Governance round-up: August 2021

Covid-19: Updated guidance on running meetings

Following the lifting of restrictions in England last month, and an end to temporary changes to company law in March, we’ve updated our guidance on running meetings.

We recognise that many charities will want to continue running meetings virtually or on a hybrid basis. When considering hosting a meeting virtually or on a hybrid basis, you should check whether your organisation’s governing document allows this. If there’s no clause mentioning that this is allowed, one option is to see if the trustees can amend the governing document to facilitate changes to how and when meetings are held. Find out more information on this by reading the guidance on how to make changes to your charity’s governing document on GOV.UK.

In the short term, the Charity Commission will understand and take a proportionate approach provided this is in the charity’s best interest. You should record the decision and the reason for it to demonstrate good governance. Find out more about this by reading the Charity Commission’s guidance on holding meetings on GOV.UK.

NCVO external governance review

At NCVO we’ve begun the process for a formal governance review. Given our commitment to the Charity Governance Code, we’ll be using the seven principles as the framework for the review. In line with the Code’s practice we’ve appointed Campbell Tickell to lead the work and bring an independent external perspective.

Our chair Priya Singh believes that this review will make sure decisions and governance are effective and centred on our new strategic goals – for the benefit of members and the wider charity sector. We’re also in the process of recruiting trustees and planning our next AGM.

From the Charity Commission

The regulator has opened a statutory inquiry into the MB Foundation (also known as the Mossad Horav Aryeh Halevy) over serious financial and governance concerns. The charity, whose trustees are all brothers, carried out several transactions with companies and individuals directly connected to the trustees. This included four loans to a connected company totalling over £1.7m. In 2019, the Commission updated its guidance on non-charitable connected entities with clear indicators over what the relationship with a charity should look like.

In the news

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has raised more than £200,000 in a single day after defending its work rescuing migrants at risk of drowning in the channel. This follows accusations that the charity was operating a ‘migrant taxi service’ by rescuing people at risk as they crossed the channel. Mark Dowie, the chief executive of the RNLI, said it was the charity’s moral and legal duty to rescue migrants in danger. He linked this robust defence to the charity’s purpose – to save lives.

A data breach at National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has placed the personal details of people who applied for funds for thousands of charities at risk. NLCF advised charities to change their passwords and be extra vigilant about potential fraud as a result.

The future of flexible working

Together with ACEVO, we have launched a programme looking at the future of flexible working in the charity sector. This work will be led by Becky Hewitt, former chief executive of the charity, Changing Faces, who will be joined by 10 working group members. A number of charity boards are now considering how to support more flexible working in the best possible way.

Training and events

Dan Francis is NCVO’s lead governance consultant. For more regular updates follow @mynameisdanfran or @NCVO on Twitter.

This entry was posted in Charity, Policy, Training and events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Like this? Read more

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.

Comments are closed.