Friday, 27 May 2016

Vital work of charities damaged by fundraising, says Charity Commission chair

Vital work of charities damaged by fundraising, says Charity Commission chair: The “vital work” of charities has been damaged by aggressive fundraisers at some charities which had lost their way, the chair of the Charity Commission has written today in an article for The Times.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Charity Commission publish inquiry report - lessons for all charities to learn

Charity Commission have released a report into an organisation that was defaulting on submitting its returns.  It makes very interesting reading.

The charity had failed to make returns for two years in a row, and had been repeatedly warned by Charity Commission.

One of the Charity Trustees stated the reason for not making their returns was:
 "due to the fact that the charity’s previous accountant had retired and time was taken to identify a suitable replacement to carry out the work professionally and at a reasonable cost."

 This does not excuse the failure of the trustees to fulfill their statutory obligations.

The Commission state that:
"The charity’s trustees were in default of their legal obligations to file accounting information with the commission. This was mismanagement and misconduct in the administration of the charity and a breach of their legal duties."

They also state that:

"Trustees of charities with an income of over £25,000 are under a legal duty as charity trustees to submit annual returns, annual reports and accounting documents to the commission as the regulator of charities. Even if the charity’s annual income is not greater than £25,000 trustees are under a legal duty to prepare annual accounts and reports and should be able to provide these on request. All charities with an income over £10,000 must submit an annual return. Failure to submit accounts and accompanying documents to the commission is a criminal offence. The commission also regards it as mismanagement and misconduct in the administration of the charity. For those individuals who were not trustees at the initial date of default, when they became a trustee, they became responsible for making good the default. It is important that the financial activities of charities are properly recorded and their financial governance is transparent. Charities are accountable to their donors, beneficiaries and the public. Donors to charity are entitled to have confidence that their money is going to legitimate causes and reaches the places that it is intended to. This is key to ensuring public trust and confidence in charities."

(Source: Charity Commission)

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The days of hands-off charity trustees are over

The days of hands-off charity trustees are over

Discussions of fundraising regulation have led to a mini governance crisis. It’s time to get trustees more involved with the day-to-day work of charities

In order for charities to see off the looming governance nightmare generated by the fundraising scandal and subsequent introduction of a new regulator, trustees must become far more informed about the detail of charity operations. This must be done in a considered and transparent way, so that there is no question of staff being line-managed by trustees. It’s not a straightforward task, but it is essential and here are some ways to go about it.

1 Appoint board champions or leads

These are trustees who are steeped in detail of particular areas of the charity’s activities who can then relay critical information to the board. Operational staff can also benefit from briefing trustees, as they can test ideas with them. It is sometimes useful to have two champions – one who is an expert and can provide guidance, and one who hasn’t the slightest clue and will provide the reaction of non-expert.

2 Discuss these issues as sub-committee items

Sub-committees are a means of giving trustees space and scope to delve into the detail and to enable staff to seek a broader perspective. If, for instance, you are embarking on a rebrand, then a sub-committee is the perfect place to allow a small group of trustees to oversee the project, without it taking a disproportionate amount of time away from the main board.

3 Make sure fundraising is on the risk register

Risk registers need to be fit for purpose and they must be regularly reviewed to keep pace with sector developments. For instance, fundraising is usually missing from risk registers, and that’s a problem that ought to be addressed.

4 Have board briefings

At Brook, we invite a different member of the staff to run briefing sessions for whole the board on critical activities. This has allowed very effective sharing of ideas and experience. In Brook’s case, trustees have been able to consider the benefits of applying knowledge learnt from digitising services, to the challenge of reaching new audiences with online fundraising.

5 Review the board’s skills

It’s best practice to ensure that charities annually check which skills are missing from boards in order to meet new challenges. Fundraisers-turned-trustees, for example, are very hard to come by but it’s becoming an increasingly vital skillset for boards.

6 Become a trustee

If you are a fundraiser, you can powerfully influence this debate by becoming a trustee. You can be the champion that I refer to above and ultimately protect and guide the sector (and your new colleagues) through what is set to be a turbulent few years.
Overall, the whole landscape for trustees is changing. Two-hour meetings, four times a year, simply will not be sufficient in the near future. So if some trustees feel that increased demands on their time will be too burdensome, it best to leave the field open to others.

Commission to hold public meeting in Llandrindod Wells

Trustees, charities and charity advisers are invited to attend on 7 June 2016.

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has announced that its next public meeting will be held on 7 June 2016 at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells.
William Shawcross, Chairman of the commission and board member Eryl Besse will open the meeting followed by a range of presentations from senior staff and external speakers. The meeting will focus on how charities can improve their financial resilience. Sessions will include:
  • managing your finances - 15 key questions to ask
  • improving the way your charity works
  • digitisation of the commission
The sessions will be followed by a group discussion on current issues facing trustees, in which trustees can share real-life problems and potential solutions. Attendees will also hear an update on the commission’s activities and have the opportunity to ask questions before the meeting concludes.
The event is free to attend and is aimed at providing charity trustees, employees and advisers with best practice guidance and encouraging good governance.
The meeting will take place from 11am to 3pm at the Metropole Hotel, Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5DY. The full agenda is available on our public meetings page.
To confirm your attendance, please email Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please note that only 2 attendees per organisation will be permitted to attend. Members of the press are also welcome to attend the event and are asked to register their interest with the press office directly.

The days of hands-off charity trustees are over

Fundraising regulation is likely to make a big impact on trustee boards.  Here's an interesting article for consideration of how to get trustees more involved: 

(Source: The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network)

Monday, 16 May 2016

Company law update – register of people with significant control

From 6 April 2016, all companies including charities and social enterprises structured as companies will need to keep a new statutory register alongside their company books – the register of people with significant control (PSC register). Tamsin Anderson from Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB) outlines the implications they have for charitable companies

(Source: NCVO)


Please help us by completing this short 7 question survey

PAVO, working with the multi agency Volunteering Project Board aims to survey organisations who work with volunteers with a view to ascertain information about current and future volunteering projects. 
Together we can show the huge range of volunteers in Powys!

Please click HERE to answer this short 7 question survey in English or for the Welsh version click HERE

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

There's still time to nominate for Powys Volunteer of the Year 2016!

Do you know someone who gives the time willingly and goes above and beyond the call of duty?

Last year's competition gave just a snapshot of the voluntary work that is undertaken by volunteers all over the county.

Nicky Morris won the Health, Social Care & Wellbeing category last year.

Nicky is Chair of Newtown Whitestars, the junior section of Newtown Football Club which was set up by her late father.  She has been involved for over 9 years, and threw herself into the role wholeheartedly by undertaking numerous coaching courses, following the passing of her father.  Originally around 15 youngsters were involved.  Now over 300 young girls and boys now play for Newtown Whitestars with over 40 coaches having been brought into develop the young players. 
The players ages run from just age 4 to 16.  There are currently 13 teams, plus a Friday night club when players between four and seven turning up. Nicky’s chairmanship has also seen the introduction of a girl’s section to the Whitestars, which has been a success. 

Many of the youngsters who grow up and play their way through the ranks go onto the development centre and the academy.
Nicky is committed to getting youngsters aged 14-25 into volunteering at the club, and many players return to volunteer as coaches to the junior section, in order to give something back.

Her nominator said:
“Without volunteers like Nicky, activities like these would not exist in the community.  Nicky’s passion, enthusiasm and drive has made the club extremely successful and appreciated by many.”

Nicky receiving her award from the High Sheriff of Powys

So don't delay nominate today.  Nomination papers can be found here, and you can nominate an individual or an organisation.

Monday, 9 May 2016


PAVO OUTREACH SURGERIES - We are coming to a town near you! 
Does your organisation need funding support or a Funding Health Check?  Have you got an issue around governance? Would your trustees like support to understand what their role is?  Would you like to discuss potential project ideas? 
Come along for a chat with a PAVO development officer to find out how PAVO can support you.
We hope to see you there:

MAY 2016
Wednesday 11th May
Friday 20th May
Llanfair Caerinion  (Welsh speaking staff available)
JUNE 2016
Tuesday 7th June
Thursday 16th June
Hay on Wye
Tuesday 28th June
JULY 2016
Thursday 7th July
Llanrhaeadr (Welsh speaking staff available)
Wednesday 13th July
Friday 22nd July
Wednesday 7th September
Thursday 15th September
Machynlleth (Welsh speaking staff available)
Wednesday 28th September
Thursday 13th October
Llanwrtyd Wells
Tuesday 18th October
Friday 28th October
Wednesday 16th November
Thursday 24th November


Tuesday 10th January
Thursday 19th January
Llandrindod Wells

Tuesday 7th February
Friday 10th February
Llandrinio (Welsh speaking staff available)
MARCH 2017

Wednesday 8th March
Friday 17th March
Builth Wells

To avoid disappointment and make an appointment please contact PAVO on 01597 822191 to book a place.    If you would like us to visit your area to hold an outreach in your community please contact

Can you offer us a venue to hold our outreach sessions?  Contact us on 01597 822191 if you can help!

Friday, 6 May 2016

Being a Trustee

Attending PAVO's one day course is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities. The next one is being delivered May 31 in Newtown.

Being a Trustee

Tuesday 31st May 2016 - full day 
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
  • Understand what it means to be a trustee, who can be one and what roles and responsibilities trustees may have
  • Appreciate what trustees can be liable for, and know how to limit potential risks
  • Understand the principles of good governance, the roles of specific officers, and the difference between a trustee board and its subcommittees
  • Have an overview of what is needed for effective trustee recruitment and induction
To bookClick here