Case Study - Charities must be accountable to members

Hope Church is a registered charity with the purpose of advancing religion.  Hope Church's governing rules were drafted in 1982 and do not include any provisions requiring Hope Church to be accountable to its members. Nevertheless, Hope Church has always held an AGM at which members were free to ask questions and to vote on resolutions regarding the operation of Hope Church and regularly reported to its members. 

7 of the 8 current board members of Hope Church are members of one family.  At the recent annual general meeting, members were advised that they were not allowed to ask questions and provided with a report which did not contain any information in respect of the financial position of Hope Church.  The board advised the members that this was all they were required to do under their governing rules.

As the Hope Church's governing rules do not contain any accountability provisions, Hope Church would not be able to demonstrate compliance with Governance Standard 2 by demonstrating compliance with its governing rules.