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4 Jun 2024

The Role of the CEO – Online 04/06/2024

Target Audience

Directors, CEOs and key people including senior management in non-profit organisations.


A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the leader and public face of many non-profit organisations. They are the highest position of authority in the chain of command but are held accountable by the Board of Directors. The role of a CEO in a non-profit is varied and differs from the CEO of a “for profit” company. The aim of this course is to outline the specific roles and responsibilities of the CEO in a non-profit organisation.

This course will provide interactive training on the role and key responsibilities of the CEO. As the link between the governance and operational elements of the organisation, it will explore the relationships within the role such as the CEO/Board, CEO/Staff and other stakeholder relationships. It will highlight the expectations of the various stakeholders from the CEO.

It will describe the skills and characteristics required to be a successful CEO in a non-profit organisation and recognise when things can go wrong. Finally, the organisational risks and internal policy and procedures required to maintain a compliant and effective CEO position in the organisation will be outlined.


Delivered virtually via Zoom.


Marian Barnard

Marian has been on Carmichael’s panel since 2019 developing and delivering scheduled and bespoke training on governance for the not-for-profit sector. She also provides consultancy to a wide variety of not-for-profits including governance assessments, board effectiveness reviews, policy and strategy development and risk management systems.

Marian Barnard began her career in the pharmaceutical industry in quality management, where she learned early the importance of compliance and internal controls in any industry. This was compounded by 10 years as a director in her local credit union during significant and intense amendments to the prudential requirements of governance in the credit union sector (enacted into law in 2012). This provided Marian with a strong understanding of the evolution and importance of good governance in not-for-profit organisations, as well as the inevitable challenges!

Marian has continued her involvement in the credit union and as training liaison officer for the board and volunteers, she designs, delivers and co-ordinates training on governance, the role of the board, strategy, and other related topics.

In her current role as CEO of a charity, Anew Support Services, which supports pregnant women experiencing homelessness, Marian is actively involved in implementing the governance code, evaluating risk, developing, and writing strategy as well as an array of compliance requirements.

Marian served 8 years on the council of Treoir, a charity for unmarried parents, and she is Treasurer of the National Infertility Support Group (NISIG). Marian has a Masters in Cooperative and Social Enterprise, a Certificate in Charity Law, and a degree in Biochemistry.


By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the key responsibilities of a CEO in a non-profit organisation.
  • Understand the relationships between the CEO/Board, CEO/Staff and other stakeholders.
  • Evaluate the expectations of the CEO by various stakeholders.
  • Recognise the characteristics of a successful CEO and where things can go wrong.
  • Understand the organisational risks and internal policy and procedures required to maintain a compliant and effective CEO position in the organisation.

Carmichael’s Spring/Summer 2024 Scheduled Training Programme is kindly sponsored by BoardEffect.

BoardEffect is part of Diligent, the leader in modern governance. BoardEffect delivers an agile board management solution optimised for governance leaders of nonprofits, higher education institutions, community healthcare organisations, and credit unions with the right tools, analytics, and insights to drive more efficient, transparent, and secure governance.


€80Nonprofit Organisation
€70Carmichael Resident Organisation
€90Statutory Organisation
€90Corporate Organisation


It was very relaxed and discursive. The content was good and participants were open and shared their questions and perspectives.
The fact that the presenter was an experienced CEO herself - lots of very useful information from her work life.
The presenter was clearly experienced in this area.

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