May 25th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

If your charity experiences major fraud or another serious problem, the Charity Commission has statutory powers and obligations to take action. I confess that I am shocked to say I am currently working with no fewer than three charities, who have reported serious problems to the Charity Commission, and requested regulatory actions from the Commission, […]

May 17th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

You might think your charity’s employees can’t kick out your board of trustees.  Decisions made by your charity’s trustees will always trump those made by members of staff, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It really matters how your charity’s constitution is written. If you’re not careful, your charity’s constitution may allow the tail […]

October 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Do you need to worry? As a charity trustee, you have legal responsibility for your charity’s management and administration. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Fundraising Preference Service could result in your charity being reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office and it could be fined up to £500,000. So yes, you do need […]

September 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

As in other organisations, charities and charity trustees can both end up in court. You may find yourself on the receiving end of someone else’s claim.  But what if you are considering taking your case to court? Disputes with third parties Your charity’s disputes may be: contractual issues with suppliers employment issues boundary disputes regaining […]

April 22nd, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

In the run-up to this general election, it matters what your charity says, and how much it spends on saying it. The Electoral Commission chose the day after Theresa May called our snap 2017 general election to announce fines on Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace for breaking campaigning rules during the 2015 General Election. […]

April 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

You may not have been waiting with bated breath for the House of Lords to produce its report “Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society”, but here it is, all 156 pages, published for weekend reading on Sunday 26th March 2017 – and usefully summarised for you here. Is this of any real practical use to […]

March 18th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

If so, you may not be alone! A charity CEO complains of being driven out of the third sector by “Victorian attitudes” among charity trustees – just as the draft of a new Charity Governance Code is published. Co-incidence or serendipity? Everyone starts out with the best of intentions, but… Are your trustee boards like […]

March 18th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

You could be forgiven for thinking that recruiting a new trustee for your charity is a pretty straight-forward process. Happily you would be largely correct!  But do watch out for some legal pitfalls. Take time and be careful, as illegal or unconstitutional trustees will cause your charity serious problems. Getting it right in the first […]

November 8th, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Troublesome trustees cross my desk only too often. Maybe there would be fewer troublesome trustees if more charity trustee boards adopted a Trustees’ Code of Conduct. How about yours? Clarity and accountability With a Code of Conduct, your trustees could spend less time and energy in trying to resolve trustee issues or even in removing […]

August 22nd, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Are you back at your desk now after your holidays? Well it may not be spring, but this is still the perfect time to tidy up all those pesky loose ends at your charity. Post-holiday dynamism The only time many of us clear our in-tray is the day before we go holiday. But a good […]

August 22nd, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Are you doing a good job as a charity trustee?  Well then, you’ll surely have these seven critical ingredients of charity governance in place already! 1. Evaluating your trustee board Appraisals for staff are common-place and need no justification. Individual trustees and trustee boards are no different. Objective evaluation of a board of trustees should […]

July 7th, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

What would you think of a profession – doctors, lawyers, accountants, therapists, beauticians whatever –  that had no requirement for Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?  Even more, what would you think if that profession had absolutely no entry qualifications whatsoever ? Not much of a profession, more likely to be a shambles? Taking trusteeship seriously Nowadays […]

July 7th, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Is it just one trustee?  The one who ‘understands the accounts’ the best? Well then, you’re within the legal requirement is for your charity’s accounts to be signed by “one or more of the trustees.” But here’s a thought.  Why not have them signed by each and every trustee? So your whole trustee board takes […]

July 7th, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Most of the provisions of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 came into force in July 2016. Much of it may seem dry and far removed from the everyday operation of most charities.  But if your charity is badly run or your trustees inept or worse, you must expect the full weight of the […]

July 7th, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Your charity’s legal structure is a hot topic right now.    Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) status was a bright idea in the Charities Act 2011, and it may have some substantial benefits for your charity.  Three reasons you might want to convert are: Limited liability!  A boon to nervous trustees of unincorporated charities Saving on admin […]

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