Principle 1 - Roles and responsibilities

Principle 1 - Roles and responsibilities

Gifts and Hospitality

Organisations need to agree in advance whether or not it is acceptable for members of the management committee/board, staff or volunteers to receive gifts from services users, suppliers, customers or anyone else connected with the work of the organisation.

In general it may be allowable to receive a one off token gift but where something of more value or a regular gift it may be unacceptable. The key issue is to ensure this is agreed in advance and that everyone is clear about the rules, which are in place.


Behaving with integrity as a management committee member is vital.  As a member of the committee you are a steward of the assets of the organisation and accountable for the activities of the organisation.  As part of your leadership role, you need to set a standard for conduct which can be mirrored throughout the organisation. Failure to act with integrity will have major, damaging implications for the reputation of the organisation you lead.


The Management Committee is ultimately accountable for the organisation.  They are therefore responsible or liable for the consequences of actions taken or not taken by the organisation, its staff or volunteers and other Management Committee members. 

What this means is that the Management Committee may be held responsible for making good any loss or damage (financial or otherwise) to the organisation or to third parties and may be held personally responsible, where relevant. 

Sub committees

Sub-committees are set up so that a small group of management committee members (and sometimes co-opted experts) may focus in detail on a particular issue. This allows the management committee to ensure that sufficient attention is being paid to the detail of specific issues without one topic dominating the committee agenda at every meeting. An example of this may be a sub-committee dealing with finance and personnel, fundraising or a specific project such as a new building or a merger.


Management Committees need to develop organisational policies in order to implement the strategic aims and priorities of the organisation.

Policies provide guidance so that each time a question arises about how to implement a broad decision, there are some parameters to inform the response. Policy guidelines articulate how an organisation's overall mission and aspirations are to be pursued.


During the current COVID-19 emergency, charity trustees are having to cope with serious financial challenges that will have a major effect on their charities and those who depend on them.  Many charities are facing the double challenge of a sudden fall in income with an increase in demand for their services.  The Charity Commmision for Northern Ireland has prepared guidance for charity trustees, especially of smaller charities, who may not have access to professional financial advice.


Members of the Management Committee of are equally  responsible in law for the actions and decisions of the committee.  They are responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with the law in all aspects of its work, this may include a wide range of activities from finance to service delivery aspects such as insurance, food hygiene or child protection.  There is a wide range of different information on the DIY Committee Guide in relation to the different aspects of legal responsibility.