Over 1,000 charities back voluntary governance code

Over 1,000 organisations have signed up to a voluntary governance code aimed at maintaining public trust and confidence in the charitable sector, it has emerged.

Over 1,000 charities back voluntary governance code

Drawn up by a nine-member working group drawn from across the community and voluntary sector, it was launched in March 2012. An updated version was published this month.

The Wheel, the national representative body for charities and one of the members of the working group, confirmed yesterday that 1,285 organisations had so far signed up to the code. It pointed out that 329 had completed the adoption process that can take up to two years.

The Charities Regulatory Authority is currently finalising the registration of charities, and The Wheel estimates could be in the region of 8,000.

Last September, the regulator was granted a range of new powers, including full investigative powers.

Director of public policy at The Wheel, Ivan Cooper said charities were now filing reports with the CRA that would publish fundraising guidelines and financial reporting standards early in the New Year.

“The good news is that there has been a number of very positive developments that will help to further underpin trust in the sector,” said Mr Cooper.

Meanwhile, the Central Remedial Clinic’s said its new five-year strategic plan was aimed at creating a stronger organisation with higher standards.

In November 2013, the CRC admitted using charitable funds to top up the salaries of senior staff members and the controversy led to the resignation of its board.

CRC chairperson Kieran J Timmins said yesterday it was important not to forget mistakes of the past, but it was also important to look to the future.

“By 2021, we will be a stronger and more sustainable organisation, responding to changing demands, higher standards, raised public expectations and new national policies,” he said.

CRC chief executive Stephanie Manahan said there was a great board that had worked hard to ensure they had robust governance and were “exceptionally” transparent

Ms Manahan said CRC had been commended by the charity regulator for the work done in the management of the organisation.

A central part of the strategy is the continued strengthening of the organisation’s infrastructure to meet high standards of quality in an environment of increasing regulation and higher client and public expectations.

The CRC provides services and supports to over 4,000 children and adults with disabilities and employs just over 400 staff with support from over 100 volunteers.

The HSE is the CRC’s main funder, with 95% of its services funded by the State.

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