Building Confidence in the Community and Voluntary Sector. A Workshop on Governance for voluntary groups
The need for good governance to protect organisations’ reputations and funding has been clearly demonstrated during the recent debate on the CRC.
To assist local community, voluntary and charity groups come to a greater awareness of the challenges of good governance a workshop will be held in The Blue Teapot Theatre, Munster Avenue on Thursday, March 27th at 5pm. There is no charge for attending.
The workshop is being hosted by the Blue Teapot Theatre with support from The Galway City Partnership and The Galway City and County Community and Voluntary Forums. It will be addressed by a speaker from the Governance Code organisation, Senan Turnbull.
The Governance Code is a standard created by the voluntary sector, for the sector, and is available free to any group which wishes to use it. Full information is available at www.governancecode.ie
It sets out, through a checklist, the range of questions any organisation should satisfy themselves about in order to have confidence in their systems and structures, policies and procedures so that that they can say they are a well-run group.
While the Code’s Working Group, which created and guides the Code, believes that the overwhelmingly majority of not-for-profit organisations are well overseen and directed by their Management/Co-Ordinating/Executive Committees/Boards there is however no official or legal Irish standard against which to judge this – except the voluntary Governance Code.
The Code welcomes the Government’s commitment to the appointment of a Charities Regulator but as this development will only impact directly on the less than 9,000 registered charities the Code will remain the only standard for the tens of thousands of groups which do not have charity numbers.
Company law, (which governs many local groups which have become companies limited by guarantee), is very narrow in its take on governance. While setting out clear standards for financial accountability nomination of directors and appointing auditors it pays no attention to good practice across a whole range of activities which impact on any organisation. The Code sets out principles, and facilitates groups’ own analysis with questions for reflection on how well they are organised and structured.
www.governanecode.ie is the source of information where the Code is explained and all key documents are available. The Working Group welcomes all contact from groups on any aspect of the Code to firstname.lastname@example.org
Since its launch in mid-2012, after almost three years in preparation, some 70 groups have indicated that they are in compliance with the Code another 240 on the journey towards compliance having adopted its Principles.
Feedback from the organisations who have complied reflect overwhelming satisfaction with the Code process. Comments include that they find it ‘being easily understood and comprehensive’ and ‘a wonderful guide as to what is necessary for good governance.
The workshop on March 27th in Munster Avenue will lend further support to organisations who wish to achieve compliance. The guest speaker will set out the principles behind the Code and will explain the process groups should go through to be compliant. There will be a question and answer session with the whole event lasting around and hour and a half.