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Welcome to the Corporate Governance for Charities and Non-Profits course where we examine good governance practice in the context of voluntary organisations in Ireland.

Course Overview

The boards and committees of voluntary and community organisations (commonly referred to as non-profits) must be able to govern effectively. The way an organisation is governed, will have a direct bearing on how it is perceived by beneficiaries, service users, donors, funders, volunteers, employees, the Media and the General Public. A subset of non-profits in Ireland are registered charities. The Charities Regulator has developed a Charities Governance Code to help charities implement good governance practices in their organisations. The standards set out in this Code, provide valuable guidance for charities and other non-profits alike. This course will examine each principle of the Charities Governance Code in turn. Templates will be provided to assist charities implementing the Code. These templates will also prove helpful to other non-profits who may be interested in aligning themselves to the Charities Governance Code.

Target Audience

This course is designed with the needs of voluntary board and committee members in mind and in particular charity trustees. It provides a practical hands-on approach to corporate governance development for board directors, charity trustees and senior managers.

Course Structure

The course is divided into nine lessons and takes approx. 4 hours to review. Participants should allow time to read through the many practical templates accompanying lessons. Course content is designed to facilitate micro-learning for the time conscious participant.

Lesson 1: Corporate Governance Framework

This lesson explains what is meant by corporate governance in a non-profit context.

Lesson 2: Charities Governance Code

The lesson introduces participants to the Charities Governance Code and outlines an approach that may be followed to by non-profit and charity boards to enable them to adhere to its principles.

Lesson 3: Advancing Charitable Purpose

This lesson shines a spotlight on the purposes for which non-profits are established and run.

Lesson 4: Behaving with Integrity

Standards that help ensure all board members behave with integrity are discussed in this lesson.

Lesson 5: Leading People

Leadership and good corporate governance go hand in hand. The standards associated with leading people in a non-profit are the focus of this lesson.

Lesson 6: Exercising Control

Understanding the systems and internal controls necessary to keep an organisation on track is at the heart of this lesson.

Lesson 7: Working Effectively

How individual non-profit board members or charity trustees work together around the board room table is explored in this lesson.

Lesson 8: Being Accountable and Transparent

This lesson focuses on the importance of transparency in a non-profit.

Lesson 9: Monitoring Governance Compliance

Special attention will be paid to the ways in which non-profits and charities can monitor their compliance with the standards set out in the Charities Governance Code.


The content provided in this elearning resource is not exhaustive and should not be construed as advice. The resource is intended to aid in the development of corporate governance knowledge by participants completing the course. If you plan to use the content and especially the templates and other sample documents accompanying this course in your organisation, please ensure that you first adapt them to suit your own requirements. No liability can be accepted for any consequences arising from the use of the content provided in this course.

Course Commencement & General Instructions

  1. Please progress through each of the lessons in the course sequentially.
  2. To move from one lesson page to another, click on the ‘Mark Complete’ button located at the end of each lesson page. Once you have clicked the ‘Mark Complete’ button, you may then progress to the next lesson in the course.
  3. Some lesson pages contain interactive resources. To open an interactive resource, click the orange ‘Launch’ button contained on the web page. Click on the ‘Next’ buttons or arrows within each interactive resource to move from one screen to the next within each of these resources.
  4. Document names in blue within a lesson or topic page denote that the document is available to download. Just click on the document name (in blue) to open it for viewing and download.