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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Research project will focus on trustee roles

A new research project has launched to gauge the governance of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.

The VSB Foundation has commissioned Volunteer Now Enterprises Ltd to undertake the research project to gather information and evidence on the role of management committees/trustee boards who are pivotal in providing leadership for Northern Ireland’s voluntary and community organisations.

It is hoped the research can be used to 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 project is seeking to gather the views of voluntary and community organisations as well as, more specifically, the views of committee members/trustees. If you would like to take part in the research project, please complete one of the following surveys, as appropriate to your role, by clicking on the links below. 

  1. Trustee survey - to be completed by committee members/trustees. The closing date for this survey is 5 June 2015.   
  2. Organisation survey – to be completed on behalf of the organisation as a whole, ideally by the person who deals most with the management committee. The closing date for this survey is 19 June 2015.  

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 a final research report. The timescale for the work is January to September 2015. 

An Advisory Group chaired by John Hunter (Chairperson of Corrymeela) with representation from VSB Foundation, DSD, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, NICVA, Developing Governance Group, CO3, University of Ulster, Arts Council, NI Sports Forum, Youth Council NI, Rural Community Network ang Fermanagh Trust is providing support to the research project.

For more background information on the research project please click on the document below:

Download Background information on trustee research survey. PDF (47.9 KB)

Download Background information on organisation research survey PDF (124.4 KB)