The virtuous circle of good charity governance

This event was in partnership

with Carmichael

This is a recording of the webinar on the 18 November 2020


A webinar in partnership with Carmichael as part of Charity Trustees’ week in Ireland.

It is often said that good governance is essential to a successful organisation. However, for those not familiar with governance, the benefits of adhering to good governance can be hard to see and articulate. The benefits of good governance can also be obscured by media stories where governance has not prevented scandals, abuse or mismanagement.

A 'virtuous circle of good charity governance' is one tool that can help people understand the inherent value of good governance especially as to how it can enable a charity to achieve its goals. In effect, good governance should be a self-fulfilling prophecy thereby supporting a charity to deliver positive outcomes for the communities support. This session will discuss the benefits of good charity governance from the perspective of a virtuous circle that delivers for a range of stakeholders.


Our speaker was Louise Thomson, FCG.

Louise is Head of Policy (Not-for-Profit) at ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, the professional body for governance.

Louise was joined by Jillian Van Turnhout, highly experienced corporate governance consultant and Diarmaid O’Corrbui, CEO of Carmichael for a panel discussion.

Louise Thomson, FCG

Louise has extensive knowledge of governance issues garnered from her 20+-year career in the not-for-profit and public sectors, including education and the NHS, complemented by her experience as a school governor, pension and charity trustee.

Her work has covered the development of the code of governance for charities and voluntary organisations, board training, reviews and development, research into sector governance and the production of over 100 guidance notes aimed at the sector.

Jillian Van Turnhout

Jillian is a highly experienced and recognised Parliamentarian and Consultant, former Senator, Seanad Éireann, Upper House of the Irish Parliament and Vice President, EU European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), she currently advise organisations and individual clients on Corporate Governance, Public Affairs and Business Strategy.

Jillian is senior consultant leveraging decades of experience as a leader in Irish and EU politics to launch consulting firm advising organisations in the public and private sector across Governance, Compliance, Change Management, Strategic Planning, Advocacy, Executive Search, Board Training, and Board Evaluation. Client examples include: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Aidlink and the Irish Girl Guides.

  • On behalf of the Board of GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network she undertook a review of the governance and compliance issues facing the organisation. The published report recommended the orderly wind up of the organisation and transfer of crucial projects to other NGOs. The Board adopted and implemented the recommendations in full.
  • Advised Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to governance issues facing Scouting Ireland. She was appointed by the Minister in May 2018 and published a report with recommendations in the area of governance, safeguarding and compliance. The report was welcomed with a commitment to implement all recommendations

She a board member of the Arts Council and a former Chair of Early Childhood Ireland; former Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance; former Chief Commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides; and former President of the National Youth Council of Ireland. Jillian is a co-founder of the European Youth Forum.

Diarmaid O’Corrbui

Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, Carmichael CEO, has extensive experience as a board member and with working with boards and providing governance support and advice. He is a member of the Charity SORP Committee for the UK and Ireland. He is actively involved in the Good Governance Awards, Mentoring and the Board Chairs network initiatives led by Carmichael. Previously, he worked as a strategy consultant for over 25 years with Prospectus Management Consultants and Accenture working with a wide range of organisations in the public, healthcare and not-for-profit sectors on strategy, organisation structures and corporate governance.

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