Posts tagged ‘Charity Sector’

Well it really depends on what you mean by paid.

Remuneration

your time is a valuable resourceIt is true that a Trustee can not be paid for the time and skills committed to assisting the charity.  This is to prevent conflicts of interest when a Trustees personal decisions are not necessarily in line with those of the charity, and ensures that the charity sector doesn’t ruin the trust it has built with the public with media stories of fat cat bonuses, like the banking sector are still trying to shrug off.

Expenses

California StreetA Trustee should not however, be out of pocket.  It is one thing to donate your time, thoughts and energy to the cause, but to be financially worse off as a result is recognised by the Sector, after all attracting highly skilled people to take on the time commitment and huge responsibility of Trusteeship is difficult enough.

It is therefore considered acceptable to reimburse such as travel to Trustees meetings and specifically identifiable telephone call charges.

It is imperative however that the governing document (usually a Memorandum and Articles of Association, a Trust Deed or a Constitution) allows this.  Many of these documents have not been revised since the origin of the charity and more often than not prohibit any payment of charity funds to Trustees.

If expenses are allowed then Trustees should be careful to ensure adequate controls have been designed and fully implemented so that their governance of charitable funds is not questioned.  Your auditor should be able to advise whether the systems in place constitute “adequate controls”.

Services

In the Charities Act 2011 which was implemented in phases between 2006 and 2011, it was acknowledged that in some circumstances it is perfectly logical and commercial for a Trustee to tender for work to be carried out for the charity.  For example, if a surveyor was a partner in a Chartered firm and a Trustee, it would be nonsense to engage the services of a different firm to offer advice regarding properties held, when the Trustee already knows the objectives of the charity, the opinions of the Trustees and the properties involved. He may even offer his professional services at a preferential rate.

Once again the Governing document may prohibit this, but assuming it doesn’t, the board must ensure that they are using charitable resources in the most effective manner and the Trustee in question must be removed from any decision making process in respect of his firm’s appointment.

Regulation

This is bound to be a focus point of Charity Commission scrutiny, so make sure you read the guidance on their website and liaise with your auditor before considering this.

It is also possible to obtain the Commission’s approval, which I would recommend if the amounts involved are substantial or relate to non-commercial circumstances such as compensation for loss of earning because the Trustee was required to attend a meeting.

The Commission also has the power to override the governing document, which may be useful if time does not allow for the document to be amended and approved.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

Obviously, we all network to build a contact database in the hope of developing relationships that create business leads, but for those of us who are commited to business networking, both online and offline, the benefits are multi-faceted.

When I look back over the last ten years and reflect, I am amazed a how much I have changed as a person as a result of my networking experiences.

Skills

By rolling up my sleeves and getting involved, I have learned many skills that my retail training and professional accountancy training could not have taught me.  These include;

  1. creating, organising, promoting and hosting events
  2. managing a team, including chairing a committee of volunteers
  3. opportunities to work in the charity sector, which have since been a significant part of gaining my Diploma in Charity Accounting
  4. many different forms of marketing, communication and negotiation skills
  5. and of course – blogging and social media techniques.

Friends

The number of great friends I have acquired as a result of networking moves me.  Friends that I can pick up the ‘phone to, banter with on Twitter, share books with, ask both personal and business advice or simply meet for a cuppa whilst our children play.

So the second half of my “10 ways” is devoted to paying homage to them as a small token of my appreciation.

  1. Mervyn Foster.  Looked after me like a surrogate father in the early days of my time on the HBN committee; partnered with me when hosting The Missing Link in Cambridgeshire; “bullied me” into attending Toastmasters and is often my chaparone to networking events allowing me to chew of his ear in the car!  A life-long friend and trusted counsel.
  2. Julie Buck.  Another HBNer that has had a significant impact on my life.  Her passion for business and helping others to be healthy and successful is infectious, and as a result Hunters’ Health was conceived.  She is a great leader, and like Mervyn someone I can confide in.
  3. Heather Townsend.  A more recent addition to my networking circle, Heather was one of my first Twitterbuddies.  Her no-nonsense approach to business and love of networking drew my attention.  We now chat for hours on social media about business and personal issues. She is now an accomplished author as well as a successful coach, I am proud to know her.
  4. Other Twitterbuddies and Bloggers that deserve a shout out: Helen Stothard, Katherine Connolly, Maxine Welford, Darren Leighfield, Jim Connolly.  Thank you for your support, entertainment and generosity.

Number 10

And finally, it has to be said that the biggest benefit that networking has given me other than an amazing Linked In, Twitter and Facebook contact list, is BELIEF.

My networking experiences have helped me to become the person I am today by developing my confidence and helping me to enjoy my work, knowing that I add value to my clients business.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

I tweet  and network with many different people working in the charity sector and find that many of them have their ‘Broadcast’ button stuck on.  “Help us…”, ‘Donate here…”, “We need more followers..”   There are a few exceptions to this of course, such as @eczemasupport  and @freshties  who are real people taking the time to support others, and you will see me regularly conversing with them online

Personal and ‘to the point’

So, when I received this message from a charity connection of mine via Linked In, I could not help but be touched.  The author had taken the time to tell a ‘real’ story, with a compelling message that gave me reason to revisit their website to refresh my mind regarding their objectives.  The message was personal and did not overwhelm me with facts and did not feel intrusive.

Focus on IMPACT

It simply focussed on an example of the IMPACT the Charity’s objectives were  having on real people – not the brand, not statistics and not how desperate they are for your money. 

And of course, I clicked the giving page and donated: Perfect charity PR with intended result achieved. 

My opinion

My only comment would be (because I always have to have my ‘two pennies worth’) to take the time to personalise the message, so it was even less of a broadcast and more of a friendly communication and perhaps leave the fundraising link until after the ‘real’ story.

 

 

 

 

Gabby’s Message

Dear Friend

I doubt if you know how flat footed I am, so this personal challenge [5k run] is not an easy one for me! It is also for an extremely worthy cause and I would be really grateful if you would do your bit to support me!

Please visit my fundraising page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GabriellaBeddows

27 of the children that we support, spent this weekend at the Malvern Hills Outdoor Centre as part of our Noah’s Ark Activity Weekend. It is a very difficult time for the young people, helping them to discover and understand their feelings.  One of the young ladies wrote on our facebook wall:

“Thank you so much for such a brilliant and life changing weekend! I’ve met such kind, lovely people, and made some beautiful new friends including all the staff that were on camp!  Words cannot explain how grateful I am for everything you have done for me and how it’s helped me!  I didn’t know that I could ever move on after my Grandma’s death and you’ve helped me to achieve that so I honestly can’t thank you enough! “

With many thanks x

Gabby Beddows
Noah’s Ark Trust
Chief Executive

T: 01905 340019
F: 01905 745121
M: 07967 467958
E: gbeddows@noahsarktrust.co.uk
W: http://www.noahsarktrust.co.uk

If you are not aware of the work of this organisation, please take a moment to look at their website.

Working hard…..

Gabby says “Coming to terms with the death of a loved one is difficult enough for an adult, but for a child or young person it can be overwhelming.  Children regularly tell us that they feel isolated, misunderstood, to blame, angry, sad and struggle to cope with the finality of it all.  

At Noah’s Ark Trust  we help them through their bereavement, offering one-to-one support and guidance along with activity weekends where they can meet other bereaved children.  The service is offered free of charge to families in Herefordshire & Worcestershire and there lies our biggest challenge during this current economic climate. Last year we supported over 800 children and raised over £450,000. We are working hard to raise the essential funds we need to help these children towards a brighter future.

Your ‘two pennies worth’

Of course, I am an accountant working in the Charity Sector, not a marketing/PR professional.  If you are experienced in dealing with the 3rd sector, both Gabby and I would be pleased to hear your views on this type of PR activity, please leave a comment.

 


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.