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Questions you might ask yourself

  • How often do the board members engage with our work; or that of other arts organisations?

  • Does the board discuss our artistic achievements as well as our business and participation ones?

  • How does the board engage with the development and monitoring of our business plan?

What success looks like

  • The members of our governing body fully understands their roles and responsibilities and take appropriate steps to work with us and provide appropriate guidance and support.

  • Membership of our governing body is as diverse as possible.



Gain is an acronym for Governance, Access, Inclusion and Networking. It is a board development programme which aims to enrich arts, sports and heritage organisations in London. It is run by the Independent Theatre Council (ITC) and supported by Arts Council England, the MLA, Sporting Equals and Arts & Business.

  • Gain facilitates training and development for arts and sports boards, including introducing participating organisations to potential Board members who are disabled and/or from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups.


GOLD stands for Governance, Organisational and Leadership Development, and is a Cultural Leadership Programme project for board members, chief executives and staff of arts organisations, and for other arts professionals concerned with governance. The project has now finished, with some links no longer working, but a number of resources remain on the site.

Mission Models Money

Mission Models Money is an independent, sector-led initiative addressing the challenges faced by individual arts and cultural organisations and their funders in developing mission-led, organisationally and financially resilient businesses. It aims to test ideas for responding and adapting to the numerous and complex trends affecting non-profit distributing arts and cultural organisations.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is an organisation which "gives voice and support to civil society" by supporting the voluntary and community sectors with advice and information.

  • The NCVO has launched a Governance Information Centre with information on the Code of Governance, legal structures, charitable status and models of governance. This link also gives you news and links to new initiatives and resources on governance.

Policy Governance

Policy Governance, established by John Carver and Miriam Carver, aims to offer a complete theoretical foundation for boards' governance role in business, not-for-profit and government organisations.

  • Policy Governance offers a board leadership framework created by Dr. John Carver, "designed to empower boards of directors to fulfil their obligation of accountability for the organisations they govern". This link takes you to an essay describing how the model works. The site also offers publications for sale on the subject.

Proven Models

Proven Models is a database of management models grouped under headings including leadership and management, communication, strategic management, personnel management, etc. Content is free, but you can register and join the site's online community.

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is the independent regulator for charities in England and Wales. It is a comprehensive site offering legal information, advice and resources for charitable bodies of all kinds and sizes.