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Nonprofit organisations are governed by boards or committees whose members are accountable to stakeholders, not shareholders or owners. The ways they are appointed is set out in the organisation’s constitution.


The people who govern a company – including a company without share capital – are called directors and their responsibilities are set out in the Companies Act 2014. About half of all charities are incorporated as companies and the directors of these companies have responsibilities under both the Companies Act and the Charities Act.

The people who govern charities are called charity trustees and their responsibilities are set out in the Charities Act 2009. They may also be company directors if the charity is incorporated as a company.

The responsibilities of people who serve on the boards of management of schools are set out in the Education Act 1998.

Under the Electoral Act 1963 a register of political parties is held by the Clerk of Dáil Eireann, including the names of elected office-holders.

Provisions for the appointment of trustees are set out in the law governing Friendly Societies.

In the case of charter bodies – for example the Royal Irish Academy or the Irish Red Cross Society, their own founding legislation sets out in each case the provisions for their governance.


Last updated 21 May 2020