Muintir’s core mission is based on the principles of social subsidiarity, on local democracy, and on local self-reliance. Our belief, grounded in over 75 years of experience, is that local communities, given modest external supports, have the potential to mobilise themselves into unified organisations so as to take responsibility for dealing effectively with their own local needs, as well as co-operating in partnership arrangements with statutory authorities.
The basic unit of local organisation in Muintir is the democratically elected Community Council which ensures representivity, legitimacy, community participation and the co-ordination of developmental activity. Sectoral organisations have an important role in promoting sectoral interests but Muintir’s focus is on the collective needs of local communities.
The following is a list of some of the services and information provided to community groups by the Muintir na Tire Community Development Section:
1. Community Structures
- Muintir na Tire Organisational Structure.
- Election Process and the formation of a democratically elected and socially inclusive Committee.
- Governance documents i.e Constitutions, Articles of Associations etc.
- The Role of Officers.
2. Information about the Community and Voluntary Sector
- The governance environment.
- Local Government structures and functions.
- Relationship between local government, statutory agencies and the community.
- Maximising community participation in local government and engaging with agencies.
3. Finance and Funding Opportunities
- Basic Management of accounts and audit requirements.
- Funding available from statutory agencies and other sources such as Social Enterprise Funds such as UCIT and Clann Credo.
- Preparing grant applications.
4. Community Engagement and Volunteering
- Organising Meetings and Events.
- Time Management.
- Ways to develop positive participation and address barriers to participation.
- Recruiting, managing, motivating and retaining volunteers.
5. Needs Analysis and Resource Audit
- Outlining what is meant by ‘Needs Analysis’.
- Analysing an area’s socio economic profile.
- How to assess local needs and undertaking community research.
- Conducting an Audit/SWOT of the resources of a community.
6. Development of Action Plans
- Setting the context and objectives.
- Deciding on Project Plans.
- Setting out the project plan.
- Developing a critical awareness of the importance of social media.
- Introduction to PR and promoting success.
- Written communications.
Additional Advantages to Joining Muintir na Tíre
Educated and Qualified Staff
At national level, Muintir na Tíre staff act as a developmental and support service, providing back-up information, advice and technical assistance to community councils and the voluntary workers.
Practitioners at the professional support level need to have knowledge of community development principles and good practice, an understanding of socio-economic trends and their implications for communities, and familiarity with policy debates and measures. They must have skills in animation, capacity-building, project management and evaluation, as well as in communications, and in the organisation and delivery of appropriate training to volunteers.
These are the skills that the staff of Muintir na Tíre possess and are at the disposal of its affiliated groups.
Good Governance Structures
Affiliated members through the adoption of the Muintir na Tíre constitution possess good governance structures which is essential to the sustainability of the group, its visions and goals for community development and is a prerequisite to any successful funding application.
Once a group registers with Muintir na Tíre, they can avail of Muintir charitable tax exemption status.
Advantages of Charitable Tax Exemption to an affiliated Muintir Group include:
No DIRT tax payable on interest earned on deposit accounts in financial institutions
No Capital Gains Tax or Capital Acquisitions Tax payable
No Income Tax or Corporation Tax payable
No Stamp Duty payable on a transfer or lease of land or property
Donations made to affiliated Community Councils or Associate Groups are Tax Deductible