12th November 2019,Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan: Charity Trustees’ representing not-for-profit organisations, community and local development groups from across Co. Monaghan attended  the Managing Better – Support and Advice for Trustees event which took place in the Íontas Arts & Community Resource Centre, Castleblayney Co. Monaghan. Hosted by Pobal, who work on behalf of Government to support communities, the event was an important opportunity for local trustees to reflect on the key role which they play in the governance and leadership of charities in Ireland.

The event coincided with various initiatives and activities which took place nationwide as part of Charity Trustees’ Week 2019.  Almost 80 representatives from community groups attended Pobal’s ‘Managing Better – Support and Advice for Trustees’ event which was chaired by Paul Skinnader, Executive Director of Pobal. Speakers included Ita McConville, Pobal Company Secretary, Dr. Nicolas Marcoux, Senior Governance Specialist, Institute of Public Administration and Mr. Frank O’Brien, Louth Leader Partnership who shared his personal experience of joining a local Board.

Speaking about Charity Trustees’ Week and the Managing Better – Support and Advice for Trustees event, Paul Skinnader, Executive Director of Pobal said:

“Charity Trustees’ Week is an excellent opportunity to focus on the tremendous work of boards and trustees. Pobal works closely alongside board members and trustees operating across the community, voluntary and not-for-profit sector. One of the topics which is raised on a regularly basis with Pobal is the challenges for national and locally based community groups and agencies when working to ensure good organisational governance.

The purpose of the event in Monaghan is to celebrate the many achievements of trustees while also providing an opportunity to discuss existing challenges and also drawing on resources such as Pobal’s Managing Better Series of Guides which are available to inform and support Trustees”.

Also speaking at the event was Frank O’Brien, Trustee from the Louth Leadership Partnership Board. Frank shared his personal experiences of serving on a Board of Directors with delegates in attendance explaining:

“There are many positive benefits of becoming a Board member or a Charity Trustee for a not-for-profit organisation and it is important from the outset to develop a clear understanding of the functions of a Board of Directors. Charity Trustees will be expected to have a comfortable understanding of legal and statutory responsibilities of the Board and Charity Trustees Week is one of the important initiatives which highlights the many resources, training and support which is available to new and seasoned trustees.”

The ‘Managing Better Guides’, a resource available to Charity Trustees were designed and produced by Pobal to support and assist boards and committees within the community, voluntary and not-for-profit sector to achieve high standards of decision-making, accountability and transparency both in the context of the communities they seek to support, and in the context of meeting statutory and legal requirements.

Originally published in 2011, the series of three guides have been updated to reflect changes in the governance landscape. Available as an online resource from Pobal the Managing Better Guides include detailed information in regards to; good governance, financial management, and human resources. The guides also provide useful information and direction for voluntary boards and management committees who are responsible for ensuring that not-for-profit organisations deliver on their objectives, are well managed and produce positive outcomes for communities and individuals.

Pobal’s Managing Better Guides are available here