Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Commission opens investigation into charity where 83 per cent of income is spent on 'generating funds'

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the international children’s charity The Cradle Child Trust, over concerns of potential mismanagement of funds by trustees.

Click here to read more

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Did you know PAVO can help you with all this and more?

Did you know PAVO can help you with all 

of these?

  • Constitution (for unincorporated associations)

  • CIO foundation or association constitution (for CIOs) 

  •  memorandum and articles of association (for charitable companies)

  • Training

PAVO will provide support on any issue of governance and 

will provide bespoke support for Trustees

Many trustees don't understand their basic duties, Commission policy head says

Many charity trustees "don't understand their basic duties", theCharity Commission's policy head told a conference today.
Sarah Atkinson, head of policy and communications at the Commission, also said the Commission will not hold charities’ hands and provide bespoke support to trustees, and will not have a “cosy” relationship with the sector.
Read more here

Latest annual return available, along with guidance to help those completing it.

The updated online return which collects information from charities is now live on GOV.UK and ready for charities to use. The annual return is an essential service for collecting data to update the register of charities, and helps the Charity Commission to hold charities to account on behalf of the public.
All registered charities with an income of more than £10,000 and all Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) who are reporting on their financial years ending in 2015 must complete the online form. Sections of the data then populate the commission’s register of charities. The online public register was viewed more than 6 million times last year and is a key source of data about charities in England and Wales.


Friday, 6 March 2015

Calling all potential Powys Mental Health Alliance (PMHA) trustees

Trustee Christine Field says:
"Powys Mental Health Alliance (PMHA) are going through a minor glitch in that several Trustees have had to stand down due to health reasons We are, at the current time, re-grouping and look forward to hearing from any members who feel they can spare a little time each month and become a Trustee of the Charity.
Currently, this would involve a meeting once a month and you would need to have
transport or access to same. All travel expenses will be paid and when necessary a
lunch is provided.
Look forward to hearing from you."
Please contact:
Christine Field
PO Box 146
SY21 1AZ

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Will changes to Charity Commission trustee guidance discourage people from becoming trustees?

Leona Roche warns that proposed changes trustee guidance might have wider implications for the charity sector. 
At a time when charities are finding it difficult to recruit and retain trustees, and young trustees in particular, there is a pressing need to encourage people to volunteer for this vital public service. 

for more info on this article

Commission investigates more charities which failed to file accounts for two years

The commission is reminding charities that it is getting tougher on those that fail to file annual returns and accounts on time. The commission has just updated its class inquiry into charities who have failed to file their annual returns and accounts on time more than once. There are currently 26 charities under investigation.

To read more on this subject click here

News story - Funding of non-charitable organisations

News from the Charity commission

The Charity Commission is reminding charities to exercise greater vigilance when considering funding non-charitable bodies, to ensure that funds are used only for charitable activities which further the purposes of their charity and do not expose it to reputational risks or other risks that impact on public trust and confidence in charity.
Trustees must undertake reasonable due diligence to ensure that they are protecting the charity’s funds and reputation when making grants.

What is inappropriate funding?

Funding other charities or non-charitable organisations can be an effective way to further a charity’s purposes.
But charities must only fund activities that further their charitable purposes and trustees must ensure they take steps to protect their charity’s assets and reputation.
Failure by trustees to ensure charitable funds are applied in accordance with their charity’s purposes and their duties as trustees would give rise to regulatory concerns and require the commission to get involved. The following scenarios would give rise to serious regulatory concerns:
  • a charity funds activities that are either not charitable or not capable of furthering the charity’s specific purposes
  • trustees do not undertake appropriate due diligence or adequately ring fence grants in the hands of recipients or have not taken adequate steps to protect the charity’s position and ensure proper use of the charity’s funds
  • trustees risk their charity’s reputation by making grants without fulfilling their legal duties
  • trustees fail to take adequate steps to monitor the use of funding their charity has provided

Trustees’ legal duties and responsibilities

Trustees must be clear about what their charity hopes to achieve and how funding a certain organisation will help them achieve that aim.
The commission expects trustees to:
  • follow the commission’s guidance on decision making, including by acting in good faith, informing themselves adequately, taking account of all relevant factors and disregarding irrelevant ones, seeking professional advice where relevant and ensuring any decision is within the range of decisions a reasonable trustee body may make
  • assess whether the grant would pose reputational risks for the charity
  • compare their charity’s objects with those of the proposed recipient
  • carry out appropriate due diligence checks on the proposed recipient
  • set proportionate terms and conditions that restrict what the funds can be spent on
  • take reasonable and appropriate steps to monitor how their charity’s funds are used
  • seek repayment if funds are not spent in accordance with the charity’s terms and conditions

Wider issues for trustees to be aware of

Some charitable purposes such as community development and the promotion of human rights are difficult to interpret. While both these purposes can be charitable, not all activities that fall under these headlines are capable of being charitable. This means that trustees considering funding organisations to pursue community development or to promote human rights must take particular care to assure themselves that the grant will be used only to fund activities that further their charity’s purposes.
Some activities, such as political campaigning, are only permissible within certain boundaries. Charities must follow the commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity.