Best Year Yet for Charity Board Volunteering
There has been a surge of interest in people volunteering to become trustees on the boards of Irish charities, according to Boardmatch Ireland, the only Irish charity that specialises in not-for-profit board recruitment. Boardmatch has seen a 50% year on year increase in applications for Board roles since March and had over 1,100 new candidates register, with more charities than ever registering Board vacancies on Boardmatch’s free matching website.
Since its inception 15 years ago, the organisation has successfully placed over 2,800 individuals in essential roles as Trustees of charity boards.
The charity and not-for-profit sector play a crucial role in Ireland, providing a wide range of services in areas such as healthcare, education and social support, in many cases supporting the most vulnerable in society. There are over 10,000 charities registered in Ireland, many delivering Exchequer money to support those in need of these services and the impact of the charity sector has been valued at over €24 billion (CRA, 2018 Indecon Economic Impact report).
Minister Heather Humphries, Department of Rural and Community Development, said, “I am delighted, through my Department’s Scheme to Support and Strengthen Volunteering, to provide year on year funding to support Boardmatch. 15 years is a great achievement for Boardmatch, and the recent challenges that COVID-19 has brought to the sector have shown just how resilient our volunteers and volunteer organisations are. I would encourage you all to contact Boardmatch if you are interested in volunteering your skills or if your organisation has a board vacancy to be filled. I would like to wish you all in Boardmatch a very happy birthday, enjoy the week and keep safe and well.”
“Volunteering for a Trustee role on a charity board is a great way to give back to your community and benefits both the individual and the charity,” explains Gaby Murphy, Interim CEO of Boardmatch Ireland. “We have heard repeatedly from organisations what huge value trustees bring to an organisation and how board leadership is strengthened by having a wide mix of skills and experience. Equally rewarding is the personal experience for those who volunteer as it can be a great way to build new skills, develop new networks and gain experience of operating at a strategic level in an organisation.”
“Remote working and attending board meetings online have opened up opportunities to a wider spread of candidates from a location point of view, but also the time commitment to attend meetings online is seen as more manageable for would-be Board volunteers,” commented Hannah Coleman, who manages Boardmatch’s free on line matching service.