M – O

Mainstreaming The process of transferring policy, good practice or activity from area-based initiatives or special programmes into the core of mainstream service provision.
Management Committee The term used for the group of people who have responsibility for decisions made and actions taken by a voluntary organisation or community group. It may also be called an executive committee, council of management or board of management. If the organisation is a charity the management committee members may also be charity trustees. In membership organisations the management committee is usually elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting.
Management Systems The systems that management put in place in order to carry on business efficiently, ensure the observation of management policies, safeguard organisational assets and secure the completeness and accuracy of records. These may cover anything from financial practices to staff accountability and use of equipment.
Of these controls, those regarding finance are most frequently in the spotlight, often because they have been ignored or circumvented! However, other systems – such as those governing supervision, authorisation and approval of projects, safety or allocation of staff duties – may prove just as essential to the health of the organisation.
Memorandum and Articles of Association (Known as Mem and Arts) and is the governing document for a Company Limited by Guarantee. It consists of 2 parts.
The Memorandum sets out:

  • the company’s name;
  • where the registered office of the company is situated; and
  • what it will do (its objects).

The Articles of Association set out the rules for the running of the company’s internal affairs.

Milestone A well-defined and significant step towards achieving a target, output, outcome or impact, allowing one to track progress.
Minutes A record of what has happened at a meeting. For meetings that have a legal status, the minutes are a legal record of the meeting. Minutes are an invaluable source of information for those at the meeting as well as for those who could not make the meeting.
Mission The purpose and values of an organisation – usually described in a ‘mission statement’
Mission Drift Any loss of focus on charitable objectives as laid down in the governing document.
Mission Statement A brief statement of an organisation’s purpose and values – the reason why it exists. The mission does not say much about what an organisation will do, or how or when it will do it but does contain a long-term statement of intent deriving from the vision that originally inspired the organisation.
Monitoring Collecting and recording information in a routine and systematic way to check progress against plans and enable evaluation.  Monitoring and evaluation work hand-in-hand but you also need to distinguish between them. Monitoring is about collecting information systematically and routinely that will help you answer questions about your project. It is important that this information is collected in a planned, organised and routine way. You can use this information to report on your project and to help you evaluate its effectiveness. The information might be about activities or services, your users, or about outside factors affecting your organisation or project. Monitoring information is collected at specific times: daily, monthly or quarterly.
Motor Insurance Insurance to cover risks arising from operating motor vehicles. Where a charity owns or operates motor vehicles, the trustees must comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Acts, which make it compulsory to have insurance against third party injury and property damage.  If trustees, employees or volunteers are using their own vehicles for the purposes of the charity or on the business of the charity, the trustees must ensure that the insurance held by the owner of the vehicle extends to such use. Any additional premiums incurred in this respect may be met from the income of the charity. There are special requirements in respect of minibuses used to transport people on a hire or reward basis and the charity’s insurers should be able to advise the trustees on these.
Mutuals A mutual enterprise is an autonomous association of persons (legal entities or natural persons) united voluntarily, whose primary purpose is to satisfy their common needs and not to make profits or provide a return on capital. It is managed according to solidarity principles between members who participate in the corporate governance. It is therefore accountable to those whose needs it is created to serve (EC).



National Occupational Standards The levels of performance which people working in a particular occupation are expected to demonstrate
Net Current Assets Current Assets less Current Liabilities
Net Profit Net profit refers to profit (surplus) after deduction of all operating expenses, notably after deduction of fixed costs or fixed overheads.
Networking Networking is the important business of making informal contacts, chatting, and picking up further contacts. It is the way to learn:

• What issues people consider important.

• The sort of ideas and language they find familiar.

• Who are the key people and organisations — the stakeholders.

Networking is important before other more formal information-giving like producing leaflets, staging exhibitions and holding meetings.

NGO Non Government Organisation is a term often used for charities and social benefit organisations
Nolan Committee The Standards in Public Life is a House of Commons Committee set up in 1994 with Lord Nolan as its first Chair. The Committee was set up with the following terms of reference:
“To examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life.
For these purposes, public office should include: Ministers, civil servants and advisers; Members of Parliament and UK Members of the European Parliament; Members and senior officers of all non-departmental public bodies and of national health service bodies; non-ministerial office holders; members and other senior officers of other bodies discharging publicly-funded functions; and elected members and senior officers of local authorities”.
Nominee An individual or corporate body, normally appointed by the charity trustees, whose function is to hold the legal title to the charity’s property or investments on behalf of the charity trustees. Nominees have no role as such in the charity’s management. They must act on the instructions of the charity trustees, unless they are told to do something which is in breach of trust.
Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) NDPB – A non-departmental public body (or ‘quango’) that operates independently of Ministers, although Ministers have ultimate responsibility. There are 2 main types of NDPB: executive NDPBs, which carry out administrative, regulatory, executive or commercials functions, and advisory NDPBs, which provide independent, expert advise to Ministers.
Not for Profit/Non Profit Distributing A non-profit institution is defined as a legal or social entity created for the purpose of producing goods and services whose status does not permit them to be a source of income, profit or other financial gains for the units that establish, control or finance them


Objectives The areas of activity or overall practical steps a project or organisation plans to accomplish its aims.
Objects The objects of a voluntary or community organisation are contained within its governing document and are a legal statement of the purpose of the organisation.
Organisational Chart A chart that describes in diagrammatic form the structure of the organisation. It is the framework which explains the communication pattern, process and the linking mechanisms between the various roles within the organisation. It explains how the organisation is co-ordinated and how individual departments relate. Formal structures are often based on specific tasks and it is how these tasks are allocated and the authority which they carry, which are explained by the organisational structure.
Organisational Development Development and reinforcement of organisational strategies, structures and processes for improving an organisation’s effectiveness.
OSCR Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is the principal charity regulation body in Scotland.
Outcomes The changes, benefits, learning or other effects that result from what the project or organisation makes, offers or provides.
Outputs The products, services or facilities a project or organisation offers or provides to its users.
Overhead Expenses which are not attributed to any one single part of the organisations activities
Ownership The stake that people have in an idea, a project or an organisation is fundamental to their commitment.