Millbrae, Carndonagh, Co Donegal F93 WY07

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Spraoi agus Spórt in Carndonagh have won a national award for good governance. “The Good Governance Awards are tough to secure, so we are absolutely delighted,” says chairperson, Patricia Lee.

“This is a huge affirmation for all the work we put into making sure not just that we deliver great services for our community but that we run our social enterprise the right way.  Any body which receives public donations and State and charity funding has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable in how it runs its business. This award is a clear signal that we are an organisation to be trusted.”

Patricia says there is a rigorous entry and adjudication process for the Good Governance Awards. “So, you really need to demonstrate clearly how you apply high quality and robust systems of governance in your organisation. You are also competing with large national bodies, which makes our win even more significant.”

Now in its eighth year, The Good Governance Awards is an initiative that recognises and encourages adherence to good governance practice by nonprofits in Ireland. They focus on key areas like good practice in annual reports and financial statements.

The awards recognise that public trust in the not-for-profit and voluntary sector in recent years has been damaged by some high-profile cases of bad governance.  They aim to support and encourage organisations to use their annual reports to manage, and communicate, their adherence to good governance more effectively and in doing so build greater trust.

Patricia Lee says good governance is about more than a good board of directors and complying with the regulations. “It’s about the whole culture of your organisation, your staff and volunteers, your accountability to your funders and your service users. It’s also about good communication and building trust.”

The Good Governance Awards are based on the information in annual reports and financial statements. They do a desk-evaluation before they shortlist entries. Then there is a judging process for finalists in each category, depending on the size of your organisation.  Spraoi agus Spórt won in Category 3, for organisations with an annual turnover of €250k-750k.

“Our hope is that this win will encourage funders and the public to continue supporting us, and to inspire confidence in new funders to invest in our future and the future of our community,” says Patricia.