Charities, Not for Profits and Funders- Governance culture, Values and Behaviour

This Forum event reflected on matters of ethics, governance arrangements and relationships between donors, charitable organisations and regulators against a backdrop of dented reputation and loss of trust in the charity sector. Whilst Irish charities and not for profit organisations have become preeminent actors in the life of communities, they are indeed coming under increasing scrutiny and are expected to provide a greater degree of assurance about their effectiveness and their compliance with regulatory, governance and ethical standards.

The event considered what could be done to ensure that such assurances be met, yet without impending unnecessarily on the ability of not for profit to do their valuable work. Frances McCandless, CEO of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, highlighted the key specific governance challenges she identified in many charities, in particular the higher moral standards they are subjected to and the power imbalances that are prevalent in many organisations, before outlining what has the Charity Commission done to redress these and instil good governance and ethical practices within the sector. Mr Fred Mc Bride, CEO of TUSLA, and Mr. Eifion Will, Head of Commissioning shared with the audience the view point of an institutional donor, stressing how it has embarked upon a new approach on commissioning that is centred on meaningful exchanges and engagement and aimed at clarifying the governance expectations placed upon voluntary organisations whilst re-balancing the relationships between donors and recipients. Finally, Ms Jacquie Horan, CEO of COPE Galway, a homelessness organisation, gave an impassioned plea for a greater consideration to be given by state donors to the increasing cost of governance compliance among charities and the need for state agencies to consider streamlining their reporting requirements, echoing the reference made at various occasions throughout the event to a “report once/use often” model already in use in other jurisdictions.

Please click below to access the presentation slides

Frances McCandless

Fred Mc Bride & Eifion Will

Jacquie Horan