Governance Frameworks

Governance  frameworks are the set of organisational  rules that  determine who has the power and control to make the major decisions of the organisation.. 


In general here are three man governance frameworks  for start up SPOs and each one is summarised below.

Board Controlled SPOs                                                                                                                                                            Board Controlled SPOs are SPOs  where the founding members (and any other members  appointed thereafter ) are consituted  as the  management committee/board tasked with managing the organisation in a way that they think best.


The beneficiaries /service users of the organisation may have some say on certain matters (depending on the constitution) but the real power and control rest with the management committeeboard.

Board controlled set ups  are  simple, effective and popular and are used by a huge number of SPOs ranging from grant making trusts to various types service delivery organisations (care homes, overseas appeal funds, churches, etc).

Open Membership Set Ups                                                                                                                                                            Open Membership set ups  are governance frameworks where the power and control of the organisation extends beyond the management committee / board to include an additional membership group who have voting rights over a number of crucial issues (e.g. remove and replace committee members, amend the  constitution , approve certain high level transactions, etc).

In return for their voting rights these members contribute in some way to the organisation usually by paying some form of membership fee /contribution, volunteering their time, or advocating on behalf of the organisation.


Many organisations with an open membership are financed and run entirely through their membership.

See two examples  below of open membership schemes in practice.


Cooperative set ups  exist whre  the SPO  is  owned and controlled by the people (and/or or  organisations)  who use their  product or services. Each user is encouraged to become a member of the organisation and participate in the  in the governance of the organisation by voting on motions, attending AGMS and putting forward their views  on matters they feel strongly about. 

As all major  decisions are taken on a `one member one vote basis`  which menscooperative set ups are a very democratic governance framework


Note: The above are the three  main  governance frameworks for start up SPOs.  However, there are a number of other  governance frameworks that exist  (e.g. group structures) and we will inform you of the ones that are relevant to your project.