The Scottish independence referendum is just over a year away and most commentators expect that, whatever the result, there will be more devolution afterwards. So charity boards in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should review the implications for UK charity governance now.
Options for governance structures include creating separate organisations in other nations, with or without cross-membership of boards, establishing subsidiary organisations, having board committees with delegated powers and having board places reserved for people from different nations.
Implications for governance processes include horizon scanning by each nation, creating separate brands, reporting separately on achievements and finances, and holding board meetings in different nations. Boards will increasingly need to embed the experience and requirements of nations into all their governance activities.
Greater independence is an opportunity to deliver services and campaigns that are even more tailored to the markets and political environment of each nation. Good preparation will allow organisations to take the greatest advantage of the inevitable changes.