In our recent charities check-in webinar, we summarised several key governance points that would form part of a spring clean.
We suggest that every charity reviews whether it has the correct policies in place and whether they are sufficiently up to date to meet the charity’s needs. For example, a charity providing assistance to vulnerable people should have a safeguarding policy, charities should consider having a reserves policy setting out how spare funds should be managed and a risk management policy that is regularly updated to tackle ever-evolving matters such as fraud.
As the pandemic continues, it is vital to check whether your charity has suitable provisions in its constitution permitting remote trustee and members’ meetings. The Charity Commission has recently updated its guidance on holding AGMs and other charity meetings during the pandemic. It remains important for charities to be clear whether they have the correct clauses within their governing documents allowing virtual or telephone meetings. If there is no such clause, we recommend that your articles are updated to ensure good governance of your charity moving forwards. Please click here to read more about the Commission’s updated guidance.
The structure of your charity may also be important, as charitable companies and charitable incorporated organisations have, until recently, been able to make use of legislation permitting remote meetings during the pandemic (more on this below). In any case, we suggest that you keep detailed records of all meetings and decisions to ensure that there is no doubt how and when decisions were made, should they be challenged at a later date.
All charities must adhere to the law on data protection. We continue to see reports of charities having had regulatory action taken against them for breaches of data protection. In addition to having a data protection policy, you should follow updates on changes to GDPR, now that Brexit has made its future a little uncertain, and ensure that your charity’s policies and privacy notices refer to the correct legislation.
We would be happy to assist with a review of your charity’s governance. If you would like to discuss a review or any particular governance issue with a member of our team, please contact us to arrange a call.