Recent Lobbying Work

We compile a monthly update for our board of directors on how we have implemented the organisation’s strategy the previous month.

We’d like to share this information openly with our members, the sector and the public. In this section below you can see the representation / lobbying activities that we delivered upon for our members and in our role as the leading voice and champion for charities, community & voluntary organisations and social enterprises. 
 

See also: Press Releases

  • Represented our members views at the pre-budget forum with the Department of Employment, Activation and Social Protection - inputted re income adequacy and financial inclusion.
     
  • Met the Secretary General of the Department of Rural & Community Development to brief him on sector development issues.
     
  • Held a meeting with Liadh Ní Riada MEP about our European Position Paper on civil society.
     
  • Agreed an innovative CSR Employee Placement programme with Medtronic to measure the “added value” of  service-providing charities.
     
  • With a Joint Working Group of The Wheel and Charities Institute, made a formal submission to Department of Finance re implementation of VAT compensation scheme.
     
  • Took part in first board meeting of Sustainable Development Goals voluntary sector / charitable organisations coalition to advance the SDGs in civil society – having been nominated to join the Coalition’s board during the summer.
     
  • Showcased our work highlighting the SDGs and community organisations (our Spark Change project) in the SDG agenda at two prestigious opportunities where we were invited to do presentations: 1) at the United National New York ‘High Level Political forum 2018’ - for a side meeting with representatives of the Japanese and Swedish governments; and 2) for a conference for Leeds & Heidelberg universities. 
  • Participated in the two-day National Economic Dialogue in Dublin castle where we called on Government to streamline compliance demands for charities and provide for the costs of compliance. We also called for Government to take action to reduce insurance premiums. Both calls were heard loud and clear (and that they were welcomed by many organisations present). Additionally, we called on Government to restore funding for community and voluntary organisations that have endured cuts since 2008 and are now facing many challenges in retaining staff and coping with increased demand for services. 
     
  • Participated in the Tusla Advisory Group on commissioning advising on same.
     
  • Met with Minister Ring at the Westport launch of the Rural Economic Plan (part of Ireland 2040 programme). Secured commitment regarding alignment of three forthcoming strategies: 1) on social and community development; 2) on social enterprise; and 3)on volunteering. The outcome of all three, if well integrated and mutually supportive will be very positive for the entire sector.
     
  • Made submission to Lobbying.ie regarding a code of practice for lobbying for charities.  
     
  • Briefed MEPs on the needs of charities and the voluntary sector (Cork).
     
  • Developed policy positions through two member-network meetings on 1) Community Services Programme (in the context of the forthcoming review) and 2) HSE-funded members (in the context of the ‘Harris Review of the role of voluntary organisations in health & social services).
     
  • We participated, as one of the campaign partners, in a press launch of the campaign being led by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) to protect the voice of civil society to lobby and be heard.
     
  • Attended the launch by the Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation on the costs of insurance and was pleased to note that seven of its ten recommendations from the ‘Alliance for Insurance Reform’ on which we represent the nonprofit sector as active members.
     
  • The member-mobilisation and engagement phase of our General Election campaign took place on 6 and 7 July. Participating members contacted their TDs to raise awareness of their issues, including compliance and funding, and to ask that party policies address these issues.
  • Special Nonprofit Sector Report published in Sunday Business Post (Jun 3) with The Wheel as partners.
     
  • Conducted a mini-member survey to establish and prioritise the issues with the greatest impact on members.
     
  • Briefed the Secretary General of the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) on Social Enterprise report (along with members of the CV Pillar).
     
  • Agreed the concept for “Reform the Electoral Acts” campaign with ICCL and others.
     
  • Joined the Steering Group of Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Coalition.
     
  • Hosted the first of our “Meet the Party Leaders” events with Labour Leader Brendan Howlin. This was hugely well received by our members.
     
  • Held a round-table discussion with CEOs of our large members to listen to their views on our advocacy and representation work.
     
  • Held lengthy briefing with the new principal officer in the Department Of Rural And Community Development, Ciara Bates.
     
  • Delivered five regional, full-day ‘lobbying skills’ training sessions in Galway, Kells, Waterford, Claremorris and Dublin as part of our member mobilisation prior to our general election programme.
     
  • Delivered paper presentation at Fair Trade International Symposium in University of Portsmouth.
  • Delivered a successful two day Summit, securing positive media coverage: interview on RTE Radio 1 Morning Ireland; coverage in the print and online editions of The Irish Times on 25 & 26 May; in the print and online editions of the Irish Examiner on 25 May; Newstalk News on 24 May and an opinion piece on TheJournal.ie on 25 May.
     
  • Worked with members to make a detailed formal submission to the Harris Review on role of community and voluntary organisations in public services. Important relationships with larger charities were significantly enhanced by the exercise.|
     
  • Represented the sector in the Insurance Alliance network, making presentation to Oireachtas sub-committee & conducting media interviews on same.
     
  • Delivered a keynote address at National Federation for Voluntary Bodies conference – cementing credibility, relevance and relationships with key section 38 and 39 charities.
     
  • Commenced round of meetings with political parties regarding charities and the sector.
     
  • Achieved success for the broader CV sector in our interventions regarding social enterprise strategy (meetings, submissions, lobbying). There will now be a consultation on it.
     
  • Position paper on the community and voluntary sector and the Future of Europe produced and sent to all MEPs, relevant government minister and public officials.
     
  • Secured media coverage to coincide with the publication of the report of the Charities Regulator's Consultative Panel on Governance on 10 May. Opinion piece by Deirdre Garvey in Irish Times (digital) and interview with Ivan Cooper on RTE Radio 1 Drivetime.
     
  • Enabling Citizens Reports: Oversaw the successful publication of three substantial reports on the second day of our summit. The reports are all concerned with addressing the barriers to participation that exist in communities and are a significant contribution to the body of knowledge and thinking available in the public domain.  
  • Briefed Labour Leader Brendan Howlin on issues facing the community and voluntary, charities and social enterprise sector.
     
  • Attended Labour Party ‘think-in’ on vision for Irish Society.
     
  • Prepared and submitted analysis of the draft Social Enterprise report to Department of Rural and Community Development.
     
  • Signed off on our input into Charity Regulator’s Report on Governance.
     
  • Convened members to agree submission to Harris review of Role of Voluntary Organisations in health services.
     
  • Took part in National Risk Assessment exercise, coordinated in the Department of the Taoiseach..
     
  • Finalised concept for our General Election members engagement campaign.
     
  • Finalised the final text for three Carnegie-funded  “Participation” reports on income adequacy, active citizenship and democratic participation; ongoing work for planned launch for the Carnegie-funded reports on the second day of conference on 25 May.
     
  • Kicked-off of our ‘Voices for Change’ project, the political campaigning support programme for our members prior to General Election.
  • Significant liaison between Social Enterprise Task Force members, key stakeholders in the community & voluntary sector and Chair/Vice Chair of our board board with regards to the emerging ‘Social Enterprise Strategy’.
     
  • Made submissions and input re finalisation of the Charities Regulatory Authority Consultative Panel on Governance report (for publication in May).
     
  • Took part in meetings of Department of Rural and Community Development’s Working Group on Local/Community Development.
     
  • Formally joined the Insurance Alliance and met Minister Michael Darcy.
     
  • Briefed two FF spokespersons regarding community and voluntary sector matters.
     
  • Held bi-lateral meeting with Department of Rural and Community Development officials and private briefing with the Principal Officer about sector-funding.
     
  • Held inaugural steering group of members engaged in Sláintecare-related representation.
  • Met with (and made submission to) Review Group appointed by Minister Harris to review role of community and voluntary sector in health/social services.
     
  • Collaborated with Dóchas and Oxfam Ireland in managing reaction in media to unfolding Oxfam UK scandal.
     
  • Finalised plan for General Election member-mobilisation campaign.
     
  • Took part in meetings of Regulator’s Panel on Governance and Department of Rural and Community Development’s Working Group on Local/Community Development.
     
  • Took part in Ciara Kelly Newstalk Lunchtime show on “challenges facing charities” and on RTE Morning Ireland report on Oxfam and implications for Irish charities.
  • Participated in launch of Insurance Reform Alliance Campaign to bring down costs of insurance, and did RTE radio interview on Today with Sean O’Rourke.
     
  • Attended meetings of Regulator’s Consultative Panel on Governance to shape Regulator’s Governance Framework.
     
  • Convened special CV Pillar meeting to consider emerging Department of Rural and Community Development Plan for Local and Community Development.
  • Published an opinion piece by Deirdre Garvey in Irish Times regarding the Electoral Acts potential to suppress the voluntary sector voice.
     
  • Hosted well-attended member-briefing in Dublin to further develop and nuance our policy positions and our actions on members behalf
     
  • Attended Central Bank forum for civil society hosted by Governor Philip Lane.
     
  • Made submission to the National Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Developmment Goals.
     
  • Delivered successful inaugural Charity Impact Awards, with 118 nominations and over 30,000 individual votes.
     
  • Secured publicity for Awards: including appearances on RTE Morning Ireland & TV3 Ireland AM as well as The Irish Times, Irish Examiner and regional media.
  • Held key consultation events with Tusla on Commissioning & Service Agreements attended by over 300 people all around Ireland.
     
  • Shaped new Department of Rural and Community Development Plan for Local and Community Development – the vehicle for key elements of Programme for Government commitment towards a Strategy to support the CV sector.
     
  • Arranged consultation with members on Regulator’s Governance Framework for Charities.
     
  • Participated in special Department of Rural and Community Development workshop to develop Strategy for Social Enterprise.
     
  • Presented at joint high-profile HSE/EPA conference on outcome of ‘Peoples Conversation’ and topic of involving citizens in design of public services.
  • Held pre-budget press briefing which secured publicity; hosted post-Budget briefing for members.
     
  • Played key role in the weeks leading up to the successful securing of a VAT Compensation Scheme for Charities. Announced in the budget, it was the culmination of a 20-year campaign fronted by Sheila Nordon & ICTR. The Wheel promoted this campaign for the last 15 years through our membership of ICTR, but in its absence over the last 10 months, was required to engage directly – and to positive effect (as per feedback from ministerial advisors).  
     
  • Actively participated in meetings of Tusla Advisory group shaping commissioning strategy & Service Agreements.
     
  • Attended Fianna Fail Ard Fheis and met relevant front bench representatives.
     
  • Briefed lead DRCA Assistant Secretary Bairbre NicAongusa about charities and the sector.
     
  • Participated in Regulator’s Consultative Panel on Governance; ‘engineered’ a semi-satisfactory outcome with regards to Charities Regulatory Authority and the Governance Code and the future existence of a CRA issued ‘Charities Governance Code’.
     
  • Met with Minister Katherine Zappone.
     
  • Collaborated with partners in a potential Alliance for Insurance Reform.
     
  • Presented on Citizen Participation and Active Citizenship at ‘Meet the Wheel’ event in Killarney
     
  • Charity Impact Awards: developed and implemented successful promotion strategy (118 entries received); Completed shortlisting.
  • Held the line on a principles-based, sector-owned Governance Code during engagements in the Charity Regulator’s Consultative Panel on Governance – a line subsequently overturned by a 10-2 vote within the panel!
     
  • Conveyed our Budget 2018 asks at pre-Budget meeting with Minister for Finance.
     
  • Commenced coordination with Minister Ring, the ‘social enterprise’ and ‘community’ strategies being developed in his new Department
     
  • Participated in All Ireland Civic Dialogue on Cross Border Health in Dundalk; and at Transparency Ireland Integrity at work Forum.
     
  • Completed detailed feedback to Tusla’s DRAFT Service Agreements.
     
  • Launched the Charity Impact Awards! Being received very well in the sector – a photo appeared in Irish Times as a result.
     
  • Were present and made excellent contacts at the National Ploughing Championships.
  • Met politicians and officials to advance objective of securing VAT-reimbursement for charities; and also the pending introduction of ‘beneficial ownership’ regulations.
     
  • Asserted thought leadership through well-received blogs on several different ‘hot topics’ of relevance to our sector.
     
  • Hosted meeting of over 100 members of our HSE network of Interest & worked with Tusla on their Commissioning plan.
     
  • Made submission to Data Protection Commissioner on GDPR and charities and met senior engagement manager.
     
  • Produced and submitted Pre-Budget Paper to Department of Finance.
     
  • Briefed new Principal Officer in new Department of Rural and Community Affairs (Jason Kearney) on the sector and the issues.
  • Received ¾ page of free editorial in Sunday Business Post collaboration on a two-page special report on the nonprofit sector.
     
  • Facilitated GDPR member information and consultation session.
     
  • Held Sector-Leaders lunchtime briefing for larger members.
     
  • Published Blogs on 1) Governance in the Sector; 2) the parts different stakeholders play in a thriving Community and Voluntary Sector; and 3) introducing The Wheel’s Strategy.
     
  • Agreed our Policy Priorities for 2017.
     
  • Participated in the two-day National Economic Dialogue, representing the sectors’ interests.
     
  • Successful Annual Conference & annual lecture held.
     
  • Signed off on commissioning of new research paper on role of the Sector in sustaining active citizenship.
  • Continued participation in Charity Regulator’s Consultative Panels on Governance and on Fundraising.
     
  • Began work as member of DHPCLG’s Cross Sectoral Group on Local and Community Development to advance coherent strategy for the sector.
     
  • Continued work as member of TUSLA’s Commissioning Advisory Group.
     
  • Attended Peace IV Monitoring Committee.
     
  • Met with Charity Regulator John Farrelly to discuss developments and plans.
     
  • Hosted well-attended Policy Update session for members.