SECTION: GOVERNANCE

Trust and Transparency: Understanding the Relationship with our Stakeholders. Trust, Transparency and the Governance Code

Published: 27.05.2016 |
Last Updated: 27.05.2016
Derek
Derek
Derek O'Reilly

 Derek is Training Manager with the Carmichael Centre. He coordinates and delivers training and development programmes and customised training for boards and managers. Derek has been involved with the Governance Code Working Group since its inception and is on the Governance...

 

This year’s Wheel Conference had an impressive line-up of speakers. One of the themes of the day was Trust and Transparency: Understanding the Relationship with our Stakeholders. In 2015, a lack of trust was identified as one of the biggest challenges for the non-profit sector in both Ireland and the UK. This has improved very slightly in 2016. According to Joe Carmody from Edelman Ireland, the Edelman Global Trust Barometer indicates that trust from the general public has risen from 37% to 49% in the last year.

 

However, the need for good communications between the charity sector, its stakeholders and the wider community is still a big challenge. Susan Mitchell, Health Editor with the Sunday Business Post, came up with some disturbing reactions from people when asked recently to think of one word about the charity sector. Responses included “murky”, “mismanaged” and “defensive”. She stressed the need for the charity sector to proactively engage with the media, and use it as a tool to communicate with the public on the scope of its work.

 

John Farrelly, the new CEO of the Charities Regulatory Authority, recognises that charities are born out of the need to fill gaps. They need to be able to devote their time and energy to filling those gaps and maximising their services. Charities regulation needs to be proportionate, but has to hold charities to account. A robust and complete register will increase visibility for charities and increase public confidence in them. This will in turn enable the public to report charities that are non-compliant as well as support charities that demonstrate their transparency and accountability.

 

During the course of the day, I spent some time talking to people who visited the Governance Code stand in the exhibition area. Several people mentioned that their organisation had started the Governance Code “journey” but had put it on the back burner in the face of ongoing work to ensure compliance with the Charities Regulator, Lobbying, changes to Company Law as well as dealing with the implications of reduced funding on service delivery. The temptation to park a voluntary process such as the governance code is very understandable. I am sure most people intend to revisit the Code when the dust settles. But there is a real danger that the impetus to complete the journey will reduce with time, making it more and more difficult to take up where you have left off.

 

I would urge boards and managers to keep working on the Code to see it through to completion. It should not be seen as an extra burden on the organisation. In fact it helps to address all of the concerns outlined above. It provides the board with a neat roadmap to demonstrate that the organisation is trustworthy, transparent, accountable, fit for purpose, delivering quality services and behaving to the highest standards of integrity.

 

Here are some useful links:

 

The Governance Code

 

Are you compliant with the Governance Code or are you on the journey? This is a very useful way to check that your governance is in order. It helps you to identify any gaps that need to be filled and to demonstrate high standards of good practice to all your stakeholders.

 

See: www.governancecode.ie

 

Charities Regulation

 

The Charities Regulatory Authority ensures greater accountability and protection against abuse of charitable status. It is an offence to present your organisation as a charity if you are not registered. You also need to ensure that there is up-to-date information about your charity on the register.

 

See: www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie

 

 Lobbying Regulation

 

The Regulation of Lobbying Act has been introduced in order to provide information to the public about what constitutes lobbying, who is lobbying, who they are lobbying and what they are lobbying about. If you have not done so already, you should check if your organisation needs to register with the regulator.  

 

See: www.lobbying.ie

 

Benefacts

 

Benefacts is a new online service, aimed at making the work of Irish non-profits more visible and accessible by publishing extensive directory, governance and financial data about almost 20,000 Irish non-profits on a free public website that went live on the 18th of May 2016. Check what is says about your organisation.

 

See: www.benefacts.ie

 

Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising

 

Check if your organisation has signed up to the Guiding Principles for Fundraising. This voluntary code helps you to apply best practice to all your fundraising activity.

 

See: www.ictr.ie

 

Carmichael Centre Online Library

 

Find useful information and templates to improve the effectiveness of your organisation.

 

See: http://www.carmichaelcentre.ie/online-library

 

KnowledgeNET

 

Use KnowledgeNET to access management and governance best practice. It’s a free resource brought to you by Carmichael Centre and a host of specialist contributors.

 

See: http://knowledgenet.carmichaelcentre.ie/

 

 Many thanks to the Wheel for a great conference and expo 2016. The commitment, insights, passion and enthusiasm of so many organisations gathered together in one place serves to energise us all for the challenges ahead.

 

Derek O’Reilly

Training Manager

Carmichael Centre

26/05/16

 

SECTION 7: GOVERNANCE

Trust and Transparency: Understanding the Relationship with our Stakeholders. Trust, Transparency and the Governance Code

Published: 27.05.2016 |
Last Updated: 27.05.2016
Derek
Derek
Derek O'Reilly

 Derek is Training Manager with the Carmichael Centre. He coordinates and delivers training and development programmes and customised training for boards and managers. Derek has been involved with the Governance Code Working Group since its inception and is on the Governance...

 

This year’s Wheel Conference had an impressive line-up of speakers. One of the themes of the day was Trust and Transparency: Understanding the Relationship with our Stakeholders. In 2015, a lack of trust was identified as one of the biggest challenges for the non-profit sector in both Ireland and the UK. This has improved very slightly in 2016. According to Joe Carmody from Edelman Ireland, the Edelman Global Trust Barometer indicates that trust from the general public has risen from 37% to 49% in the last year.

 

However, the need for good communications between the charity sector, its stakeholders and the wider community is still a big challenge. Susan Mitchell, Health Editor with the Sunday Business Post, came up with some disturbing reactions from people when asked recently to think of one word about the charity sector. Responses included “murky”, “mismanaged” and “defensive”. She stressed the need for the charity sector to proactively engage with the media, and use it as a tool to communicate with the public on the scope of its work.

 

John Farrelly, the new CEO of the Charities Regulatory Authority, recognises that charities are born out of the need to fill gaps. They need to be able to devote their time and energy to filling those gaps and maximising their services. Charities regulation needs to be proportionate, but has to hold charities to account. A robust and complete register will increase visibility for charities and increase public confidence in them. This will in turn enable the public to report charities that are non-compliant as well as support charities that demonstrate their transparency and accountability.

 

During the course of the day, I spent some time talking to people who visited the Governance Code stand in the exhibition area. Several people mentioned that their organisation had started the Governance Code “journey” but had put it on the back burner in the face of ongoing work to ensure compliance with the Charities Regulator, Lobbying, changes to Company Law as well as dealing with the implications of reduced funding on service delivery. The temptation to park a voluntary process such as the governance code is very understandable. I am sure most people intend to revisit the Code when the dust settles. But there is a real danger that the impetus to complete the journey will reduce with time, making it more and more difficult to take up where you have left off.

 

I would urge boards and managers to keep working on the Code to see it through to completion. It should not be seen as an extra burden on the organisation. In fact it helps to address all of the concerns outlined above. It provides the board with a neat roadmap to demonstrate that the organisation is trustworthy, transparent, accountable, fit for purpose, delivering quality services and behaving to the highest standards of integrity.

 

Here are some useful links:

 

The Governance Code

 

Are you compliant with the Governance Code or are you on the journey? This is a very useful way to check that your governance is in order. It helps you to identify any gaps that need to be filled and to demonstrate high standards of good practice to all your stakeholders.

 

See: www.governancecode.ie

 

Charities Regulation

 

The Charities Regulatory Authority ensures greater accountability and protection against abuse of charitable status. It is an offence to present your organisation as a charity if you are not registered. You also need to ensure that there is up-to-date information about your charity on the register.

 

See: www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie

 

 Lobbying Regulation

 

The Regulation of Lobbying Act has been introduced in order to provide information to the public about what constitutes lobbying, who is lobbying, who they are lobbying and what they are lobbying about. If you have not done so already, you should check if your organisation needs to register with the regulator.  

 

See: www.lobbying.ie

 

Benefacts

 

Benefacts is a new online service, aimed at making the work of Irish non-profits more visible and accessible by publishing extensive directory, governance and financial data about almost 20,000 Irish non-profits on a free public website that went live on the 18th of May 2016. Check what is says about your organisation.

 

See: www.benefacts.ie

 

Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising

 

Check if your organisation has signed up to the Guiding Principles for Fundraising. This voluntary code helps you to apply best practice to all your fundraising activity.

 

See: www.ictr.ie

 

Carmichael Centre Online Library

 

Find useful information and templates to improve the effectiveness of your organisation.

 

See: http://www.carmichaelcentre.ie/online-library

 

KnowledgeNET

 

Use KnowledgeNET to access management and governance best practice. It’s a free resource brought to you by Carmichael Centre and a host of specialist contributors.

 

See: http://knowledgenet.carmichaelcentre.ie/

 

 Many thanks to the Wheel for a great conference and expo 2016. The commitment, insights, passion and enthusiasm of so many organisations gathered together in one place serves to energise us all for the challenges ahead.

 

Derek O’Reilly

Training Manager

Carmichael Centre

26/05/16