Charity Governance Needs Young People – Study
Thursday, 25th November 2010 at 9:57 am
Young people are currently very under-represented in charity governance, according to nfpSynergy – a research consultancy dedicated to the Not for Profit sector in the UK.
In it's latest research report called Young People in Governance, nfpSynergy says few young people are currently being given the opportunity to get involved in governance, yet young people have much to offer.
It says they can bring a fresh perspective, energy and dynamism, and a closeness to service users and organisations need to recognise that young people have something unique and valuable to bring to governance.
The report says clarifying the key aims for involving young people in governance is a crucial first step and there is no one-size fits all model when it comes to engaging young people in governance.
A variety of mechanisms for involving young people are currently in place among youth charities- for example, boards composed solely of young people, advisory boards, consultation among young people on papers presented to the board.
The report says support is key for young people in governance roles- whether in the form of a mentor, a project worker or member of staff charged with the role, or other trustees- it will help to ensure that young people are able to make a meaningful contribution to governance and deal with the responsibilities a governance role entails.
As well, it says the organisational change involved in starting to engage young people in governance must be carefully managed. Key drivers for organisational change include getting senior buy-in for young people's involvement, embedding their involvement in organisational policy, having an internal champion who can give more attention to the work, and communicating and demonstrating the impact young people can have through their involvement.
The report warns that young people's participation can easily become 'tokenistic' without adequate support, or in situations where the aims of involving young people or their particular roles are not clear.