BULLETIN No. 163: April 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. 163: April 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. Fundraising Code Changes
2. Trading Made Simple
3. Safeguarding
4. Common Reporting Standards
5. Data Protection
6. Charity Shops
7. Board Meeting Agenda Tip
8. Financial Controls Policy
9. Trustee Training
10. Dangers of Going Over the Top
11. Risk Assessment
12. How can we help you?
13. And Finally...

1. Fundraising Code Changes
I prepared a detailed summary of the Regulator’s Fundraising Code a couple of months ago. I notice that the Regulator puts out a monthly list of amendments to the code, so I’m already a couple of months out of date. I don’t know if any of my readers are actually using my summary, but if you are, drop me a line, and I’ll send you an updated version and arrange to get it done quarterly.

 

2. Trading Made Simple
This is a major new briefing I’ve prepared for our members library. It’s aimed at trustees and administrators to give them a rounded understanding of what’s involved in charity trading. Summarises the different kinds of trading and what you can and can’t do outside of setting up a separate trading company.

 

3. Safeguarding
If you need help developing your Safeguarding Policy or help to overhaul your current policy, my colleague Jo has been doing some useful work in this and other areas, and will be glad to look at your particular needs. A current Ofsted enquiry heard how two 5-year-old girls were locked into a pitch black crypt for 2 hours while the rest of the nursery school went off to watch a film. Clearly, their policy wasn’t up to the mark. We take 6 grandchildren off to the cinema most half terms; I spend a lot of time counting them.

 

4. Common Reporting Standards
Common Reporting Standards is a new regulation for financial institutions. It’ll affect a few of my readers. Charities are considered to be financial institutions if they rely on investments for more than 50% of their income and where any of those investments are externally managed by a financial institution under a discretionary mandate. The link below tells you what you need to do. Contact us if you need help.
http://www.acf.org.uk/downloads/publications/CRS_what_CRS_means_foundations_v2.pdf

 

5. Data Protection
Getting a lot of questions on this; it’s going to be a big issue in our thinking until we get the hang of it. Our policy template is a useful starting point. Don’t forget trustees will be accountable for any misuse of personal data held on smartphones and personal laptops. A question I’m trying to resolve is how long we should keep data such as DBS checks when it’s no longer needed. Official sources say that we shouldn’t keep information any longer than necessary and that problems could arise if information that should have been deleted, but wasn’t, were still available. This is all very well, but I can visualise situations where you might need to show an insurance company for example evidence that you carried out proper checks at some stage in the past when something adverse comes to light in the future. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

 

6. Charity Shops
If you’re responsible for a shop, thinking of opening one, or even looking at a Pop-up Shop, here’s an offer you might think about. David Farndale has spent chunks of his career opening and overseeing charity shops. He’s built up considerable expertise in this area, though he also has a wealth of general charity experience. Being semi-retired, he’s keen to make his expertise available to anyone who needs help or advice. He’s based in the South but doesn’t mind a bit of travel, or there’s always Skype. Contact me if you are interested and I will put you in touch.

 

7. Board Meeting Agenda Tip
I attended a board meeting recently as an advisor and came across this agenda item: ‘Discussions/ Decisions between Meetings: (Any pertinent discussions between board members that the entire board should be made aware of.)’ I like this; if a board meets say quarterly, there are inevitable exchanges between trustees in between times. It’s a good opportunity to bring everyone up to speed and help ensure healthy transparency.

 

8. Financial Controls Policy
This is another policy newly arrived into our members library. A good starting point for you if you lack this one. Presenting a financial report at an AGM recently, I was struck afresh by the total trust people have in the Hon Treasurer and the fact that so few people lack even a basic understanding of charity finances. It’s well worth refreshing yourself in the model Anti-Fraud policy, also in our library. These are good reminders that even basic checks and balances can have a significant effect on reducing the possibility of fraud. When money goes missing it’s not the money that’s lost, it’s the damage of trust and respect that often finishes off the organisation.

 

9. Trustee Training
I’m not keen on traveling much in the winter months; now summer’s a coming I’m keener to venture out. Most of the enquiries coming in are from the Midlands, so I shall be up and down various motorways. But I have been booked for a session in Bournemouth which is much nicer as I can go early and paddle. E-mail me if you’d like to explore training tailored to your particular needs; seaside venues preferred but I will travel inland if I need to.

 

10. Dangers of Going Over the Top
Most of us have got too much on our plates, and we lack the time we need. I’m taking steps to simplify my life in every area; this is hard; 3 steps forward, 2 back. Something I have noticed though is the tendency of some of us to make life as difficult as possible for those around us. I have a friend, a trustee who was told categorically that he was legally obliged to undertake a certain training course. When he asked to see the ‘legal requirements,' he was invited to read over 100 pages of small print which left him none the wiser. Another trustee was asked to complete a detailed form about himself, including his medical history; he was also told this was the law! I’ve seen other examples recently which I won’t bore you with. Keep it simple; be proportionate, make sure you really do have to do things others say you must do. Rant over!

 

11. Risk Assessment
Getting regular questions asking for help to prepare risk assessments including DSE. Please note that where charity workers are required to work from home, the risk assessment should include an assessment of the risks to the worker that arise from working at home.

 

12. How can we help you?
This year we’re extending our advice and support services. We can now help with:


All aspects of accounts including year end and book-keeping
Outsourcing
HR support
Legal advice
Fundraising, including Charity Shops
HMRC and Charity Commission issues
Training
General Advice and Consultancy
Extensive library of briefings and policy templates


Contact us anytime if you need help on anything that’s charity related.

 

13. And Finally...

May is going to be a busy month for you. Here’s a prayer to help you stay centred.

COMPASS
Thank you for being the firm centre of my world.
I may dash here and there to listen,
hug and comfort,
write or pray -
But always circle back again
to home, and you.

Your love grounds me
in stability -
roots to my giving,
an anchor in storms.
Where would I be without you?
Endlessly adrift, without horizons.

Thank you for freeing me to reach out
(It's who I am why I'm here)
But like a compass draws a circle,
I need you at my centre
to find purpose
to be whole. (Christine Rigden)

Go well. Enjoy a new summer. 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, please 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