September 23rd, 2020UncategorizedGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Helen Taylor Thompson was an inspirational charity trustee – in establishing Europe’s first Aids hospice by founding a charity to educate people in developing countries about Aids and by founding a charitable network of social entrepreneurs committed to tackling social problems through business. The Mildmay Early in her career, Helen joined the board of the […]

April 11th, 2020ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Taking charity minutes – for trustee and other key meetings – may seem a hum-drum task. Maybe so, but proper minute-taking is vital – as the trustees of Marie Stopes International recently found out to their embarrassment. Public outcry Marie Stopes International provoked public outcry by its decision to award its chief executive a £434,500 […]

March 26th, 2020ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Here is some practicaladvice to help your charity survive the Coronavirus crisis. In times of trouble, think positive. Above all, look after your beneficiaries and look after your staff. Remember your charity’s reputation matters – do to others as you would be done by. If you have fund-raised for an event that is not going […]

February 14th, 2020ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

“Succession planning” for your trustee board may sound daunting.  And it might feel like an item on your never-ending To Do List which can surely wait. But it can be a straight-forward part of your charity’s annual governance cycle.  It’s  the key to your charity’s sustainability, continuity and long-term success.  A small investment in forward […]

January 31st, 2020NewsGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Who’s in charge of a charity?  The answer is always “the Trustees”, right?  Unfortunately, things are sometimes less straightforward than you’d hope. It’s elementary to most charity trustees that their Governing Document is their charity’s “bible”. Pretty much every charity trustee knows its Governing Document sets out what the charity is about, how the charity […]

October 26th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

1. Your charity’s governing document matters Your governing document is both your charity’s Bible and its Highway Code. If your charity is doing something different, your charity trustees can be way off track before realising they have set a foot wrong. Check it out regularly, at least once a year, and stay legal. 2.  Adopt the charity trustee […]

October 19th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

You are a charity trustee. In your trustee nightmare,  you are successively chair of trustees of each of these famous, now perhaps notorious, national charities: Oxfam Save the Children The Presidents Club Age UK Help for Heroes Kids Company Each of these charities has encountered major problems including, variously: allegations of sexual exploitation breaches of […]

October 12th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

The well-known national charity Scope is adopting a radical new strategy. It includes a 40% reduction in the charity’s income and shedding 60% of its employees. There are lessons here for every charity and every charity trustee – lessons in being radical. Scope – The story so far Founded as The National Spastics Society in […]

October 5th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Charity disputes are all too common, and this is not a well-known tenet of charity management, but it is one I know to be true: behind almost every charity dispute lies a failure of governance. Avoiding charity disputes How to avoid charity disputes altogether: – be warned Be warned and be careful – charities are potential powder […]

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 1 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 […]

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