I have to say that I am very lucky to be part of the fantastic Freelance Heroes network and it was at one of their weekly tweetups when we were talking about social media, that the idea of writing a monthly roundup as a reflection piece came up. So, first off a huge shout out and thank you to Alice Hollis for the original idea and subsequent support.
So here it is my first monthly round-up. Thinking back over July and what I’ve been up to a common theme arose around charity governance.
The highlight of my month was officially becoming a Trustee at Wood Street Mission in Manchester. This amazing charity is about improving the life chances of children living in poverty in Manchester & Salford and I feel very privileged to be able to help them do this. One of my reasons for becoming a Trustee is that I firmly believe that you should give something back. In this instance, it’s my knowledge of charity finance and governance that I hope to put to good use.
As a Trustee of a charity, your primary responsibility is to act in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries which means knowing your governing document and only acting within this. You should treat your governing document as a handbook and never be afraid to refer back to it if you are unsure of something.
One way to ensure that your charity is doing this is by using the Charity Governance code and this is exactly what I did with one of my clients this month. The very helpful checklist is a great way to start and I spent a good few hours working with one of the Trustees of the charity going through this, looking at where we met best practice and identifying areas for improvement. At the end of this session was had devised an action plan to talk through at the next Trustee meeting…definitely a morning well spent!
Speaking of helpful checklist and guidance I have also spent time reading the Charity Commissions guidance on charities working with non-charities. Yes I know, not your typical evening reading but it’s an important part of my continuing professional development (CPD) and ensures that I can help clients meet their responsibilities.
There are several ‘key principles’ in this guidance all aimed at ensuring that Trustees do not put their charity at risk by working with non-charities, that they operate within their charitable purposes and that the work with a non-charity helps further this. Again, this comes back to Trustees knowing their governing document and reading it through. I am now working through this checklist for one of my clients and am looking forward to sharing this at their next Trustee meeting.
So, there it is just a few highlights from July. I’m already looking forward to sharing my August exploits with you next month.
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