BULLETIN No. 166: August 2017 My monthly attempt to keep my contacts, friends, friends of friends, etc. in touch with what's going on in the world of charities. A distillation of the many briefings that arrive on my desk, plus whatever I've gleaned from ...

 

 
 


 

   

BULLETIN No. 166: August 2017

My monthly attempt to keep my contacts, friends, friends of friends, etc. in touch with what's going on in the world of charities. A distillation of the many briefings that arrive on my desk, plus whatever I've gleaned from charities I'm currently working with. Always glad to get your comments and suggestions;

Daryl Martin

d.martin@afvs.org.uk

What do we have this month?

1. We Just Lost the Best Indian Restaurant in the City
2. New Charity Registrations
3. Persons of Significant Control (PSCs)
4. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
5. Disaster Recovery
6. Trustee Induction
7. Trustee Cowardice
8. Reporting Donations from Overseas
9. Christian Resources Exhibition
10. AFVS Website
11. What Policies do You Need
12. Training for New Trustees
13. And Finally...

1. We Just Lost the Best Indian Restaurant in the City
They got on the wrong side of the Border Agency by employing an illegal immigrant. I’m told they were fined £20k; enough to put them out of business. Take great care when offering employment to people from overseas.

 

2. New Charity Registrations
We’ve been registering charities for over 20 years with a very high success rate. It’s getting harder, much harder; we’ve had a couple turned down recently. We haven’t given up but, whereas a few years ago you could have a helpful discussion with a case officer, today it’s all done by email. If you don’t tick all the right boxes, there’s not much discussion. I suspect fees to register a charity will have to be revised, particularly for anything out of the ordinary. Frankly, I’d like the CC to start to get serious about raising more money so that they can start to look again at what they were so good at before the cuts; looking after the charities they regulate. A modest annual fee isn’t going to be that harmful.

 

3. Persons of Significant Control (PSCs)
As far as I can tell most changes to your company charity can be notified in the annual Confirmation Statement. From August, any changes in the PSC Register must be notified within 14 days. Failure to do this is potentially serious. I just found one charity where they haven’t updated changes.

 

4. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Material’s been stacking up for a while until at last, I got down to looking at it. Currently, we’re regulated by the ICO and the Data Protection Act 1998 applies. This will be extended by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is effective from May 2018. If your charity currently complies with the current act, you’re well on the way to being compliant under GDPR, but there are some key changes you must get on top of; Individual’s rights are strengthened, Personal data is redefined and extended. You need to review your methods of capturing data and be especially vigilant for SARs (Subject Access Requests: get that wrong, and you are in trouble). I’m building a series of briefings to guide you forward, (5 completed already!). GDPR doesn't arrive until May 2018, but you need to be up and running by then so you can’t waste time. We’re working closely with a number of charities who need help in this area; let me know if you’d like to be added.

 

5. Disaster Recovery
As if there isn’t enough doom and gloom around we’ve been working on a Disaster Recovery Policy. Something you’ll hopefully never need, but it’s worth putting something together in case the worst does happen. Let us know if you’d like a copy.

 

6. Trustee Induction
After promising this for a few months now, it’s ready to go out. Two versions: one for company charities, the other for unincorporated charities and CIOs. It’s a useful document to give to new trustees, and we can personalise it to your charity. Let me know if this interests you. I’ve incorporated a detailed summary of the new Charity Governance Code.

 

7. Trustee Cowardice
Kevin Carey, chair of the RNIB, had some tough things to say about your average trustees who he said were worse than poodles when it comes to standing up to the executive. He said: “Most charities don't fail because they lack a governance code, a risk register and a trustee handbook. They do so because of trustee cowardice. “Assemble all the 360-degree appraisals, skills audits and Nolan Principles you like; they are redundant if nobody has the guts to say that the CEO is useless.” Ouch! Is he right? Not entirely; I’ve been involved with 2 charities recently where the board has had to stand up to the CEO. It takes guts, but sometimes it has to be done. (If you lack a governance code etc. we have all these things available; if you need help to define your relationship with the executive get me involved; I’d be glad to help).

 

8. Reporting Donations from Overseas
The Charity Commission is about to start asking charities for details of funds they receive from overseas sources. This will form part of the questions they ask when you complete your online annual return. I know when they’ve added to their questions; we get a flurry of requests to put this or that policy in place. Latest one is around volunteers. We’ve got some good material on volunteers.

 

9. Christian Resources Exhibition
Esher: Oct 17th to 19th. Long way off, but put it in your diary if you’d like to catch up with us. Email Becky for tickets. I shall come particularly geared up to talking about GDPR.

 

10. AFVS Website
The length of time it’s taking to get our new site up and running is not only depressing but highly embarrassing. Nevertheless, we do seem to be stumbling forward into the light. Launch date is planned for September. I mention this because we’re going to have to be off line for about a week while we change everything across. Becky will send a message out beforehand. You’ll still be able to write to us for stuff. I hope it’s all going to be worth it!

 

11. What Policies do You Need
When you submit your online return The Charity Commission asks you whether your charity has various policies which they list. It’s important that trustees work out what policies they need, putting aside the ones they don’t need, and put together a plan to make sure the right policies are in place with a regular review programme. We’ve done a lot of work in this area. If you’d like us to evaluate your situation and give you appropriate advice write to us. We can save you time which you can always put to better use, and possibly money.

 

12. Training for New Trustees
This year we’ve been extending our advice and support services. We can now help with:

All aspects of accounts including yearend and bookkeeping
Outsourcing
HR support
Legal advice
Trading Issues (including charity shops)
Community Halls
Fundraising
Training
General Advice and Consultancy
Extensive library of briefings and policy templates

Contact us if you need help in any of these areas.

 

13. And Finally...

Temple Grandin has long been one of my heroes. She’s autistic. Her ability to think like a cow has enabled her to design over half of all cattle facilities in the United States. She has some interesting things to say about autism, and also animals. I’ve highlighted my favorites:

 

“I always find it kind of funny that normal people are always saying autistic children ‘live in their own little world.’ When you work with animals for a while, you start to realise you can say the same thing about normal people. There’s a great big, beautiful world out there that a lot of normal folks are just barely taking in. Autistic people and animals are seeing a whole register of the visual world normal people can’t or don’t.”

 

“When I did stims such as dribbling sand through my fingers, it calmed me down. When I stimmed, sounds that hurt my ears stopped. Most kids with autism do these repetitive behaviours because it feels good in some way. It may counteract an over-whelming sensory environment…”

 

“In college, I did a lot of talking out loud because it helped me organise my thinking. A lot of autistic people talk out loud for the same reason.”

 

“The first thing an effective manager must do to take care of the animals is get rid of employees who are bullies.” (This also works for people)

 

“What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool? You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socialising and not getting anything done.”

 

“A good manager creates an environment that reinforces good behaviour by employees. The basic principle is: Make the environment work for you not against you. Never leave up to willpower and self-discipline what you can do with the environment.”

 

“Autism is part of who I am.”

 

“Visual thinkers of any species, animal or human, are detail-oriented. They see everything, and they react to everything…Visual people feel horrible when little details in their visual environments are wrong, the same way animals do.” “We have got to work on keeping these children engaged with the world.”

 

“The most important thing people did for me was to expose me to new things.”

“Social thinking skills must be directly taught to children and adults with ASD. Doing so opens doors of social understandings in all areas of life.”

 

“Autism is a kind of way station on the road from animals to humans, which puts autistic people like me in a perfect position to translate ‘animal talk’ into English.”

 

“Animals are like autistic savants…Animals have special talents normal people don’t, the same way autistic people have special talents normal people don’t…Normal people can stare straight at an animal doing something brilliant and have no idea what they’re seeing. Animal genius is invisible to the naked eye.”

 

“My Advice is: You always have to keep persevering.”

 

“I don’t want my thoughts to die with me, I want to have done something. I’m not interested in power, or piles of money. I want to leave something behind. I want to make a positive contribution – know that my life has meaning.”

 

Go well. Enjoy the sun and the rain. Thank you for your encouraging messages. We look forward to hearing from you with your questions, your suggestions, your requests for help and advice. If you find this bulletin helpful, could you take a moment to pass it onto others who might appreciate it.

Daryl Martin

 

 

  

Advice For the Voluntary Sector CIC
Registered in England & Wales No: 7939754
Sovereign Centre, Poplars, Yapton Lane, Walberton, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0AS
Telephone: 0845 319 8330 - Web: www.afvs.org.uk