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Readers Blog: Charities must regain trust of the public

The results of the Charity Institute of Ireland’s ‘Charities 2037’ survey makes for both measuredly welcome and sobering reading for charities in Ireland today, writes Adi Roche

It is deeply saddening for fully regulated NGO’s to not only read of, but actually experience the decline in trust over the past number of years and we eagerly await and actively encourage further enforcement of regulation within our sector.

As a sector that contributes approximately €5bn towards society on an annual basis, we should be proud of the great record of positive change that Ireland’s charities have achieved with and for people and communities in Ireland and abroad.

However, it is deflating to read of so much uncertainty in public opinion showing no evidence of trust recovery, despite increasing regulation in the sector.

To be recognised as a charity is a great honour and privilege but also a great responsibility, which must be respected and upheld.

At Chernobyl Children International we take these responsibilities extremely seriously because of the trust donors, contributors and our volunteers place in us.

The Charity Regulator is now in place and we wholeheartedly embrace the greater transparency he is bringing to the sector and hope in time that trust will be restored. As a fully CRA compliant NGO, Chernobyl Children International have been deeply wounded by the knock-on effects from the actions of a few ‘bad eggs’ who abused the public’s trust.

Speedier implementation of the Regulator’s authority and quicker prosecution of uncompliant charities will hopefully strengthen the sector from the inside out.

I truly believe that the honesty and integrity of so many organisations, that are forces for good in our increasingly doom and gloom world, will shine through.

Irish people continue to donate above their weight and are an example to the international community for such generosity in a cynical world.

I live in hope and trust that the predictions of ‘Charities 2037’ will be proven wrong through strong governance and regulation, and that the sector will be one that the Irish people will be eminently proud of well in advance of 2037!

Adi Roche, Voluntary CEO, Chernobyl Children International

1A The Stables, Alfred St, Cork


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