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New Ethics Guide For Charities and Not-For-Profits

Ireland’s leading accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland today (Wednesday, 12 Sept 2018) announced the launch of a new Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-for-Profit Sector at its annual ‘Good Governance’ conference in Dublin. Today’s conference was attended by over 100 people working in and for the charity and not-for-profit sector including regulators, advisors, directors and leading charity representatives.

The Institute’s free guide, the first of its kind compiled in Ireland, received support from the Irish Charities Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, and will be an essential primer for anyone currently a trustee or aspiring to hold such a position in the future.

Attendees at today’s conference heard from speakers including Tom Ryan (Director General, GAA), Tom Malone (Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator), Shauna Greely (Past President, Chartered Accountants Ireland), Stephanie Manahan (CEO, CRC), and a panel of experienced leaders in the charity and not-for-profit sector.

Welcoming the launch of the Ethics Guide at today’s conference, Institute President Feargal McCormack said:

“Charities and not-for-profit organisations have a profound social and economic impact on the fabric of our lives in Ireland. For example, in relation to charities alone, according to 2018 statistics from the Irish Charity Regulator, registered Irish charities have an income of €14.5 billion, directly employ 189,000 people and are supported by 300,000 volunteers. In relation to not-for-profit organisations we only have to look to our own local communities to identify the sporting organisations, the drama societies and the many other organisations that serve to provide an important outlet or promote a cultural activity to society.

“The Irish charity and not-for-profit sector has been subject to criticism over recent years, where the failures of a few have damaged the many thousands of fine charities that adhere to high standards. Thanks to the combined efforts of trustees, volunteers, government and regulators, governance standards are improving and trust is being restored, with a renewed commitment to the highest levels of ethical behaviour.

“Chartered Accountants Ireland are proud of today’s publication and consider it an important resource upon which trustees, leaders and financial custodians can reference as an everyday tool.

Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland said:

“In order to run effectively and ethically, charities and not-for-profit organisations need the right people to step-up and become volunteer board members. It is vital for the sector that its trustees are as diverse as the organisations they manage. This involves the recruitment of trustees of all age groups, genders and backgrounds getting involved in order to refresh the membership of committees and boards of trustees.

The Irish Charities Regulator welcomed Chartered Accountants Ireland’s initiative to produce this guide aimed at encouraging and supporting current and aspiring trustees.  Tom Malone, Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator said:

“Charity trustees are the gatekeepers of governance and integrity in the sector. The clearer trustees are about their duties and the better guidance and support that they receive, the greater the sector will benefit. We believe trustees who are well-intentioned and well-informed, are key to increasing public trust and confidence in the sector.”

The Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-For-Profit Sector published by Chartered Accountants Ireland is available to download here: