Monday, 22 February 2016

New guidance on charity grants to non-charities

New guidance on charity grants to non-charities: The Charity Commission has issued draft guidance for trustees of charities that want to make grants to non-charitable organisations. The guidance brings together existing commission guidance that sets out the key principles that trustees must follow when making decisions about grant funding non-charitable organisations. The guidance states that trustees must be able to show how any grant to another organisation …

Thursday, 18 February 2016

How much do you know about the organisation you are a trustee for?

One of the main roles of a trustee is to make sure that your organisation keeps to its rules.

Here's some useful Charity Commission guidance, that's useful, even if you aren't a registered charity:

Need help understanding your governing document?  Then contact PAVO on 01597 822191.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Trustees need to be involved in fundraising, Lynda Thomas tells Fundraising Live

Trustees need to be involved in fundraising, Lynda Thomas tells Fundraising Live: Trustees should be involved in raising money for their charities so they can see how difficult it is, the chief executive of Macmillan told the Fundraising Live conference today.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Know your role and what you are responsible for

Did you know PAVO offers training and support for Trustees? -

Trustees have had a severe bashing recently, since the collapse of Kids Company

see article -

'Many small charity trustees don't know what they are supposed to be governing

Many trustees of small charities don't understand their legal responsibilities and just accept whatever the chief executive says, a charity leader told a Parliamentary group yesterday.

click here for whole article

Contact PAVO if you want to chat about the support we provide

Charity Commission to start live-streaming public meetings

The Charity Commission has announced that people can watch its next public meeting online via a live video stream.

People will be able to watch the next public meeting, which takes place in Southampton on 29 February, via the Commission’s website.
The event will also be recorded so that people can rewind and watch it when it’s convenient for them.

Its first live-stream is part of a wider series of digital improvements. 
Sarah Atkinson, director of policy and communications at the Commission, said: “We have a number of digital improvements to our services and communications in the pipeline, making it easier for trustees to access our information and services.

“By live-streaming our public meetings, we’re hoping to attract a new and wider audience, and invite all interested trustees and charity professionals to join us, whether they’re at home, at work or on the move.

“Hearing directly from us is a good opportunity, particularly for new trustees, to learn more about issues facing the sector, to contribute to discussions, and to hear about the Commission’s recent work.”
The Commission holds quarterly public meetings for trustees around the country, in an effort to increase attendance outside London.
The Commission expects that it will also live stream other future meetings. Find out more about attending the Southampton meeting from the Commission’s website.  There is no need to register to watch the livestream and a link will be available from the Commission’s site nearer the time.
(Source: Civil Society)

Monday, 8 February 2016

Some wise words from Sandy

Governance resources
Added or updated on the legal update website for voluntary organisations

Everything on my legal update website is a governance resource – because ultimately, as Charity Commission chair William Shawcross said in August 2015 following the collapse of Kids Company and media uproar about charity fundraising tactics, “Trustees carry full legal responsibility for their charity — no matter how large it is, no matter how many senior executives it employs. The buck always stops with them.”  But this update is specifically about the governing body’s responsibility for ensuring their organisation is being run properly as an organisation – rather than its responsibility for specific areas of law, such as fundraising, employment, data protection etc.

All resources are available as free downloads unless indicated otherwise.

Resources for chairpersons
A question of balance: A guide to the chair and chief executive relationship, from the Association of Chairs.

Resources for charity trustees (nearly all relevant for non-charities as well)
·         Charity governance, finance and resilience: !5 questions trustees should ask, a new version of the Charity Commission’s earlier 15 questions booklets.
·         RevisedGuidance for charity trustees to be published by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in the spring.
·         Revised Code of good governance for the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland launched on 29 January.
·         New edition of NCVO’s Good trustee guide, a proper book (£21 NCVO members, £30 others) for those who need more than is in leaflets or booklets, and a free summary.
·         Trusteeship in small charities: Practical tips and advice, briefing from a seminar in November 2015 (the briefing doesn’t define small charities, but the Small Charities Coalition defines them as having income under £1 million).
·         A new focus on charity governance, from Russell-Cooke solicitors.
·         Wired to govern, looking at the opportunities and threats of the digital revolution, and at how boards can use technologies such as board portals and virtual meetings.
·         ICSA certificate in charity law and governance.
All at:

And for a sad story about what happens when there are unresolved disputes within an organisation’s membership and/or within its board, or when it does not follow its constitutional procedures or (if applicable) company law procedures for elections, meetings and proxy voting:


Charity Commission Guidance - Charity Reserves - building resilience

Reserves - the funds a charity keeps in reserve - can strengthen a charity’s resilience against, for example, drops in income or the demands of a new project.
It is important for charities to have a policy explaining their approach to reserves. There is no single level or even a range of reserves that is right for all charities. Any target set by trustees for the level of reserves to be held, or decision that there is no need for reserves, should reflect the particular circumstances of the individual charity and be explained in the policy.
This guidance explains:
  • what reserves are
  • the importance of having a reserves policy
  • how to develop a reserves policy
  • the legal requirements for publishing the policy and reporting on it
  • what trustees should do to keep proper oversight of their charity’s reserves
Annexes 1 and 2 give practical guidance on creating a reserves policy for small and large charities.

(Source: Charity Commission)