UHY Ross Brooke Chartered Accountants

Charity Commission offers guidance for trustees

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The Charity Commission is launching the next stage of its campaign to raise awareness of core trustee duties and guidance available as the sector faces challenges ahead.

The Commission has developed a collection of short guidance on issues ranging from safeguarding people to managing conflicts of interest. Dubbed the ‘5-Minute Guides’, the collection serves as a basic toolkit for trustees who are managing the many demands of running a charity.

The latest phase of the campaign, running to 16th March, aims to raise awareness of, and boost use of, the 5-minute guides. The regulator hopes this will increase knowledge and understanding of essential trustee duties. This comes as charities face additional challenges due to cost-of-living pressures.

The Commission’s latest research shows that around 98% of trustees feel ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ confident in managing or governing their charity but, when questioned on basic role requirements, on average, trustees answered just 7 out of 10 questions correctly – demonstrating a knowledge gap that could lead to unintentional governance failings.

The core suite of 5-minute guides covers the following subject areas:

  • Delivering purpose – advice on how to use your charity’s governing document, how to deliver on your charity’s purposes and the law.
  • Managing finances – advice on how to ensure your charity’s money is safe, properly used and accounted for.
  • Conflicts of interest – advice on how to identify and deal with conflicts of interest in your charity.
  • Making decisions – advice on how to make valid trustee decisions that are in your charity’s best interests.
  • Reporting information – advice on how and what you need to report to the Commission.
  • Safeguarding people – advice on your responsibilities to keep everyone who comes into contact with your charity safe from harm.
  • Political activity & campaigning – advice for charities that want to support, or oppose, a change in government policy or the law.

See: Advice and guidance for Charity Trustees – Getting the most out of being a charity trustee

Meet our charity specialists – Caroline Webster and Kerry Hawkins

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