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Charity Law Update

We are grateful to Anthony Collins Solicitors for their support for the Governance Hub. They regularly provide updates on charity law at meetings and you can sign up to receive regular charity law e-briefings via their website or contact them about any legal services. We also produce some financial information updates.

Below are some recent highlights of law and procedural changes that affect charities.

The Charity Commission have updated two pieces of guidance recently, both in the financial areas. Charity Finances: Trustee Essentials (CC25) and Charity governance, finance and resilience.

Fundraising Regulator and the Code of Fundraising Practice: Registered charities in England and Wales can now apply to register with The Fundraising Regulator. Organisations which have paid the fundraising levy will already be registered with the Fundraising Regulator and should have access to the badge. The cost for charities that have not paid the levy is £50 in return for which the charities will receive access details for the Registration Pack - containing the 'Registered With' badge in several formats and guidelines for badge usage. 

It is planned to review and update the Code of Fundraising Practice on a rolling basis. As part of this, the Fundraising Regulator has published its consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice. The consultation seeks views on the many areas including role of Charity trustees, the fundraising ask, solicitation (disclosure) statements, whistleblowing, people in vulnerable circumstances and use of third parties. The deadline for responding is Friday 28th April 2017.

In 2016 the Charity Commission revised its guidance on fundraising and the Institute of Fundraising has produced a free handbook called Trustees and Fundraising: A practical handbook to complement the official Charity Commission CC20 guidance on fundraising for trustees.

Data Protection: There are going to be major changes in Data Protection Law coming into effect in May 2018. Anthony Collins has produced some practical steps for organisations in relation to HR records.

Register of People with Significant Control: From 30 June 2016, if your charity is a UK company (usually a company limited by guarantee), then you will now need to file a ‘confirmation statement’ at Companies House in place of an annual return. Visit the Anthony Collins website for more information.

Charity Annual Returns and accounts: Anthony Collins have produced introductory guide to help in the preparation of Annual Returns to the Charity Commission. Visit their guidance page. The Charity Commission has published new reporting and accounting guidance for charities with financial years from November 2016. The guidance reflects the 2016 Charities Act provisions on the reporting of fundraising in the annual report of charities above the audit threshold. Over 10,000 charities miss the deadline to file with Charity Commission. Remember that failure to file on time is a criminal offence and charities risk enforcement action. Read the article in Charity Finance on this issue.

Accruals accounts – guidance and templates: The Charity Commission has published the following, to help non-company charities with incomes of less than £500,000 prepare their trustees’ annual report and accrual accounts in accordance with Charities SORP FRS 102:

Thinking about converting to a CIO?:  Those working in the charity and social enterprise sector know that a good legal structure enables an organisation to work effectively to achieve its aims. Anthony Collins have produced guidance on converting to a CIO.