News & Events

In developing this free handbook, Carmichael sought to reflect the principles and standards of the Charities Governance Code but it can be used by any non-profit organisation. This handbook is a template and it should be amended/tailored to reflect your own charity or other non-profit.

This unforeseen rapid pace of change requires a rapid and agile response. Charities will need to plan on how best to prepare and deal with this unprecedented crisis. The implications of difficult times, like COVID-19, will create a financial crunch and charities should now do what they can to prepare for this.

The activities and actions listed below, are a few things you may want to consider.

Ever wondered are your board meetings being executed to their full potential? Agendas and minutes of board meetings are important. Boards or committees of any size need them to put structure and discipline on meetings that may otherwise be too informal and unfocused. See attached article.

In challenging times it is important that boards maintain a proactive role in providing oversight and support to the organisation and its beneficiaries. Now is the time to think creatively about the things we CAN do rather than focusing on things that are outside our control.

As we all adjust to this new reality, we need to find new ways to connect and ensure good governance of our organisations whilst supporting the government’s public health advice. One way is to utilise video conferencing. Below is a short article by Jillian van Turnhout on how to use Zoom for Board meetings.

The position of a CEO (or Director, Manager, Co-ordinator or any other job title that may be given to the senior member of staff) in the community and voluntary sector can certainly be a tough one and a lonely one at times. If you are a nonprofit CEO feeling the pressure, have a read of this article.


Working in collaboration with Benefacts, a research project was undertaken by Carmichael to get a better sense of the general quality of annual reports in the wider charities sector.

The full report is available to download below.

Good governance involves making sure that your board is as effective as possible in providing oversight for the organisation. It is worth taking time out periodically to review/assess how you are doing and identify improvements. This can be done in different ways. Here are two templates based on the Charities Governance Code.

The first is a board health check, which can be a basis for collective discussion. The second is for each board member to assess their own performance. This can help individual board members to stand back, assess their own effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.


What are the main differences between the Charities Governance Code and the Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable (CVC) Organisations? This article explains how to transition from the CVC Code to the Charities Code. It also gives practical examples of how to start the process and meet the 2020 deadline of compliance with the Charities Governance Code.

In order for a board of directors to carry out their fiduciary duties for the organisation that they oversee, they need to be provided with a “board pack” for their board meetings which contains relevant, timely, up-to-date information in a digestible format. Expectations and accountability of boards have increased in recent years including those in the nonprofit sector. Hence, boards need to review the board reporting material they receive in their board packs to ensure that they receive the information that they require to make informed decisions.

Following their recent cross-sectorial research, new guidance for effective board reporting has been issued this year by ICSA: The Governance Institute (ICSA). Furthermore, the importance of identifying and reporting performance metrics has been recognised as a key area to be improved in board reporting and hence this is discussed below. Concentrating on the governance of nonprofit organisations in particular, we aim to benchmark the best-practice initiatives in; charity finances, regulatory requirements and performance reporting with reference to international guidance for nonprofit organisations.

Qualitative and quantitative research of Irish nonprofit organisation representatives was conducted wherein current strengths and weaknesses of board reporting were identified and investigated. The key findings from this survey, alongside the accompanying research, have been collated to create recommendations for an effective board pack compilation. Within these recommendations, there is a board pack table of contents, a board pack contents template and a practical checklist to help improve their board reporting process.