News & Events

The board of Carmichael is recruiting 3 new board members with experience across the following areas:
  1. Governance & Risk
  2. Finance
  3. Training, Client Services and Strategy

Candidates should also have a very good understanding of and interest in the nonprofit sector.

Time Commitment

There are currently 12 members on the Board of Carmichael with six due to retire at the upcoming June AGM. As the Board is currently at its maximum number of members (12), the successful candidate for this role will be invited to join a Board committee from March 2024 with the intention of filling a Board vacancy which will be created on the Board in June. 

The board meets around 7 times a year. Board meetings are normally held online with at least two meetings per year held in-person in Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 from 5pm-7pm on a Tuesday.    

The new board member would also be required to be a member of one of the Board’s subcommittees. The estimated time commitment of the board member is 8-10 hours per month.  

The initial term of office for Carmichael Board members is 3 years, with an opportunity to serve a second 3-year term subject to Board approval.  

To apply

Apply as outlined in the role descriptions below before January 14th 2024.

  1. Board Member (Trustee & Director) with Governance and Risk Experience
  2. Board Member (Trustee & Director) with Finance Experience
  3. Board Member (Trustee & Director) with Strategy, Training and Client Services Experience

For more information on these board vacancies or Carmichael, please contact the Services Manager, Róisín McGuigan, at 

In each edition of the Governance Dilemma newsletter, we will look at a real-life challenge that a Board has faced and consider a range of responses.
This was known formerly known as Trustees’ Quandary and changed to Governance Dilemma in March 2023.

If you would like to join the mailing list, sign up here.

Read the latest dilemma here.

For an example of a previous Governance Dilemma, see below:

Governance Dilemma

Maria is the newly appointed chair of the governance and nominations committee of a mid-sized charity whose board had been stagnant for many years. When she joined last year, she was the first new director since 2014. The directors were thrilled to have her and created the committee with a view to revitalising the board. Maria’s committee undertook a major piece of work to reach out to the members of the organisation and seek nominations for the board. The Board has 12 seats, and 4 of the current Directors wish to retire from the Board which creates 4 vacancies Maria hopes to fill with new people.

Six great members have put their names forward. Maria is now worried because she hears that all six are thinking they will be elected and they can’t, it would exceed the maximum board size in the constitution.

What can Maria do to avoid alienating any enthusiastic volunteers and to get access to the inspiration and energy that all the candidates offer?

Fiona Coyle’s Response:

The composition of a board influences an organisation’s ability to thrive. Within the charity’s governance code, there is a clear emphasis on cultivating a diverse and skilled board, encompassing individuals with a broad range of backgrounds, skills, and expertise relevant to the charity’s mission and activities. This current dilemma provides an opportune moment not only to manage the influx of enthusiastic candidates but also to strategically align the organisation’s needs with the skillsets and priorities of potential board members.

If not yet undertaken, this is an opportunity for the board to consider the mix of skills, knowledge, and experience required to meet its strategic goals and address current challenges. Identifying the specific skillsets and expertise required to address these priorities.

As the person responsible, Maria should set up a formal process with the candidates, exploring their individual strengths, experiences, and areas of expertise. Through open conversations about the organisation’s needs and priorities, Maria could encourage candidates to reflect on how their skills align with the board’s objectives. Best practice dictates recruitment should not rest solely on one individual; active participation from other members of the governance and nomination committee would be recommended.

In parallel, Maria could also ask the board to explore the possibility of creating specialised roles or subcommittees that address specific organisational needs. This way, even if the board size remains constrained by the constitution, individuals with relevant skills can contribute to focused initiatives without overwhelming the existing structure. This not only retains their enthusiasm but also builds a pipeline of qualified individuals for future board positions.

This dual strategy approach would not only ensure effective governance but also makes the best use of new skillsets to move the organisation forward.

Fiona Coyle has been CEO of Mental Health Reform since 2020. She brings diverse board experience from Ireland and globally, offering valuable insights into various cultures and governance models.

Peter O’Brien’s Response: 

I think in many way this is a situation which a Board Trustees would like to find themselves in. In a world of increased governance and understanding of Trustee responsibilities, it can be difficult to get people to apply to join charity boards.

The best thing Maria can do in this situation is to have put in place a clear and rigorous process for Trustee selection. I would suggest that:

  • Maria carry out a Skills Audit of the existing Board and clearly identify gaps where Trustee expertise would be very helpful to her organisation. The Audit is a simple template completed by each Trustee to put together a clear picture of where the Board is strong and what new skills it needs from newly appointed Trustees;
  • The advertisement seeking applications to become Trustees would have highlighted the specific skillsets which this organisation was looking for. Even in a strong member organisation, I would advise advertising to attract new Trustees from outside the immediate member group;
  • Each potential applicant be offered an informed chat with Maria in advance of completing the application process where the skills which were required on the Board would be clearly outlined;
  • The interview Board agree in advance the questions which would best allow the prospective Trustees to outline how they meet the skills requirements of the Board;
  • Maria ask a Trustee from another unrelated organisation to join the Interview Board and provide an external perspective on the various candidates.

The major advantage of such a rigorous process is that most of the candidates themselves will understand where they might not meet the specific requirements of the Board at this time. Maria might consider asking the unsuccessful members if they would like to join a sub- committee of the Board to use their expertise and understand more about running the organisation. They will also have a roadmap for the type of skills which the organisation will be looking for at the next trustee selection cycle.

Peter is the Chair of the Cancer Fund for Children and a Mentor on the Carmichael Programme.

Amanda O’Sullivan’s Response:

What a fantastic position to be in regarding nominations for the positions, and it is great to have a selection of candidates with an expectation of new and varied skills and strengths that they are bringing. Maria and her committee have obviously engaged well in getting these nominations.

To progress this further and manage the expectations of the candidates a detailed job spec clearly identifying the skill set for that board whether this is business management, finance, HR, governance, risk and compliance or the industry insight.

Maria should link directly with each of the candidates so that they feel valued, and the relationship building process commences. This is an important strategy to support working with the successful and the non-successful candidates, so that their enthusiasm and skills can be harnessed. During this time the nominees should then be asked to submit a CV to assist with the selection process, encouraging them to identify the particular skills that they will bring to the Board. During this direct link Maria should clearly remind the nominees of the fact that there are a maximum of four positions available and that no other positions will be filled at this time and clarify the voting process for the candidates. This process being clearly outlined is essential to manage the candidate expectations. Maria with the Board should review and highlight the other fantastic opportunities that are available to support the work of the Board in order that the non-successful nominees could be encouraged to take up a vital position on a sub committee using their specific skill set. Following the completion of the voting process Maria should link in with the non-successful candidates to maintain that sense of value and worth and to keep open communication channels for future vacancies and opportunities.

Amanda O’Sullivan is the Chief Commissioner of Irish Girl Guides which is a non-formal education youth organisation. She is chair of the Irish Girl Guides Board and has been in this position for three years.

Charity Trustees’ Week 2022 will run from November 14th to November 18th with over 20 exciting events for Trustees.

Carmichael’s events include:

For the full schedule and booking links see:

Charity Trustees’ Week is hosted in partnership by the Charities Regulator, Boardmatch Ireland, Carmichael, Charities Institute Ireland, Dóchas, Pobal, The Wheel, and Volunteer Ireland.

Mon, 14 November 2022, 08:30am – 10:00am

Carmichael 4 Brunswick Street North D07 RHA8 Dublin 7

TU Dublin & Carmichael invites you to a discussion on How Organisational Behaviour Affects the Performance & Effectiveness of a Charity.

The impact of a charity is visible through the effectiveness of its support to the service users and their experience with the charity. Impactful charities have demonstrated their agility to respond to the needs of service users, while still effectively following good governance as per the Charities Governance Code.

In this seminar we will discuss how this agility is achieved through organisational behaviour and how this can improve organisational decision-making.

From here we will introduce the new Charity Trustee Programme (NFQ level 6). This predominantly online 1 year part-time programme has been designed in partnership by Carmichael and TU Dublin with the aim of addressing the requirement for a charity trustee to have a deep understanding of their roles and obligations.

The event will begin with teas and coffees at 8.30am and the discussion will begin at 9am.

The event is free but prior registration is required.

This event is part of #TrusteesWeekIrl. For a full schedule of events see

Charity Trustees Week 2022 (

Tue, 15 November 2022, 08:30am – 10:00am

Carmichael 4 Brunswick Street North D07 RHA8 Dublin 7

To mark the launch of his book “Governing with Purpose: How to lead a brilliant board – a guide for charity trustees”, Brian Cavanagh will be in conversation with Carmichael CEO, Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, about some of the book’s key insights and guidance for charity trustees. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is free but prior registration is required.

This event is part of #TrusteesWeekIrl. For a full schedule of events see

Charity Trustees Week 2022 (



The Good Governance Clinics have been designed to provide volunteer trustees with a relaxed and supportive space where they can freely and easily, over tea and coffee, unburden themselves of the governance related concerns and queries that have been addling and at times bewildering them.

Whilst on the other hand it is about empowering trustees to showcase and identify the good governance practices that they themselves have in place and are committed to exercising. As such, the September clinics will highlight to groups how to showcase the impact of their activities and existing good governance practices through the Good Governance Award, now in its seventh year. The Good Governance Awards (GGA) is a national initiative led by Carmichael that promotes, recognises and encourages adherence to good governance practice by nonprofits in Ireland.

The clinics will be delivered by Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, CEO of Carmichael and be an hour and a half in duration.


There are four clinics across Munster, sign up below:

Kerry: Good Governance Clinic Tickets, Wed 7 Sep 2022 at 11:30 | Eventbrite

Cork: Good Governance Clinic Tickets, Wed 7 Sep 2022 at 15:30 | Eventbrite

Clare: Good Governance Clinic Tickets, Thu 8 Sep 2022 at 11:00 | Eventbrite

Tipperary: Your Governance Quandaries addressed by the CEO of Carmichael Ireland Tickets, Thu 8 Sep 2022 at 15:00 | Eventbrite


Carmichael is delighted to announce a partnership with Ecclesiastical Insurance to provide a series of free training webinars on the theme of enterprise-wide risk management for nonprofits. Sign up here:

Risk Identification & Horizon Scanning, Sept 7 12pm-1pm

Identifying and managing the possible risks that a charity may face is a key part of effective governance. This webinar will examine multiple risk identification tools and techniques including; Bowtie, SWOT, PESTLE and Horizon Scanning.

Risk Analysis, Prioritisation and Mitigation, Sept 30 12pm-1pm

This webinar will apply a tried and tested Enterprise Risk Management process to; analysis the potential root causes and consequences, assess and prioritise and understand appropriate risk mitigation strategies in relation to the ever, evolving charity riskscape.

Risk Culture Oct 19, 12pm-1pm

Having a strong risk culture will support charities in managing risks effectively. This webinar will explore what can influence and determine a strong risk culture and the benefits and challenges a charity may face during implementation and embedding and how to overcome these.

Reputational Risk, Nov 2 12pm-1pm

Protecting and improving a charities reputation is of great importance, this webinar will set out to provide an understanding of Reputational Risk versus Reputational Risk Management and focus on building resilience through risk management, business continuity planning and crisis response plans.

Introduction to Business Continuity Management, Nov 30 12pm-1pm

This webinar will explore the importance and benefits of Business Continuity Management, roles and responsibilities and introduce the various stages of an effective Business Continuity Management Programme.

Business Continuity Management – Undertaking A Business Impact Analysis, Jan 18 12pm-1pm

The webinar will primarily set out to demonstrate how to successfully undertake a Business Impact Analysis in order to understand a charities Critical Services to respond effectively in the event of a material disruption.

Building A Resilient Business Continuity Management Plan, Feb 1 12pm-1pm

This webinar will help charities to prepare for a rapid response and coordinated recovery in the face of a material disruption, examining a template and contents of a tried and tested effective Business Continuity Management Plan.

Partnerships, Mergers & Due Diligence, Feb 22 12pm-1pm

Collaborating with other charities and organisations can bring material benefits to both parties and importantly to beneficiaries. This webinar will include exploration of tool, techniques and top tips to undertake due diligence activity effectively.

This programme is being delivered in partnership with Ecclesiastical.

Carmichael is delivering free workshops for Board Members, Directors, Trustees, CEOs, Managers and anyone else involved in the preparation of Annual Reports for a nonprofit. This includes Companies Limited by Guarantee, Registered Charities, Unincorporated bodies, Social Enterprises and Sports Organisations. Each workshop covers the basics of what is required in an annual report and then focuses on how to use the annual report as a way of showing the public, your members and funders how good your organisation is. These workshops are aimed at smaller charities (annual income of less than €250,000) and, particularly, at charities with income of less than €50,000. Workshops will be delivered over Zoom. Email for more information. Sign up for a workshop here.

This programme is kindly sponsored by the Community Foundation for Ireland and Pobal.