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Understanding Governance Standard 2: Accountability to members

This article describes Governance Standard 2 and which charities it applies to.
Man with pink jacket and woman with with t-shirt and long brown hair have backs to camera. They are looking together at financial documents with charts, and in the background are others seated and in discussion.
Governance Standard 2 only applies to charities with members (for example, incorporated associations, companies and unincorporated associations).

Other structures, such as trusts, do not have members.

Governance Standard 2 requires charities to:

  • take reasonable steps to be accountable to their members, and
  • allow their members adequate opportunities to raise concerns about how the charity is run.

Being accountable includes letting the members know about the charity’s activities and what the results of those activities are. It also includes allowing members to raise concerns and ask questions about how a charity is run.

Since the members of a charity are its ‘owners’, they are entitled to know how their charity is acting and using its resources (finances and any assets) on their behalf. By understanding their charity’s operations and finances, and by having opportunities to raise questions about its governance, this standard requires the charity to be accountable to its members.

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Governance Standards Part A: Introduction and Governance Standards 1-3

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