Governance of the Voluntary and Community Sector in 2015

15 May 2015 Denise Copeland    Last updated: 12 Jun 2015

NICVA is asking all trustees, committee members and directors of voluntary and community organisations to contribute to a new piece of research which is specifically examining governance in the Sector. 

Trustee Questionnaire

The health and well being of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland is dependent on the volunteers who give time to become members of management committees/boards. Their volunteer role is pivotal in providing the leadership and accountability for all of the work and activities undertaken by thousands of organisations. In 2003 it was estimated that some 33,000 volunteers were involved as management committee members.  It is important that this contribution is recognised, valued and supported.

Given the changes in various regulations, the establishment of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the many challenges facing organisations across the Sector, it is timely to undertake a comprehensive research project that involves asking the views of those ultimately in charge.

All trustees, committee members and directors of voluntary and community organisations are asked to take a little time to complete the survey by clicking on the link:

Closing date is Friday, 19 June 2015.

Background to the Project

The VSB Foundation has commissioned Volunteer Now Enterprises Ltd to undertake research into the Governance of the Voluntary & Community Sector in Northern Ireland. Focusing on the role of Management Committees/Trustee Boards the objective is to gain evidence that will inform the sector, funders, policy makers and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland regarding governance issues that relate to the current and future sustainability of the sector.

The last major study of the governance role of voluntary management committees in Northern Ireland was undertaken in 2003 and it is the intention of the 2015 research to:

  • Revisit the 2003 research findings of Committee Matters (an assessment of the characteristics, training needs and governance roles of voluntary management committees in Northern Ireland) and compare with what Governance of the voluntary and community sector looks like in 2015.
  • Consider if the needs of and issues facing Management Committee Members/Trustees have changed over the last decade.

The research project will include desk research; creation, dissemination and analysis of a questionnaire; focus groups with key stakeholders; and compilation of final research report. The timescale for the work is January to September 2015. An Advisory Group chaired by John Hunter (Chairperson of Corrymeela) and representation from VSB Foundation, DSD, Charity Commission for NI, NICVA, Developing Governance Group, CO3, University of Ulster, Arts Council, NI Sports Forum, Youth Council NI, Rural Community Network & Fermanagh Trust is providing support to the research project.'s picture
by Denise Copeland

Governance and Charity Advice Manager

[email protected]

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