Keeping track of all the Charity Commission updates can be tricky at the best of times. Add in all the extra Coronavirus updates and it’s even more so. In this article we cover what you need to know from the past few months.

Charity Commission Updates

Coronavirus Guidance

Guidance about Coronavirus (COVID-19) related financial difficulties in charities and how to work through them, highlighting key considerations such as reviewing finances, conserving income and minimising costs.

Charity Enquiry – Save the Children

The Commission found that that there were weaknesses in the charity’s workplace culture, and that Save the Children UK let down the complainants, its staff and the wider public.

The failings identified by the Commission include:

  • The charity failed to consistently follow its own processes when staff members made allegations of inappropriate conduct against the charity’s CEO in 2012 and 2015;
  • The decision to deal with those complaints informally, rather than to investigate them fully, ran counter to the charity’s own disciplinary procedures; and
  • The whole trustee body was not made aware of important issues as early as it should have been: the trustee body was not informed of allegations made against the charity’s CEO in 2012, and did not receive a copy of the full findings of an external report on corporate culture in 2015.

You can read the report here.

Filing Charity Annual Returns during the Coronavirus pandemic

Any charity that needs an extension to file their annual return can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one. More information is available here.

Charity Commission Regulatory and Risk Framework

The framework sets out the Charity Commission’s approach and how they assess risk when deciding how to deal with individual cases.

Coronavirus: Increased Risk of Fraud and Cybercrime Against Charities

This alert provides information and advice for charities about Coronavirus (COVID-19) related fraud and cybercrime.

Reporting Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission during the Coronavirus pandemic

This guidance for trustees covers what matters may need to be reported as a serious incident during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Wider Updates / Interesting Articles

  • The House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services is calling for evidence from voluntary sector organisations for its inquiry – article available here.
  • This article considers the way charities and voluntary sector organisations can deliver contracts for the public sector and changes needed in light of the flexibility shown during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • How can charities make sure the right people are in the right place at the right time? This article considers two ways the voluntary sector is tackling the issue.
  • CRA and NCS have launched a ‘million hours’ volunteer scheme which will allow 16 and 17 year-olds to volunteer in charity shops when they reopen – article available here.
  • A group of charities have set out their vision for a conscious, coordinated effort to using and gathering data in the charity sector.
  • A plan granting charities access to legacy funds during donors’ lifetime could unlock new money has been announced here.

At Stephens Scown our Charity team has a track record of supporting clients through a wide range of issues from employment law to property leases, data protection to commercial contracts. We work with a range of clients from national charities to local community energy groups, pioneering new enterprises and social housing providers. You can find out more about what we do here.