Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, CEO of the Carmichael Centre, who presented a training on “Setting up and managing a community-based Company Limited by Guarantee” which was organised by Donegal Local Development Company at the C.A.K.E. Centre in Killygordon.
Community groups from throughout the county benefitted from free management training arranged by Donegal Local Development Company in Killygordon recently as part of the ongoing support that DLDC offers to the community sector in Donegal.
The training, entitled “Setting up and managing a community-based Company Limited by Guarantee”, was conducted by the Dublin-based Carmichael Centre, a respected authority on the good practice and governance needed to build effective and sustainable not-for-profit and charitable organisations.
“Setting up as a community-based company offers certain personal protections and accountability measures that aren’t available to volunteers if you’re simply set up as a community group,” said Stephen Barrett, DLDC Community Development Officer. “For instance, particularly when a group is dealing with large amounts of funding, borrowing money, undertaking capital works or where insurance presents a particular risk then setting up a community based company can provide additional protections. When you set up as a community-based company these risks are limited, in that, companies have a separate legal personality with limited liabilities for volunteer directors.”
The training, which was provided by Carmichael Centre CEO Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí on two recent Saturdays, included information on the steps that community-based companies will need to take to be compliant with new Companies Act 2014 regulations that are coming into effect on 30th November, 2016.
“We’re talking about the Companies Act of 2014, and developing a constitution for Companies Limited by Guarantee,” Diarmaid said of the material that he presented to 20 representatives of Donegal community groups at the Crossroads and Killygorden Enterprise (C.A.K.E.) Centre. “The 2014 Companies Act defines a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) as a company which does not have a share capital and whose members’ liability is limited to the amount they guarantee to contribute, as specified in the company’s constitution, in the event of the company being wound up. A CLG structure is the standard and most common legal structure that a not-for-profit organisation will adopt.”
The training included an explanation of the new Act, which overhauls and consolidates company law in Ireland, as well as a discussion of the different types of documents required of companies, such as a constitution, a memorandum of understanding, and articles of association. A template of a constitution that can be tailored to the needs of participants’ own groups was also provided.
Participants said the training had increased their understanding of the reasons and ways to turn a community group into a community-based company.
“These are questions I’ve been asking for a long time but have been unable to get answers to,” said Joanne Butler of OURganic Gardens in Gortahork. “It’s really good that this is being put on because you’ve got a vision but you need help to create a reality.”
“It’s been really useful,” said Máire Nic Fhionnachtaigh of the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group. “It’s very comprehensive information we’re getting here. It’s great that we can get copies of the presentation as well. There are a lot of changes coming down the line that people don’t know about.”
The training was one of the many supports that DLDC offers through the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) to community groups that are working towards reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion and equality in the county. Other DLDC supports include individualised advice and guidance in the development of committees, projects, plans, and goals; mentoring for volunteers on their roles and responsibilities; and assistance with submitting grant applications to funding agencies.
“We can work with groups based on their specific needs and those of their community,” Stephen Barrett said. “If you would like to access these supports, please contact us at DLDC and we will be happy to meet with you to discuss how we can be of help.”
For more information, please visit the DLDC website at www.dldc.org or ring the DLDC’s Letterkenny office on (074) 912 7056.
Donegal Local Development Company Ltd (DLDC) has been contracted to deliver the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) by the Donegal Local Community Development Committee over the years 2015 – 2017. The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015-2017 is funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Social Fund and includes a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative.