For Charities

At long last, the necessary legislative changes have been made to allow Charitable Companies (should they so wish) to be converted into Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO's). I say at long last because this was first mooted under the Charities Act 2011 so it has taken over 6 years just to get to this stage!

Needless today being charity law, it is never straightforward and so the timing of your charitable company being able to do this will be phased in from 1st January to 1st August 2018 and beyond depending on on the size of your charity.

An excellent article by Stella Smith in the Third Sector newsletter on the failure to get the bridge built through lack of funding despite raising £37m from primarily government sources. Here is a prime example of a Charity raising money for a project and not being able to complete it (or in this case even start it) because of a total dependence on a few limited sources of funding. Whatever the charity's needs, from seeking funding for a capital project to running a drop in centre, you have to plan for the long term. Great; you win a grant for the next three years from the Big Lottery Fund but what happens at the end of the three years? Too often the project dies because the charity has wrongly assumed that there will be another grant and then another.

This week commencing 13th November is #trusteeweek and I thought that rather than write a technical article about the rules and regulations, I would instead write about what being a trustee has meant to me and done for me. I had the honour to serve as a Governor of a large educational establishment for the best part of 13 years including a stint on the audit committee. I have in turn been a trustee of a very small local charity for over 20 years and next year I will be taking on a couple of new appointments.Why do I do it?

The use of restricted funds creates a mixed response from charities. Donors like them because they can be specific about what the money is used for whereas charities would prefer to use the money without restriction to give them more flexibility. Both have valid arguments but in fact restricted funds have a very useful place in charity funding.

There are many examples of new charities being set up following a high profile case, the most recent being baby Charlie Gard  where over £1m has been raised and a new charity is being set up to help babies with similar issues to Charlie.