Charities, Non-Profits and Funders – Performance, Reporting and Accountability

This Forum event was centred around the relationships between Charities, Non-Profits and Funders, more specifically around issues of performance, reporting and accountability.

Against the backdrop of significant developments in the not-for-profit governance landscape in Ireland, including the recent publication by the Charities Regulator of the first Charities Governance Code and of the Independent Review Group’ report on the role of voluntary organisations in publicly-funded health and social services, the event considered some radical and innovative ways to not only strengthen the governance of voluntary organisations but also to reset and rebalance their relationships with the State.

Ms Catherine Day, former Chair of the Independent Review Group, firstly highlighted how intertwined are both the State and the not for profit sectors in the delivery of key services and suggested that the governance of the voluntary organisation should reflect today’s society. Equally, it was pointed out that the current management by the public sector of its relationship with non-profit should evolve from a micro-managing approach to a greater focus on partnership and support, Finally, useful suggestions such as the establishment of dedicated Forum to facilitate the experimentation of new solutions or the identification of a single contact point for not profits within the public sector along the lines of the Australian Passport model could be considered. Ivan Cooper from the Wheel welcomed these suggestions when he highlighted the concerns and limitations faced by charities and voluntary organisations in delivering quality services whilst keeping their autonomy. Issues around multiplicity of reporting and the overall cost of governance compliance came to the fore as needing particular consideration from funders and public sector agencies. Finally Jerry Murphy from POBAL recognised that progressive partnerships such as those followed between his organisation and voluntary organisations in receipt of funds led to significant progress in terms of governance practices among fundees. He also advocated for the setting up of systems (such as central statistical repository) to alleviate the current pressure on local groups to provide differing sets of reports and indicators and allow them to fully concentrate on their delivery functions.

Please click below to access the presentation slides:

Ivan Cooper

Jerry Murphy