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Just 69 of Ireland's 8,000 voluntary organisations have cleared governance standards

The voluntary Governance Code has seen just over 320 organisations sign up.

Image: Red charity box via Shutterstock

LESS THAN SEVENTY Irish voluntary organisations have passed tests ensuring good governance.

The Governance Code, which was launched 18 months ago, was drafted by the umbrella bodies for charities, co-operatives and voluntary organisations and community organisations, has had just over 320 organisations sign up, despite there being around 8,000 such organisations in the country.

The code is entirely voluntary and is designed to increase transparency and reassure funders.

Charity umbrella group The Wheel, one of the groups involved in drafting the code, say that the low numbers reflect the difficulty involved in getting governance in order.

Their Director of Advocacy Ivan Cooper said that the process was complicated.

“They have to methodically go through it. It’s not a check box process, it’s extremely time-consuming. It’s been a process that is ongoing.”

Cooper says that the establishment of the Charities Regulator will increase the numbers, but that even this step had caused uncertainty.

“People weren’t sure what role the regulator would play, but we hope that once the office is established, they would encourage charities to sign up to the code.”

Among the big names to have achieved compliance with the code are Beaumont Hospital, the St Vincent’s Foundation and Make-A-Wish.

Another list, which outlines the organisations that have signed up to implement the code, shows Barnados, Crosscare and the Irish Cancer Society. The Wheel themselves are on this list, something Cooper says points to the rigours involved in certification.

He adds that The Wheel is not disappointed with the uptake of the code.

“We’re happy that there is now a code.

“One of the good outcomes of recent events is increased awareness on good governance.

Charities need to remember that it is the public’s money. The public have a right to expect the highest standards.

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