Governance round-up: June 2016

Trustees and fundraising: New guidance and a new regulator

The Charity Commission has published the final version of its guidance for charities and fundraising CC20. This follows last year’s negative publicity with the exposure of some poor fundraising practice in the sector. The guidance highlights six key areas of responsibility for trustees and places emphasis on the relationship between trustees and fundraisers.

Third Sector also reported on next month’s launch of the new fundraising regulator established following last year’s Fundraising Review. The new regulator has launched its website and from next month will take responsibility for overseeing the sectors Code of Fundraising Practice and any complaints about fundraising practice.

Trusteeship and Volunteers’ Week

It’s estimated that there are almost a million voluntary trustees in the UK and Volunteers’ Week proved a great opportunity to celebrate their hard work – but also raise the profile of trusteeship beyond the sector.

Trustees Unlimited’s Ian Joseph used Volunteers’ Week to reflect on the role of trustees. He argued that many charities need to strengthen their boards in order to deal with external challenges and increased scrutiny. Ian highlights the benefits of increased diversity and a good mix of professional skills.

Neal Green, senior policy advisor for the commission, wrote us a guest blog on how volunteering at the highest level of an organisation as a trustee can have a big impact and be very rewarding. Neal concludes by highlighting a range of support and further reading for trustees and saying:

Is trusteeship hard work? It can be. Is it serious? Yes, it comes with legal responsibilities. But most of these are common sense.

How do I get our board to act more strategically?

Thinking strategically can be challenging, particularly when there are fiduciary and management responsibilities which demand the immediate attention of our boards. On 28 June I’ll be running a free webinar to explore this tricky topic and offer a perspective on how to encourage a more strategic focus in your board room.

Confirmation statement replaces the annual return

A reminder that as we have highlighted in pervious updates, from 30 June a confirmation statement replaces the annual return for Companies House, including for charitable companies and CICs. This should now include details of your newly required Register of People with Significant Control.

From the Charity Commission

Matt Hancock, the minister for the Cabinet Office, has announced four re-appointments to the Charity Commission board for England and Wales and recruitment of three new board members.

The commission has launched a consultation on changes to guidance on the external scrutiny of charity accounts. A new style of examiners’ reports is proposed along with revised guidance on when to report matters directly to the commission. The consultation is open until 30 September.

In the news

Nicola Slawson explores the challenges facing smaller organisations and the benefits of collaboration, based on research from the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) which revealed that only 10% of small charities are working collaboratively.

Our director of public policy and volunteering, Karl Wilding, has written about the lessons which can be drawn from the closure of Mo Farah foundation. Karl explores spending on fundraising, the importance of remaining focused on your beneficiaries and asking ‘are we the best people to deliver this?’

Best of the blogs

The Charity Commission’s director of policy and communication, Sarah Atkinson, has written a blog post to coincide with the launch of the new fundraising guidance. Sarah’s post titled ‘how trustees can restore donor trust’ explains that the new guidance is designed as a framework for a step change in charities’ approaches to fundraising.

BWB have published their summer charity update which includes an excellent overview of the new powers and implications of the Charities and Social Investments bill which received royal assent earlier this year.

Trustee Conference registration launch

Registration for this year’s NCVO Trustee Conference on 7 November is now open. Whether you are a new trustee or have years of experience in the role, it is crucial that you understand your responsibilities and keep up to date with the latest developments in governance. Join us to get essential updates on regulation, to explore what board leadership should look like in the current climate and for a unique opportunity to meet and learn from your peers.

Upcoming training and events

Using PQASSO to improve your governance – 5 July 2016

Charity trustees: Induction and refresher training – 15 July 2016

Becoming a trustee (part of the Step on Board open programme) – 15 July 2016

Charity trustees: Induction and refresher training – 12 September 2016

NCVO’s governance forum – save the date – 10 October 2016

NCVO Trustee Conference – 7 November 2016


For more regular updates follow me @mynameisdanfran or @NCVO on Twitter.


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Avatar photo Dan is responsible for NCVO’s governance consultancy offer, focusing on governance reviews, board performance and trustee training. He joined NCVO from the National Union of Students (NUS) where, as a long standing consultant, he supported the organisational development of local students’ unions as charities.

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