a ...





BULLETIN No. 170: January 2018

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, and requests for help.

Daryl Martin


What do we have this month?

1. GDPR Training
2. Data Protection (GDPR) Update
3. Subject Access Requests (SAR)
4. Serious Incident Reporting
5. Trustee Training
6. Under-insurance: why is it a problem?
7. Online Learning
8. DBS Checks
9. Let’s Get Rid of the Managers
10. Cost to Charities of Interim Managers
11. VAT Guidance
12. Fundraising
13. How Can We Help You
14. And Finally...

1. GDPR Training
With demand growing quickly we’re holding a 2-hour evening training session in Bognor on January 22nd. Contact Becky if you’d like to attend. We’re planning a number of future courses locally and elsewhere. Let us know if you would like details as they come available.


2. Data Protection (GDPR) Update
We have sent the questionnaires to the members who’ve requested it and made contact with everyone else who showed interest. If you have put in a request but haven’t heard from us, please could I ask you to email us again. I didn’t think we’d be getting any back until late-January, but I was wrong there; they’ve been flooding in! It has given us an early opportunity to see what the issues are, and this is helpful. We will be getting reviews out later this month, and in the meantime, we are working on the policies that will be needed to help keep you safe. Questions are coming thick and fast and I’ll start sending out fresh briefings as soon as my brain starts working again.

I have a 2-hour delivered training course and also a 10-hour online course. So naturally, the first request I get is from someone wanting a 2-hour online course! OK; it’ll be ready this month. It’ll be worth signing up trustees, volunteers and staff for it because they’ll then have a basic awareness of GDPR requirements which they must have to satisfy the ICO. It’s no good having experienced operational people if everyone else is a bit fuzzy.


3. Subject Access Requests (SAR)
I mention this yet again as I’ve been involved in 2 more this month and I don’t think charities have generally caught up on the dangers of this issue. Remember that any individual is legally entitled to see any information you are holding on them. This information must be produced within 40 days, (reducing to 30 under GDPR).


4. Serious Incident Reporting
A report came in today regarding a data breach at the RNIB, who have had to contacted 817 people that made purchases at its online shop after suffering a breach of security, which may have revealed their credit and debit card details. In fact, some had reported that illegal transactions had taken place. Imagine the upheaval; writing to everyone concerned; reporting to the ICO and the Charity Commission; loss of credibility, and so on.


5. Trustee Training
I’ve already got bookings this month in different parts of the country. I have a lot of new material for us to look at together. Let me know if you are interested.


6. Under-insurance: why is it a problem?
This item comes from our partner, Tim Wiltshire at Access Insurance.
In a recent report, BCIS (Building Cost Information Service), part of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS) estimated almost 80% of commercial properties could be under-insured. While one surveying firm found 77% of properties they surveyed were under-insured by up to 45%.

What is the impact of under-insurance?
A claim for damage to buildings or contents could be reduced if you do not have adequate amounts of cover. The same applies to claims for consequential losses following a buildings claim (business interruption cover). The correct buildings cover is the total cost of rebuilding your property. The figure should include a cost for debris removal, professional fees (such as architect and surveyor fees), materials, labour and, where applicable, VAT.

What can you do about it?
The best and only accurate way to ensure you have the correct sum insured is to appoint a surveyor to calculate your ‘rebuild cost’. Get a professional surveyor to visit your premises and produce an insurance valuation report. Some insurers offer this service for free or at a reduced rate. It’s worth noting that often a rebuild sum is very different to the value of the property. The value could be higher, or lower, than the cost of rebuilding your property. To calculate the correct amount for contents and equipment, keep an up to date asset register of items, with the cost of replacing all items as new.

What is an 'average' clause?
Some organisations have mistakenly believed that as long as the amount of any claim they suffer is within the sum insured all will be fine. Sadly, this is not the case. This is due to the vast majority of insurance policies having an 'average' clause. This clause details the proportional reduction in a claim payment if a claim is made but the sum insured is not adequate.

Take a charity with a building for example. The correct building sum insured is £1,000,000, but they decide to insure for £700,000. The property suffers from flooding which leads to a claim of £200,000 to repair the damage caused. Because the charity decided to under-insure by 30% the claim payment would also reduce by 30%. Instead of receiving the £200,000 the organisation would only receive £140,000. Average clauses generally apply to all material damage and consequential loss cover (i.e. buildings, contents, equipment and business interruption).

Ensuring your organisation is properly insured is vital. You need to be confident if you make a claim that you are appropriately insured.


7. Online Learning
The online learning course I’ve been telling you about is now live. My first course is ‘All About Trustees’. It’s in 3 parts. There’s also a small course on Charity Trading, and of course the GDPR course. The GDPR Awareness course is expected to go live in about 3 weeks. I’m still able to offer discounts on some of these courses so let me know before you sign up. The course is hosted on the following website: www.bowringandjazz.com/


8. DBS Checks
Another reminder: if you carry out DBS checks it’s worth taking a few minutes to remind yourself of the Code of Practice. The code ensures that sensitive personal information, disclosed is handled and stored appropriately and is kept for only as long as necessary. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-code-of-practice


9. Let’s Get Rid of the Managers
'The key to management is to get rid of the managers,' advised Ricardo Semler, in a recent TED Talk which went viral, His views are unlikely to represent mainstream thinking on organisational design. But perhaps it is time we redefine the term “manager”, and question whether the idea of “management” as it was inherited from the industrial era, has outlived its usefulness. It’s worth taking a few minutes to look at this. I’ve been following Semler for some years.


10. Cost to Charities for Interim Managers
Probably best to avoid the ignominy of the Charity Commission taking such drastic action. Interim managers appointed by the Charity Commission charged five charities a total of almost £2.5m in fees for statutory inquiries that concluded between 2011 and 2016, figures show a further £1.2m was charged for related costs.

Sixteen interim managers are currently in place that are not included in these figures.

In one case, members of a south London evangelical Christian Church said that the charity had paid its interim manager more than £150,000 since their appointment by the Charity Commission in December 2015. Recently members of the church complained to the commission about the costs and claimed that they were originally told that the fees would cost only £24,000 and the investigation would last three months.

If you need help give us a call. You might save some money.


11. VAT Guidance
We’ve invited Les Howard, a charity VAT specialist to give us a paragraph from time to time. This time he looks at charities that are VAT registered and pay for online advertising.

There is some evidence of HMRC targeting Charities which pay for online advertising, typically with Facebook or Google. The problem is whether the recipients of such advertising are ‘selected.’ HMRC say that both Facebook and Google, as well as other online channels, use software which targets recipients, based on their online profile and browsing history, etc. They say this breaches the test, in Note 10A to the zero rating legislation. The impact will depend on the extent to which the Charity can claim input tax on its Reverse Charge. The issues are complex, but the costs may be significant. If in any doubt, do contact Les at les@vatadvice.org. Les is always available for VAT consultations.


12. Fundraising
If you need help kickstarting your fundraising or if you want someone to run a ruler over the way you do things, or if things have got a bit stale, e-mail us. We have some capability to help make a difference. We’re developing a good relationship with a fundraising specialist who mentors fundraisers. I’ve seen her output and she’s well worth talking with to see what she can do for you. We still have some modest bursaries to help with this. Check for your eligibility.


13. How Can We Help You
The list of our support services gets ever longer:

All aspects of accounts including year-end and bookkeeping
Migration to Xero and QuickBooks Online
Outsourcing (Book-keeping, virtual FD, Gift Aid etc.)
Data Protection (GDPR) compliance
HR support
Legal advice
Trading Issues (including charity shops)
Community Halls
Fundraising: reviewing, advising, mentoring, bid writing
Training, including online learning
General Advice and Consultancy
Extensive library of briefings and policy templates

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


14. And Finally...

A beautiful Advent poem by Walter Brueggemann, from his book Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth.

In our secret yearnings
we wait for your coming,
and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will.
And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.
Look upon your people
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.
Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes,
to the edge of our fingertips.
We do not want our several worlds to end.
Come in your power
and come in your weakness
and make all things new.

Go well into the new year. Thank you for your encouraging messages. We look forward to another year hearing from you with your questions, your suggestions, and your requests for help. If you find this bulletin helpful, could you take a moment to pass it on to 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