News & Events

Carmichael Good Governance Awards Winner 2022

The Good Governance Awards recognises and encourages adherence to good governance by non-profit organisations in Ireland. The awards were developed by Carmichael with the support of our partners and leading national bodies in the non-profit sector.

The winners of the Good Governance Awards 2022 were announced at our Awards Ceremony on Thursday November 17th.

Congratulations to our 7 Good Governance Awards winners!

 

Category 1: NiteLine Dublin

 

Category 2: Breaking Through CLG

 

Category 3: Mental Health Reform

 

Category 4: The Ark, Dublin

 

Category 5: Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation

 

Category 6: Barnardos Ireland

 

Category 7: Trocaire

 

We had a fantastic night. Thanks to the more than 150 attendees for being a part of it!

Carmichael Good Governance Awards for Non-Profit Organisations

The Good Governance Awards recognises and encourages adherence to good governance by nonprofit organisations in Ireland. The awards were developed by Carmichael with the support of our partners and leading national bodies in the nonprofit sector.

The winners of the Good Governance Awards 2022 will be announced at our Awards Ceremony on Thursday November 17th 18.00-20.00 at Chartered Accountants Ireland, Pearse St, Dublin 2. Book your free ticket here!

Shortlist for Category 1; for volunteer only and organisations with an annual turnover of less than €50,000

Shortlist for Category 2; for volunteer only and organisations with an annual turnover of between €50,000 and €250,000

Shortlist for Category 3; for organisations with an annual turnover of between €250,000 and €1 million

Shortlist for Category 4: for organisations with an annual turnover of between €1 million and €5 million

Shortlist for Category 5: for organisations with an annual turnover of between €5 million and €15 million

Shortlist for Category 6; for organisations with an annual turnover of between €15 million and €50 million.

Shortlist for Category 7; for organisations with an annual turnover of over €50 million.

 

The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday November 17th. Book your tickets here!

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: https://bit.ly/3TmviAQ

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

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

 

In each edition of the trustees’ quandary, we will look at a real-life challenge that a Board has faced and consider a range of responses.

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

 

For an example of a previous Trustees’ Quandary, see below:

Trustee’s Quandary 

Michael has been on the Board of a mid-sized charity (and CLG) for four years. At the beginning of his tenure, he felt meetings were collegial and friendly. Michael felt the charity was in a healthy position based on reports to the Board. He thought they were in good hands with a long-standing Chair and CEO. 

Six months ago, Michael joined the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC). In addition to Michael, there are two external members and the Board Chair who also chairs the ARC. As a member of the Committee, Michael began receiving detailed financial reports including cash flow statements which raised concerns. Upon further probing, Michael could see they were spending more than they were receiving in income. 

Michael asked the Chair of the Board who said it was a blip in their operating model, they provided services to a significant number of clients and therefore received state funding. State funding had declined over the past few years, as their contact point had changed. The Chair advised the CEO was handling the situation and it should be remedied soon. 

Two months later, at the yearly meeting between ARC and the Auditors, the auditors repeated their concern about the precarious finances of the charity. At this stage, Michael realised the reserve fund that was in place when he joined the Board was now depleted and had been used to mask the shortfall in income. The wider Board had not been informed of the previous warning from the Auditor or the use of the reserves.   

Michael is worried. He knows that he has not fulfilled his duty as a director/trustee. Michael is concerned about the solvency of the organisation and if he raises it too publicly will it damage the reputation of the organisation. What should he do? 

 Jean Callanan’s Answer 

Michael is right to be worried. A key part of the director’s responsibility is to ensure long-term financial stability, monitor the use of funds, ensure that controls are in place and discuss the organization’s financial information to ensure financial accountability. 

Three aspects of this situation are particularly worrisome: 

  1. The lack of financial data being given to the board. The board should have been receiving financial information that would have clearly shown that expenditure was exceeding income and that reserves were being depleted.  
  1. The Chair of the board should also not be Chair of the ARC 
  1. The implication that there is collusion going on between the Chair and the CEO as demonstrated by the advice from the Chair that the “CEO is handling” what the Chair calls “A blip in the operational model.” 

My advice to Michael is that he needs to start by setting up a meeting with the Chair as soon as possible to set out his concerns, and to seek agreement that full financial data will be shared at the next board meeting, and the issue of overspend versus income and depletion of reserves will be given the time needed for proper examination and discussion. There needs to be full transparency of exactly what is leading to the overspend (a phrase like “Operational blip” is not satisfactory!) and how and when the CEO and executives propose to remedy the situation. If the next board meeting is a long time ahead perhaps a special board meeting needs to be held. 

Hopefully the Chair will agree to this approach – if not Michael may have to talk to fellow directors to strengthen his hand. This is too serious to ignore, and Michael will be failing in his duties to the organisation, and as a nonexecutive director if he does so. 

The fact that the Chair of the Board is chairing the ARC, that adequate financial data is not being given to the board and the hint that there may be a degree of collusion between the Chair and the CEO makes me fear that there may be other aspects of corporate governance in this organisation  which may not be in line with best practice. I would be suggesting to Michael that he proposes to the board an external board evaluation which will audit the overall corporate governance and help the organisation to get back on track. 

Jean Callanan is a Strategic Consultant and Change Maker. She is Chair of Irish Hospice Foundation and a Director of An Bord Iascaigh Mhara. 

Donal McKenna’s Answer 

Michael needs to establish the rate at which the organisation is getting through its reserves to establish if they are insolvent. He now has a responsibility to report his findings to the rest of the board and to inform their funders of the ongoing situation.  

The next concern is that the Chair of the Board shouldn’t also be Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. If it isn’t already there, this needs to be noted in the Terms of Reference for the sub-committee. Michael now needs to contact the two external members of the sub-committee to get their take on the situation.  

It’s concerning that an ongoing financial report isn’t being presented to the Board at least 4 or 5 times a year at meetings. The Board have signed off on the Annual Financial Report without appearing to have all the information. It could be that they haven’t been given the training that they require in the roles and responsibilities of directors of a charity. However, even acting in good faith, this doesn’t absolve them of their responsibilities. You can’t make an informed decision if you don’t have all the information.  

The auditors should be getting in front of the directors at least once a year, but this hasn’t happened. If this has been actively blocked by the Chair and CEO then Michael needs to take hold of the situation and get the other directors on side, and they need to look at the process of removal of the Chair from their role as director.  

For the medium term, assuming the charity isn’t now insolvent, they need to develop a business plan to establish whether they are sustainable or not. The continuing role of the CEO in this needs to be established because the future of the organisation is under threat and has been for some time under their leadership. 

Donal McKenna is a Chair of a charity and a governance consultant in the sector. He holds a Diploma in Corporate Governance from the Corporate Governance Institute and an MBA from Trinity College Dublin. 

Anna Lee’s Answer 

This is a matter of significant concern as the company is at risk of / is trading recklessly. Michael and other Board members have had access to four sets of audited accounts that show diminishing public funding and diminishing reserves.  Auditors have brought these matters to the attention of the committee at least twice and it is unwise for the committee to ignore these concerns.  

Michael should ask the Chair to convene a special meeting to discuss finance.  If the Chair does not agree he should seek the support of other Board members to convene meeting.  The external members of the ARC should be invited to the meeting and briefed on the key agenda item. 

Michael, as the only Board member on the ARC apart from the Chair, needs to present the current concern to the Board. He may speak with the CEO or members of the finance team to fully understand the issue.  The first task is to ascertain whether the company is currently trading recklessly.  If it is, or is close to doing so, urgent action needs to be taken including getting legal and financial advice.  In this case, this should be the only item on the agenda. 

Once that key concern has been addressed, there are other issues to be tackled: 

  1. The reduction in statutory funding: what has happened; what is the relationship like with the funder, how can the Board make a plan to increase or restore state funding. It is better to articulate and address the problem than to ignore it. 
  1. The reserves: was any of the money spent from reserves actually restricted funding, if so, can it be established that this has been used for the purposes for which it was intended. 
  1. Confidence of the Board in the Chairperson and CEO: should either or both step down from their roles? The Board may wish to set up urgent task group and ask Michael to lead; they’ll need to identify key staff to assist the review and planning. 
  1. Agree broad approach to addressing the issues.  This work will require time, clear thinking, shared thinking, confidence, trust and a willingness ‘to call it’ if required. 

Lots of charities have solvency challenges at some time.  The test of the charity is how these are managed. 

Anna Lee’s work has focused on addressing poverty and social exclusion.  She currently chairs ActionAid Ireland and is a Board member of Focus Ireland and St Stephen’s Green Trust. 

 

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: https://forms.office.com/r/sNvTmKQAnX

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 opens applications for the Good Governance Awards 2022. 

 

Strong governance in the nonprofit sector is more important than ever for maintaining public trust and is essential for the sustainability of the nonprofit sector. That’s according to Carmichael, who launched the Good Governance Awards 2022 today (01.06.22).  

 

The Good Governance Awards recognise and encourage adherence to responsible governance by nonprofit organisations in Ireland. Awards are made based on the quality of an organisation’s annual report and financial statements. 

 

Commenting today (01.06.22), Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, CEO of Carmichael, said: “We are delighted to open applications for the Good Governance Awards 2022. Each year the Awards showcase the incredible work carried out by nonprofit organisations in Ireland to implement effective and transparent corporate governance policies. 

 

The awards are now in their 7th year and I am delighted to say it is going from strength to strength. We had a record number of entries last year with 124 nonprofits entering the awards from across the country and in most of the categories we are seeing the standard increasing. 

“Charities and nonprofit organisations are very dependent on public trust and support for their sustainability and survival. In recent years, a number of high-profile cases of poor governance have damaged public trust. These cases are unacceptable and are not the norm in our sector. The annual report provides a real opportunity for nonprofits to tell their story and showcase their commitment to transparency by outlining its performance, governance, culture and financials. An annual report can help to reinforce trust and strengthen relationships with stakeholders and build relationships with the public, potential donors, volunteers and supporters.” 

 

As part of the judging process for the awards, annual reports of applicants are assessed by panels of governance and accountancy experts under the following criteria: transparency, governance, performance and impact and financial information.  

 

Last year’s awardees were: Sharing Point, Volleyball Ireland, Marie Keating Foundation, Jigsaw, Central Remedial Clinic and Concern Worldwide.  

 

Mr. Ó Corrbuí added, “The Good Governance Awards raise the quality of corporate governance in the nonprofit sector by encouraging higher standards of good practice. Expert feedback is provided to all entrants on how to improve the quality of their annual reports. This helps to ensure our sector is meeting best practice and constantly reforming.” 

 

“We were delighted to have the sports organisation Volleyball Ireland as one of the  Good Governance Award winners in 2021 and this year we would encourage more entries from sporting bodies and, in particular, from smaller, volunteer-run nonprofits. The awards are open to any Irish nonprofit organisation with a social objective. This can include charities, social enterprises, unincorporated groups, sports organisations and companies limited guarantee. We welcome applications from all areas – from local sports clubs and community groups to social & health service providers and arts organisations.” 

 

How to Enter  

There are seven categories for the awards based on the annual turnover of the organisation: 

 

  • Category 1: For organisations with an annual turnover of less than €50,000 
  • Category 2: For organisations with an annual turnover of between €50,000 and €250.000. 
  • Category 3: For organisations with an annual turnover of over €250,000 and under €1 million. 
  • Category 4: For organisations with an annual turnover of over €1 million and under €5 million. 
  • Category 5: For organisations with an annual turnover of over €5 million and under €15 million 
  • Category 6: For organisations with an annual turnover of over €15 million and under €50 million 
  • Category 7: For organisations with an annual turnover of over €50 million. 

 

Details on the entry criteria and categories; the judging panel; guidance on how to enter; and other resources such as annual report templates are available at:  www.goodgovernanceawards.ie .

 

Minister Roderick O’Gorman to launch Rape Crisis Network Ireland’s ‘Breaking the Silence: Terminology Guidelines for Data Collection on Sexual Violence against Children’

Register here to watch the event. 

On Tuesday 22 February at 10am, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman will launch the Rape Crisis Network Ireland resource ‘Breaking the Silence: Terminology Guidelines for Data Collection on Sexual Violence against Children’.  The event is being hosted by Carmichael resident organisation, The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI).

 

‘With an estimated 2% conviction rate on reported Child Sexual Violence cases, making sure we can tell the child’s story, wherever they break the silence, is essential’ says Cliona Saidlear, Executive Director of RCNI, ‘All services and professionals meeting a child’s needs must be able to join up their knowledge with others’, especially when our children cannot. To do this we must develop a common language. This is what the RCNI Breaking the Silence collaborative project promises.’ 

 

The goal of a common language and the aim of creating guidelines for terminology on sexual violence against children is to enable the collection of reliable, comprehensive and comparable data across services which will improve our understanding and interagency pathways for children. Failure to use shared language risks minimising or even erasing the experience of the child.

‘Breaking the Silence’ is a collaborative project which provides child-specific terminology and definitions for some of the manifestations of the many forms of sexual violence against children that are covered by the Istanbul Convention and Irish legislation.  Now, more than ever, it is well understood that violence against children includes physical, psychological, sexual and emotional violence and it has become increasingly important that the language to describe it captures and accurately records its breadth and nuance. The terminology guide is designed to be used by Irish service providers who must be able to talk to the children and their carers, in language that is appropriate to their organisation.

 

The event will be hosted by RCNI Executive Director Clíona Saidléar and they are pleased to welcome the following speakers: 

 

Roderick O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth

 

Biljana Brankovic member of GREVIO, the independent expert body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). She has over 20 years’ experience in research, advocacy/lobbying, monitoring, shadow reporting to UN Treaty Bodies. Most of Biljana’s research/ monitoring work has been done in countries of South-Eastern Europe, including cross-cultural/comparative studies on violence against women and children, and analyses of compliance of domestic laws/policies on VAW with international standards (CEDAW, CRC, Istanbul Convention, etc).  Her research bibliography involves over 120 references, roughly half of which are related to VAW/women’s rights/child rights and she has worked for many UN agencies/international organisations or NGOs/Networks as an Independent Researcher-Consultant.

 

Niall Muldoon was appointed as Ombudsman by President Michael D Higgins on 17 February 2015. His background is as a clinical psychologist and he has worked in the area of child protection for almost 20 years. Before becoming Ombudsman for Children in 2015, he worked at the OCO as Director of Investigations, and before that he was the national clinical director of The CARI Foundation, a charity that provides therapy and support for children affected by sexual abuse.

The Irish Stammering Association (ISA) are a Carmichael resident organisation, and they are currently promoting an upcoming ‘ISA Walk and Talk’ event.

The Event 

The ‘Walk and Talk’ event is set to take place on Sunday February 20 at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

The event poses a relaxing and informal opportunity for those who stammer their family and friends, or those with an interest in stammering to walk and talk as they make their way around the relaxing and beautiful gardens.

The gardens are noted for fine plant collections holding over 15,000 plant species from a variety of habitats worldwide, for award-winning plant houses, and for an array of garden features.

They plan to visit the gardens café after the walk for refreshments. The walk is open to all ages, although children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. If you are interested in this event please register here – it is of course completely free to attend.

Who are the ISA?

The ISA are a charitable organisation providing information and support to people who stammer in Ireland. Stuttering, as it is also known, affects people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Parents, partners, friends and family can also be affected by stammering.

The ISA pride themselves as being the collective voice for a community, promoting an inclusive society that understands and accepts stammering. The core mission is raising awareness.

Indeed, The ISA are the nationally recognised organisation for people affected by stammering. They are committed to building and developing the stammering community, being the trusted source of reliable information, raising awareness and influencing policy.

They operate with five core values in mind at all times, they are; non-judgemental, person-centred, accountable, collaborative and empowerment.

Contact Details:

You can find out more details on their work here. They’re on social media, too. Check out their Facebook and Twitter here.

 

 

 

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 roisin@carmichaelireland.ie for more information. Sign up for a workshop here.

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