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Carmichael Centre Good Governance Awards for Community, Voluntary & Charitable organisations


The Community, Voluntary and Charity (CVC) sector is facing unsettled times. Public sector funding has been cut and voluntary donations are under pressure, this has been coupled with the exposure of poor practice in several leading charitable organisations. In these tough times, strong governance is more important than ever and that CVC organisations respond effectively and quickly to emerging risks to deliver their objectives.


In this challenging context, the Carmichael Centre Good Governance Awards aims to support and encourage CVC organisations in using their annual reports to manage, and communicate, their adherence to good governance more effectively and in doing so build greater trust. Governance extends far beyond board composition and the frequency of board meetings; an organisation’s culture, people and public face and how it sets the right tone are all an integral part of governance. Good governance should be transparent and open, encouraging trust within, and of, an organisation. The CVC sector, working for the public benefit, should be in a position to demonstrate good governance.


These Awards represent a real opportunity for organisations to demonstrate transparency and trust showing how they are governed, what they have achieved, their culture and to tell their story. Many CVC organisations stop at meeting the minimum reporting requirements, rather than using the opportunity to demonstrate adherence to good governance practice and to provide a comprehensive picture of their organisation and its achievements and future plans.


Good governance matters not only because it promotes compliance with the law but also because it has a strong bearing on the organisation’s effectiveness in achieving its mission. Good governance in CVC organisations is at the heart of what makes CVC organisations successful. By focusing on the information that CVC organisations make available through their annual reports and accounts, these awards also underlines the important connection between good governance and accountability.


In terms of upholding the precious reputation of the CVC sector, being seen to adhere to good governance principles is no less important than the good governance itself. Not only do many CVC organisations resource their work directly through voluntary donations and volunteers’ time, many organisations in the sector benefit from indirect public support through the legal and fiscal privileges charity status confers. So what CVC organisations tell us in their annual reports, matters!




The Carmichael Centre Good Governance awards will initially focus on the annual reports of CVC organisations, looking at how the annual report demonstrates adherence to good governance practice. The Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable organisations will provide the framework to assessing and evaluating adherence to good governance practice.


A panel of judges with appropriate experience and expertise has been established to adjudicate shortlisted entries received and select the winners of the different award categories. There will be a good governance awards for the best volunteer only (Type A) organisation, small (Type B) and larger (Type C) organisation (as defined and described in the Governance Code). The Award for Type C organisations will be further sub-divided into organisations with an annual turnover of less than €500K and those with a turnover of more than €500K. Organisations will be able to self-nominate or be nominated by others. Entry will be easy and those being nominated only need to submit their most recent annual directors’ report and financial statements (2015/16).


A dedicated website will act a central hub for this initiative. It will contain the entry criteria and categories, the panel of judges and guidance on how to take part in this important initiative.


Award Night


It is proposed that the winners would receive their award at a special event with invited guests which would also feature a high profile speaker. The Awards event will take place on the evening on the 18th of October in Dublin.


Award Supporters


The Carmichael Centre is delighted to work with a number of other organisations who endorse the aims of the awards and are willing to contribute to the effort in establishing and promoting the Good Governance awards. Our charity supporters are; The Wheel, Volunteer Ireland and & Irish Charities Tax Reform (ICTR), while corporate supporters are Davy, Mazars Ireland and MHC.  


Panel of Judges

  • Dr Oonagh Breen, Senior Lecturer, Law Department, UCD (expert in the legal regulation and governance of charitable organisations co-author with Philip Smith of “Law of Charities in Ireland” Bloomsbury, Nov 2015)

  • Ian Brady, Head of Davy Charities and Not for Profit Group

  • Tom Costello, Board member of the CRA, Chair of Children’s Rights Alliance and former Programme Executive with Atlantic Philanthropies

  • Caitríona Fottrell, Vice President Ireland Funds

  • Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel

  • Penelope Kenny, Chartered Accountant, Director of ArtsGovernance and former chair of the Leinster Society of Chartered Accountants Published Accounts Award.

  • Patricia Quinn, Managing Director, Benefacts

  • Geraldine Sheehan, Manager Kerry Volunteer Centre (nominated by Volunteer Ireland)

  • Kevin Smyth, Chair of Carmichael Centre.


Each award panel would consist of 3 judges and would select the winner for that particular award categories. There will be a maximum of 5 shortlisted in each category.




Nominations will close on the 16th September, the adjudication process will be completed by mid-October with the Awards Ceremony on the 18th of October.


For more information on the Good Governance Awards, please contact Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí CEO Carmichael Centre on 087 249 0704 or email





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