Enhancing the Governance of Charities

Posted on
14 Apr 2023
by Andrew Madden, Head of Training, Consultancy and Communications at Carmichael

The last few years have seen a real drive within the charity sector and the nonprofit sector generally, to embrace higher standards of governance and implement them accordingly.  There have always been charities which were well governed but over the years, the ones that were not drew the most attention.

The Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable organisations (CVC Code), published in 2012 was an impressive initiative by the sector to provide a governance framework for non-profit organisations to measure their governance by and to make improvements where there were gaps.  Hundreds of organisations undertook the ‘governance journey’ and many declared themselves compliant with the CVC Code every year.  The demand for training, workshops and other resources, provided by Carmichael, made it very clear that there was a strong desire amongst board members to learn as much as they could to help them rise to their governance responsibilities.

Board Members who understand what good governance is, understand that governance is their primary responsibility and act accordingly, are best placed to lead their organisation to realise its objectives: that, after all, is the point of good governance.  Well-governed organisations work to a well-resourced plan, manage risk, have good financial oversight in place. They are compliant with relevant regulations and legislation and have a board which leads the organisation with integrity, transparency and accountability.

The publication of the Charities Governance Code by the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) in 2018 set minimum standards, which everyone on the board of a registered charity, should ensure their charity meets in order to effectively manage and control the charities they serve.  The new Code was seen as another important step in in building public trust and confidence in Irish charities and Charity Trustees were expected to report on their compliance in 2021 for the first time as part of their annual reporting obligations to the CRA.  According to the CRA’s Annual Report for 2021, 69% of charities who submitted an annual report declared themselves to be in full compliance with the Charities Governance Code and the Authority also reported positive engagement by registered charities with the Charities Governance Code.

As with the CVC Code, Carmichael was at the forefront of providing training, workshops and resources to help charities with their implementation of the Code. We can see from the ongoing demand for these services, that Charity Trustees are as enthusiastic as ever to learn as much as they can and govern their charities well.

With this in mind, Carmichael, in conjunction with TU Dublin, has designed the Level 6 Certified Charity Trustee Programme which aims to provide learners with a broad understanding of the governance framework guiding organisations and an understanding of the organisational behaviours within an organisation. This will allow learners to be informed and confident in their roles.

Full details: Certified Charity Trustee Programme.

 - Andrew Madden, Head of Training, Consultancy and Communications at Carmichael.

Andrew enjoys working in the non-profit sector where he sees people motivated by a desire to make a real and positive difference. He is particularly passionate about governance in nonprofit organisations as he believes that well governed organisations are best placed to achieve and realise their own objectives to the fullest.

Andrew Madden | LinkedIn