine and administrative decisions. The roles and responsibilities of the board and the management must be well defined and clearly drafted.

  • Policies for staff:

The policies and procedures must be laid down for equitable and transparent staff recruitment and compensation, employee retention, and HR policies, etc.

  • Audit:

NGOs are under the scrutiny of various regulatory bodies and whistle-blowers. Because of various reasons, and most importantly because the law mandates it, an NGO must make sure that regular audits must be done. These audits can include multiple aspects, like program audits, financial audits, and so on. These may be done by internal or external or both kinds of auditors. The regular audit is a compliance issue also, but it also gives a clear picture of the organizational health, and thus leads to the right direction, even if it means corrective action.

  • Annual reports/ newsletters/ websites:

As a measure of good governance, an NGO must ensure that all its stakeholders are much aware of the organizational plans, activities, history, and achievements. Apart from these, it must also disclose financial information, and board details in the annual reports, newsletter, and websites as well.

  • A strategic plan:

The most important point for an NGO seeking to internalize good governance practices is to have an action plan derived from the VMO (vision, mission, and objectives of the organization). The mission and vision statements hold a lot in them, all the dreams with which the organization was started. But until and unless it is articulated in the form of an actionable plan, it would not be able to guide the organization ahead, as it is too broad. Thus, the churning of ideas and thoughts, and detailed analysis, resulting in a strategic plan are of utmost importance to ensure good governance.


This article for Effective Governance and its importance to intervene at the organization level and implement those types and step in NGO which will help them to successfully deliver its activity. We may suggest you go through the overall website of World Class Blogs and Sherakat network blogs Page and gain more knowledge and learn new ideas and topics which will definitely be good for your knowledge and career to enhance and also suggest your friends, social media plate forms come and learn new topics for technology, NGOs, copywriting, freelance market places and much more. I strongly suggest you enhance and speed up your learning skills and gain new ideal knowledge which will help you in your future and career.

Good governance makes a good department and a good system, therefore, Effective Governance is more important for each section.

14 thoughts on “How to establish Effective Governance in Your NGO

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