2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering
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Department of Rural and Community Development
The Department of Rural and Community Development is the main government department responsible for volunteering. The Department is responsible for Voluntary Organisation Funding. This includes the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO). SNNO provides funding to voluntary organisations in Ireland. Organisations that want to apply must focus on providing supports and improving the lives of disadvantaged people.
Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development organization and a support body for all local Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services in Ireland.
Volunteer Ireland's key roles are:
- To recognize, support and celebrate volunteering in Ireland in a variety of ways including major campaigns like the National Volunteering Week and the Volunteer Ireland Awards
- To advocate on behalf of volunteers and volunteer involving organisations to create the best possible environment for volunteering in Ireland.
- To manage I-VOL, the national database of Irish volunteering opportunities and listings.
- To support Volunteer Centres based in each country in Ireland
- To deliver training in best practice in volunteer management to organisations that involve volunteers
- To provide support and guidance to companies interested in volunteering.
- To develop and support best practice in volunteering and Volunteer Centres.
The Charities Regulator
The Charities Regulator (or the Charities Regulatory Authority) was established in 2014 and is the independent statutory body responsible for the registration and regulation of charities within the State. Its mission is to regulate the charity sector in the public interest to ensure compliance with charity law and support best practice in the governance and administration of charities, including those who work with volunteers.
Public Participation Network
The Public Participation Network is a network that allows local authorities to connect with community groups around the country. The Public Participation Network is the ‘go to’ for all local authorities who wish to benefit from community and voluntary expertise in their area.
Boardmatch Ireland is the national corporate governance charity in Ireland. It was set up to improve governance in the not-for-profit sector by strengthening boards and management committees, providing both services and support to not-for-profit organisations and charities to help them improve and strengthen their board composition.
It allows candidates to volunteer their time, energy and skills to the non-profit (community and voluntary sector) at a board level. The free Boardmatch service matches a candidates skills and expertise with the needs of a non-profit organisation.
Cooperation with volunteering systems of other countries
While informal, or project-based exchanges may take place, there is no official long-term cooperation established with volunteering systems of other countries in order to exchange information and identify best practices.
While Ireland does not have a national youth strategy on volunteering, there is a National Volunteering Strategy targeting the general population. This Strategy includes a specific section on young volunteers.
Partnership is a core value underpinning the Strategy. It states “We developed this Strategy through partnership and a collaborative approach and this will continue as we implement the Strategy actions over the coming years.” As part of developing the Strategy, the Department of Rural and Community Development issued a Call for Input, which sought input from the public and stakeholders.
The Strategy acknowledges that one of the challenges to Ireland’s volunteering infrastructure is a need to encourage cross-sectoral dialogue.
For more information on the National Volunteering Strategy 2021-25 please see Chapter 2.3 National strategy on youth volunteering.