About The Governance App

About The Governance App

How did this come about?

At DSC we’ve been helping trustees and boards for decades. We know what works (full board conversations about performance in specific areas) and what can get in the way of meaningful discussions happening (time on agendas, finding time outside of board meetings, the cost of facilitators and trainers).

We wanted to take our model of using a simple shared questionnaire to drive specific conversations about governance, combine it with the depth and detail of the Charity Governance Code and create a review process that could start outside board meetings, and which would provide targeted and easy guidance on what areas to focus on in board meetings.

So how did you get to this stage?

We started working on this project in late 2018 with funding from The Clothworkers’ Company, and then, with a clear idea of what we thought would work, secured funding from The Tudor Trust and Lloyds Bank Foundation in early 2020. The pandemic hampered our progress a bit, especially when it led to another potential funder changing their focus, but we’re launching with most of what we originally aimed for — and have plans to do much more over the next 12 months.

So what’s coming next?

There are a few bits of the current Governance App that aren’t as slick or polished as we’d like, especially the link between the results and the questions (which run on two different systems), and we definitely want to improve the way the results are viewed and what users are able to track over time.

Most importantly, we’re planning to build a data visualiser that will enable us to see and share what data The Governance App is telling us about governance in the sector overall.

While helping individual boards and trustees with their governance is a big driver for this project, what we really want to do is revolutionise how funders, infrastructure and membership organisations support governance. If we can show that, for example, health charities tend to be stronger on integrity and board effectiveness but less strong on managing risk, we can help the organisations and funders that assist them to target support much more specifically. Think less generic governance training and more targeted help in specific areas.

We have plans for all of this, with some funding conversations in progress, and everything we’ve built so far has been developed with these future enhancements in mind. If you’re interested in being part of these next steps, by all means get in touch with us!