The VSB Foundation as a small independent philanthropic organisation with a remit to support the voluntary and community sector was a legacy from one of the most significant organisational changes in the third sector in Northern Ireland – the 2010 merger of 9 local volunteer centres and the Volunteer Development Agency to form Volunteer Now. It was through this emotionally difficult experience, as the Brian Gibson Char of VSB commented “It was not an easy or joyous leadership role,” that the VSB Foundation Trustees expressed their interest in governance and leadership.
The VSB Foundation Trustees believe that the health and wellbeing of the voluntary and community sector is dependent on the volunteers who give time to become members of management committees. Their volunteer role is pivotal in providing the leadership and accountability for the work and activities undertaken by thousands of organisations and groups.
In 2015 the VSB Foundation commissioned Volunteer Now Enterprises to undertake research on governance with a focus of those who serve as Trustees on Management Boards/Committees. Giving Leadership Giving Time a research report was published and is available here.
A recommendation from Giving Leadership Giving Time research was an annual governance award to highlight good practice. The VSB Foundation agreed to support A Good Governance Awards programme initially for three years and are working with CO3 and Volunteer Now to deliver the awards. In 2017 Investec Wealth Management agreed to provided additional sponsorship.