Charities Regulation

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New Charity Governance Code

Posted in Category(ies):  Charities Regulation

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New Charity Governance Code

The Charity Regulator launched a new governance code for charities last week. It sets out a basic standard made up of 6 governance principles i.e. Advancing Charitable Purpose, Behaving with Integrity, Leading People, Exercising Control, Working Effectively and being Accountable and Transparent.  There are 32 core standards outlined in putting the six principles in place with additional standards for more complex charities

On reviewing the standard it might appear detailed, however, it won’t be daunting for most well-run charities who will already have processes in place to deal most of the core standards e.g. managing conflicts of interest, financial controls and hold regular board meetings etc.

Charities will be expected to be compliant with the code from 2020 and begin reporting on their compliance in 2021 which gives organisations ample time to review and implement the code.  The Charities Regulator has wisely identified that the key to implementation is to ensure board engagement. Directors must review and approve the charities implementation, therefore by supporting its implementation, challenges can be addressed more readily. 

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Posted on Tuesday, 13 November 2018  |  By Van Geraghty   |  0 comments
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Guidance for Charities on the promotion of Political Causes

Posted in Category(ies):  Charities Regulation

 

 The Charities Regulatory Authority recently published a guide for Charities which describes the limitations of a charity’s promotion of political causes.

The guide states that the promotion of a political cause is acceptable on condition that the promotion directly relates to the advancement of the charitable purpose of the Charity.

It is recognised that on occasion, Charities need to engage in activities such as influencing policy or advocating change to legislation to support their charitable purpose. However, the promotion cannot be contrary to the charity’s constitution nor can the charity support a political candidate or a political party.

Permitted Activities

The guide provides clear examples to help Charity Trustees understand the kinds of actions that may or may not be permitted.

A political speaker at a charitable event is permitted on condition that it is the event and not the politician is being promoted.

Another example of a permitted activity is where a charity organises a march to Leinster House to encourage additional funding for integrated projects which advances the charity’s charitable funding.   This is permitted because the purpose of the march is to get more funding to promote good community relations, which in turn advances the charity’s charitable purpose.

Prohibited Activities

The guide refers to a fictional charity which provides its resources (a hall)  free-of-charge for use by a  political candidate for a fundraising event. This is not permitted because allowing a political candidate free use of the hall is not promoting the charity’s objects; and, secondly, it is conferring a private benefit to the political candidate. However, there would be no issue if the charity charged the political candidate its standard rate for hall hire, thereby raising funds for the charity.

The second example provided describes a charity which was set up for the purpose of advancing sustainability. This charity could not have campaigned for a ‘yes’ vote in respect of the 34th amendment of the Constitution, (same-sex marriage). The reason this would not have been permitted is that this activity is not directly related to the charitable purpose of the charity.

Lobbying

The guide also refers to the lobbying activities and highlights that charities need to ensure that if lobbying they need to comply with the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.

The Register of Lobbying is web-based and is maintained by the Standards Commission. Further information on the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 and the role of the Standards Commission can be found at www.lobbying.ie

 

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Posted on Wednesday, 2 May 2018  |  By Van Geraghty   |  0 comments
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