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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 14th November 2022

Trustees Week

This was last week and here are some interesting resources that various organisations highlighted to support trustees, so circulate this to yours:

  • Refresh your knowledge. Whether you’re an experienced trustee or new to the role, the Charity Commission’s 5-minute guides are a handy way to help you be sure of your responsibilities and confident you’re doing the right thing for your charity.
  • 7 finance questions every charity trustee should ask
  • Trustees’ Annual Report & Accounts: how it can boost fundraising

Campaigning and political activity guidance for charities (CC9)

The Commission’s guidance has been reviewed and updated following the passing of the new Elections Act 2022.

Charities and terrorism

Although may seem relevant to many of you but this guidance from the Commission gives advice and information on key aspects of the UK’s counter-terrorism legislation and how it may affect charities and their work. So worth a quick look to make sure you don’t need to understand it in depth and in fact the Commission expects all trustees to have read the short, one page summary. The Commission has updated Compliance toolkit chapter 1: Charities and Terrorism, to signpost to new guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service on proscription offences and terrorist financing offences and cases involving humanitarian, development and peacebuilding work overseas.

Financial Governance for Trustees

All trustees have a responsibility to look after the finances of their charity. But what does that mean and how should trustees carry out they role legally and responsibly? This course will go into detail about roles, responsibilities and good practice using presentations and activities to help you develop better knowledge and skills in this area. It is suitable for any trustee who wants to know more about financial governance especially if they are a treasurer or sit on a finance committee. There will be plenty of chances for Q&A. December 5th, 7-9pm on Zoom.

Being a Charity Trustee training

Steve Place is running his next highly regarded course on 8 February 2023 online from 7-9pm.

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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 7th November 2022

First set of changes from Charities Act 2022 come into force

On Monday 31st October 2022 the first set of changes being introduced by the Charities Act 2022 come into force, introducing a range of provisions including new powers for trustees. These provisions include:

  • An extended power for charities to pay trustees for providing goods to the charity under certain circumstances, in addition to services, and goods connected to services (see below)
  • A reduction in the administrative complexities surrounding fundraising appeals that do not reach, or exceed, fundraising targets (often known as ‘failed appeals’). See below.
  • A new statutory power for Royal Charter charities to change sections of their Royal Charter which they could not previously change, with the approval of the Privy Council.

Trustees and payments

The Charity Commission has updated its summary guidance and full guidance to reflect changes (introduced by the Charities Act 2022) that enable trustees to be paid in certain circumstances for providing goods to their charity using the statutory power. It has also updated its guidance on conflict of interests to reflect the changes.

What to do if your charity appeal raises more than you need or not enough

In the past, if it was not clear to donors what would happen in these circumstances, it was difficult to use the money for another purpose. The new Charities Act has simplified this. You can decide on new purposes which as far as is possible and desirable should be similar to the original ones and the need for the new purposes to be suitable and effective in current social and economic circumstances. If the funds are less than £1,000 you can go ahead and use them, if over £1,000 you will need permission from the Charity Commission first. The Commission has updated its guidance on Charity fundraising appeals for specific purposes, Charity emergency appeals: starting, running and supporting charitable emergency appeals (CC40) and Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties (CC20).

Making a difference in changing times

Helen Stephenson (CEO, Charity Commission) thanks trustees leading their charities through changing, and challenging, times and invites all trustees to join in Trustees’ Week 2022 (7-11 November).

Inquiry into religious charity over serious regulatory concerns

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into The Saint George Educational Trust over serious regulatory concerns that there is or has been misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity. In particular, concerns have been identified in relation to activities carried out by the charity that do not appear to further its religious purposes, including material it had posted online and political activity or campaigning. The Commission also has significant concerns that the charity has associations with an extreme right-wing organisation and how this furthers its religious purposes, something that the Commission has previously investigated.

Protecting charities from abuse for extremist purposes

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance to signpost to safeguarding responsibilities and relevant guidance.

Being a Charity Trustee training

Steve Place is running his next highly regarded course on 8 February 2023 online from 7-9pm.

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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 31st October 2022

How to build trust on social media

Looks at how charities can use their social media presence to inspire public trust in response to the charity Commission saying pubic trust has plateaued.

Trustee Survey

MHA and Charity Finance Group have launched a survey to help explore the financial competency of trustees. The outcome of the survey will determine gaps in trustee knowledge and identify opportunities for further training and support. Please encourage your trustees to complete the short survey

Being a charity trustee training

A simple but comprehensive introduction to being a trustee, on Wednesday 8th February 2023. There will be plenty of opportunities for questions throughout. Hosted by Steve Place, CAN's Senior Advisor. Book your place here.

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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 24th October 2022

Charity Fraud

The Charity Commission has warned charities that they are at risk of ‘underestimating’ online fraud as a new survey has found around one in eight charities (12%) had experienced cybercrime in the previous 12 months. It notes worryingly that just over 24% have a formal policy in place to manage the risk. Similarly, only around half (55%) of charities reported that cyber security was a fairly or very high priority in their organisation.

How to protect your charity's reputation

A charity’s reputation is very important to it and can impact on donations of time and money. Indeed the Charity Commission says that trustees should protect it. Charity Digital explores the value of a charity’s reputation, the risks that challenge it in the eyes of donors and beneficiaries, and how organisations can mitigate risks effectively for the future

The proud history of charitable campaigning

Read this keynote speech from Directory of Social Change.

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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 17th October 2022

Top free financial planning resources for charities

Cranfield Trust has put together these to help charities manage the current financial situation:

Political activity and campaigning by charities

Guidance from the Charity Commission on the rules for charities that want to support, or oppose, a change in government policy or the law. There has been some criticism of the guidance.

Many trustees unaware of their responsibility for basic duties, says regulator

At a recent conference the Charity Commission made this statement and talked about its new and upcoming service. Remember that CAN regularly runs trustee training and is here to give individual advice.

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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 10th October 2022

Over £100k in charitable donations to be recovered for Wrexham charities

The High Court of Justice has ruled in favour of the Charity Commission following its decision to take legal action for restitution against the sole trustee of the Frank Wingett Cancer Relief Fund. Simon Wingett has been ordered to repay £117,100.32 which, subject to recovery, will be distributed by the Commission to local charities supporting the relief of cancer patients treated in Wrexham. Its funds were misused to support the creation of a 210ft (over 60m) Welsh dragon statue as a tourist attraction. This project has no connection to advancing the charity’s aims and to date, no statue has been built.

Whistleblowing report

The Charity Commission has issued a report on whistleblowing disclosures it received during the reporting period 2021-22. The commission received 281 disclosures (down by 150 on the previous reporting period). The majority of disclosures are from employees and involve governance, safeguarding or financial management issues.

Charity trustees do not reflect the communities that they serve

The Charity Commission has said trustees do not always reflect the communities that they serve, following calls for it to improve the monitoring of board diversity.

Festival of Trusteeship

The is a week-long (7-11 November) online series of events, stuffed with exciting options for ordinary people who want to become trustees, committed trustees who want to keep learning and developing, and for charity leaders who want to understand best practice in trustee recruitment and diversity.

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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 3rd October 2022

Protect your charity from fraud and cyber crime

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance. It just seems to be the dates for Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2022 i.e. 17 – 21 October 2022.

Trustee Week

New to trusteeship, or looking to hone your skills? Book your place on one of NCVO’s free Trustees' Week webinars:

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Edition Week Commencing: Monday 26th September 2022

Double defaulter charities

The Charity Commission continues to publish lists of charities that have not filed their accounts and/or annual return for two or more consecutive years. So not good publicity for any of these and one this year has had a formal warning and another a full inquiry. If you are unsure about your legal obligation get in touch with us.