A point of view from Andrew Middleton - Trustee and former charity CEO, Not For Profit and Philanthropy Consultant, Mentor & Founder I'm Not Done Yet
The Charity Commission’s CC3 guidance The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do clearly describes a trustees responsibilities as: -
“Trustees have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, a charity’s management and administration.
“You and your co-trustees must ensure that your charity complies with the law, and should be able to demonstrate that it is legally compliant, well run and effective in carrying out its purposes. If you can’t demonstrate these things, you should be able to explain what steps you are taking to address any difficulties.
You may find it helpful to review your charity’s compliance and good practice using:
The Commission are clear that the word must “means something is a legal or regulatory requirement or duty that trustees must comply with”. Therefore this, places a legal obligation on the Trustees to fulfil this requirement. The choice is relatively simple:
- 1.Do nothing either in ignorance or through a lack of will to comply
- 2.Do nothing believing the charity is compliant and can prove this if challenged
- 3.Undertake some form of action to demonstrate compliance, which is usually either undertaken in-house (by trustees, volunteers or staff) or outsourced to an external consultant
Only the third option allows proper fulfilment of the CC3 requirement. But this diverts time and effort away from core business when carried out in-house, or is potentially costly if outsourced. Also, the competency level of resources could be an issue.
There is an alternative: Digi-Board™ provides a pragmatic solution that allows trustees to fulfil their obligation without diverting staff/trustee/volunteer focus at a cost that falls way below the equivalent of engaging a consultant. It also has the benefit of being systematically built around the best practice, i.e. the Charity Governance Code.
The bottom line is that this needs to be done as a regulatory requirement and Digi-Board™ offers a cost-effective solution with minimal impact on the charity’s resources.
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