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Trustee’s Week 2016 – some contemporary issues.

Yesterday, we attended a semnar at Dunfermline in Fife, dedicated to Charity Trustees. This was an excellent day hosted by various bodies including OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) who invited others such as HMRC.

Here are some contemporary governnce issues raised…

– Charity trustees must keep constitution reviewed and up to date, reviewing reviewing, say, at least once every 3 years.
– Trustees need to ask the question “what is happening in the charity “?. Does the Constitution reflect the type of organisation you are ?.
– Trustees also need to ask “who are our members” ?.
– There are three models.
Model 1 – In many charities, the trustees are the members. This is OK. This is called a “narrow model”.
Model 2– members are broader then trustees.
Model 3– this is where you have a team trustees (say 10), and an unlimited amount of members. This model is good for fun raising.

– Trustees need to ask the question, “where can week governance be exposed” ?.
It is crucial that charities have an accurate members list, and that this is constantly reviewed. A suggestion is that the members list be reviewed at each trustees meeting or at least at each AGM.

The term “Constitution” is becoming a “broad set of documents”. It is no longer just a constitution as a “standalone” document. “This is the route we are heading” said Lyndsays solicitors. We are going from a trust document to many policy documents. This is going from just been” good practice” to being “legal practice”. There are some templates available for trustees for things like “Email policies”, “staff policies”, “trust deed” documents, “data protection policy” etc.

– It only takes one trustee to cause problems.
– Does the chairman have someone they can talk to ?.
– The average age of trustees in Scotland is 56 years old. This needs to change to a younger generation.
– Only half of charities in Scotland are “digitally mature”. (This does not include social media).
– but 800,000 people in Scotland are not on-line. This is a challenge.

Here is  link to “Scottish Mediation”. (Not all Trustees will agree all the time !)

Here is a link to a new document issued by OSCR called “Guidance & good practice”.

Also, we have scanned some of the notes distributed for your information;

Gift Aid declaration notes

Legal Governance issues_Lyndays solicitors

Charity trading is “grey area”. Want to open a cafe ?. Want to sell goods to raise funds ?. We can help you with this. Also, Here is a link regarding “trading and charities.

There was more handed out and discussed. But if you want help regarding yor charity, we are here to help.