4.4 Key points from Section 4

  • Voluntary organisations are governed by a board of trustees and have a governing document (called a constitution here). Trustees have a duty to be accountable and also have legal responsibilities for their organisation. There are many reasons why people wish to be trustees, including making a difference and building their own skills and experience for working in the voluntary sector.
  • Voluntary organisations seek to make an impact through the work that they do. Being clear about impact, in addition to outputs, contributes to the organisation’s accountability. Planning impact is important, as is being able to measure it. Communicating the results of the organisation’s impact to different audiences effectively is also a key element of their work.
  • Being a good communicator is considered a key skill in many roles in the voluntary sector because of its contribution to working well with others and to accountability. People communicate through talking, listening and writing in different channels and styles and with different audiences. However, the message being conveyed may be received differently from how it was intended. Learning to listen actively is a key skill in helping the communication process and in helping others to have a voice at meetings. Meetings, which are one means of communication, are still important in organisations for reasons of accountability, consultation and communication, but they need thought and planning in order to work effectively.