ALONE like many charities have been on a journey of development in the area of good governance. Boardmatch have supported us and been one of our guides on this journey over the last 5 years. As a growing national charity which is determined to the respond to the growing and changing needs of older people.
It became apparent we needed to bring in specific skills at the highest level to lead the whole organisation. Prior to our engagement with Boardmatch appointments were less strategic. The professional staff of Board match helped us to identify our strengths and gaps at Board level. They then sourced for us new independent board members these candidates not only have the skills we required, they are motivated by our cause and finally Boardmatch made sure there was a perfect fit with our culture. I would personally strongly recommend the services to Boardmatch and the obvious skills and passion of their staff. Sean Moynihan
I’m the Commercial Director with AA Ireland. I decided to join the board of a charity as I was keen to give something back while also expanding my circle of contacts.I joined Stepping Stone in 2013 as a non-executive director. At the start of 2014 I took on the role of Chairman.
I’ve found it a very worthwhile experience. I’ve found myself getting more involved than expected as I quickly realised there is a real opportunity to make a difference. Homelessness is at crisis level currently so our efforts are required more than ever. I’ve found that the workings and challenges of the Stepping Stone board are similar to a commercial company’s board in many ways. We have different disciplines present and strong views are aired. We have budget challenges and legal requirements. However what’s very different is that we are dealing with real people who urgently need our help.
From a personal viewpoint, while it takes up some time, I feel my involvement has given me a real sense of fulfillment. You definitely feel you are bringing your skills to genuine use. And, as chairman, I have needed to be definite and determined in representing the charity’s agenda. You naturally get to know people from different walks of life you might not otherwise encounter. This is a real benefit of joining a charity board. It helps you learn to see things from a different perspective. John Farrell
I joined the board of Start 360 a year ago and have had great benefit from my involvement with them. I picked Start 360 because when I met the CEO Anne-Marie McClure we hit it off and I felt that I could add value for them and would learn from her. I have a long-term goal to do more work in that sector and felt that this would be a good stepping stone for me.
I really wanted to open my mind and alter my perspective as they work with people on the edge of society. It has been a brilliant experience to date. Our board is very diverse and everyone brings a different perspective. At the start it took me a while to learn about the organisation and how it worked but I have thoroughly involved attending events and meeting the staff and clients.
I have learnt lots about myself and about the sector and I feel that I’ve been able to use my connections at work and skills to add value to Start 360 without it absorbing too much of my time. The biggest difference for me has been in my perspective which I feel is now much broader. It has been of value to the bank as well as I’ve been able to support their work in the not for profit sector. I would encourage others to take the plunge, the more effort you make the more benefit you’ll take from the experience. Glynnis Hobson
I joined the Board of Women’s Aid in the summer of 2014 and it has been a very fulfilling experience to date. In addition to stretching my business skills, working with Women’s Aid has given me the opportunity to learn entirely new skills.
Our board meets quite frequently and there are sub-committee meetings too so I would recommend anyone joining a board researches the time commitment involved. I suggest you think about the time required to prepare for and attend meetings as the greater your involvement, the better your experience will be. In addition to these formal interactions there are lots of other opportunities for Directors to engage and support the staff, volunteers and service users. These include fundraising events, awareness raising campaigns, conferences etc.
It’s truly humbling to sit around a table with my fellow directors at Women’s Aid, women who have deep expertise in the field of Domestic Violence and Gender Based Violence. Although I don’t have sector expertise, my role is to bring another perspective to discussions and ensure we have a well-balanced and diverse board. Ultimately this ensures we make the best possible decisions for the service and the women we support. Linda Power
Barbara Walshe on our Free Matching Website
I first heard about Boardmatch through another organisation who had been successful in recruiting specific skills. To date, we have recruited one board director through Boardmatch and have engaged with five more candidates that are interested in working with us in a voluntary capacity. I found the Boardmatch process relatively easy, once I was familiar with it, and the staff were very helpful in guiding me through the process. Already, the people we have recruited through Boardmatch have brought new energy and skills to the organisation, people whose skills we could not afford to ‘buy-in’ so that is a big help to us.
From my experience with Boardmatch, I have learned that there are people willing to help our work and our organisation, and I found that reassuring as Chair of our Board for the past three years. We would definitely use the service again and will also recommend it to other organisations. We found the Boardmatch Ireland service fairly straight-forward, and that it was free was a great help to us as a not-for-profit organisation.Barbara Walshe
I first connected with Boardmatch in late 2015. I have always fundraised individually for various events but wanted to get involved in the charitable sector in a more consistent way. It was something I had been thinking about for a while and decided it was something I wanted to create time for – time being the main factor restricting me prior to this. In April 2016, Boardmatch connected me with a charity local to where I live and I have been an active member of the board of Sensational Kids since June 2016.
After an initial period of getting to understand the work of the charity, combined with understanding my responsibilities as a Board Member, the work of the board is well organised around a formal monthly meeting. Boardmatch also facilitated training for me around the statutory responsibilities of a Board Member and now I’m finding that the time commitment, whilst regular, is not too much of a burden.
The work of the board is very focused around enhancing the operational governance of the charity, working with the CEO to agree a 5-year roadmap for the charity and building a strong fundraising platform. I work as a Senior HR Director with a large multinational company and find that I can bring to the board a range of relevant experience from business planning, resource planning and compliance. Personally, it’s been a great learning experience so far and there is great satisfaction in seeing the results and impact of the work of the charity which provides essential services for children with learning and behavioural challenges. Maurice Kelly
Prior to using Boardmatch how had you recruited new board members?
Previously we used word of mouth and advertised in our offices and on our website. It proved successful but the calibre of candidates coming from Boardmatch has been of the highest standards and we will use this as our main recruiting tool going forward.
Were there limitations with this method?
We continue to be bound by legislation which places geographical limits on where we can attract volunteers from regardless of the medium we use. Boardmatch contains some useful area/address filtering which we have utilised in this regard.
How did you learn about Boardmatch?
We came across it when we were looking to cast our volunteer recruitment nets wider a few years ago.
Has the relationship with Boardmatch been beneficial/professional/objective/other?
Very much so; the new members of our Board have brought extensive experience and expertise to the role, thereby improving our Governance standards and the service we can offer to the communities. Tom Brady
Inez Bailey on our Premium Search Service
We started working with Boardmatch Ireland over 5 years ago, as we wanted to recruit board directors with skillsets not common amongst our members. To date we have recruited 5 candidates. These directors have brought their extensive experience in the HR, communications and financial areas to NALA – skills we wished to augment at Board level. The candidates not only had the high skill levels we were looking for, but also a desire to support our work.
Over the 5 years they have really made a difference to our charity and have learnt about the values and ethos of our work. We will continue to use Boardmatch’s services in the future, and I would definitely recommend their services to other charities seeking new directors.Inez Bailey
Ann Marie O’Neill on our Free Matching Website
I first heard of Boardmatch from the CEO of another Charity that had heard good things about them. I asked him in conversation how I could attract expertise to our new board as I had realised that we needed some specialised skill sets. He said I should try Boardmatch and, so I did. It was the best advice I have had so far on this journey to build a sustainable, transparent, and compliant Charity.
We have so far been fortunate enough to get five Directors for our board from Boardmatch. Each with a different skill set. I know that in 2017 we achieved Charitable Status, drafted, and implemented good governance policies built a new website and increased our media coverage all as a result of this. We achieved in one year what would have taken me alone probably 5 years or more.
I have learned as a result of my experience with Boardmatch, not to be afraid to reach out and that there are genuine good people out there willing to give of their time and expertise to a good cause.
I would most definitely recommend Boardmatch to other Charities and non-profit organisations. Thrombosis Ireland would not be as strong an organisation without Boardmatch.Ann Marie O'Neill