Archive for Articles

Your charity’s reputation – no amnesty for charity trustees
May 5th, 2022Articles, UncategorizedGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

How secure do you feel about your charity’s reputation? Have you taken all the steps you can to protect your organisation from a damaging turn of events? And to prepare in case the worst ever did happen? Great British charities Amnesty International UK Oxfam Save the Children  These are household charity names. Great charity profiles. […]

Charity minutes matter – ask Marie Stopes International
April 11th, 2020ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Taking charity minutes – for trustee and other key meetings – may seem a hum-drum task. Maybe so, but proper minute-taking is vital – as the trustees of Marie Stopes International recently found out to their embarrassment. Public outcry Marie Stopes International provoked public outcry by its decision to award its chief executive a £434,500 […]

Don’t let coronavirus / COVID-19 de-rail your charity governance
March 26th, 2020ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Here is some practicaladvice to help your charity survive the Coronavirus crisis. In times of trouble, think positive. Above all, look after your beneficiaries and look after your staff. Remember your charity’s reputation matters – do to others as you would be done by. If you have fund-raised for an event that is not going […]

February 14th, 2020ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

“Succession planning” for your trustee board may sound daunting.  And it might feel like an item on your never-ending To Do List which can surely wait. But it can be a straight-forward part of your charity’s annual governance cycle.  It’s  the key to your charity’s sustainability, continuity and long-term success.  A small investment in forward […]

Ten top tips for good charity governance
October 26th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

1. Your charity’s governing document matters Your governing document is both your charity’s Bible and its Highway Code. If your charity is doing something different, your charity trustees can be way off track before realising they have set a foot wrong. Check it out regularly, at least once a year, and stay legal. 2.  Adopt the charity trustee […]

Learning from the recent Trustee Nightmares
October 19th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

You are a charity trustee. In your trustee nightmare,  you are successively chair of trustees of each of these famous, now perhaps notorious, national charities: Oxfam Save the Children The Presidents Club Age UK Help for Heroes Kids Company Each of these charities has encountered major problems including, variously: allegations of sexual exploitation breaches of […]

Lessons for charity trustees from Scope’s radical new strategy
October 12th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

The well-known national charity Scope is adopting a radical new strategy. It includes a 40% reduction in the charity’s income and shedding 60% of its employees. There are lessons here for every charity and every charity trustee – lessons in being radical. Scope – The story so far Founded as The National Spastics Society in […]

Behind almost every charity dispute lies a failure of governance
October 5th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Charity disputes are all too common, and this is not a well-known tenet of charity management, but it is one I know to be true: behind almost every charity dispute lies a failure of governance. Avoiding charity disputes How to avoid charity disputes altogether: – be warned Be warned and be careful – charities are potential powder […]

Charity Commission failing to act for three charities
May 25th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

If your charity experiences major fraud or another serious problem, the Charity Commission has statutory powers and obligations to take action. I confess that I am shocked to say I am currently working with no fewer than three charities, who have reported serious problems to the Charity Commission, and requested regulatory actions from the Commission, […]

May 17th, 2018ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

You might think your charity’s employees can’t kick out your board of trustees.  Decisions made by your charity’s trustees will always trump those made by members of staff, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It really matters how your charity’s constitution is written. If you’re not careful, your charity’s constitution may allow the tail […]

Keeping your charity’s fundraising in the clear
October 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Do you need to worry? As a charity trustee, you have legal responsibility for your charity’s management and administration. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Fundraising Preference Service could result in your charity being reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office and it could be fined up to £500,000. So yes, you do need […]

Should I take my charity dispute to court?
September 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 1 Comments

As in other organisations, charities and charity trustees can both end up in court. You may find yourself on the receiving end of someone else’s claim.  But what if you are considering taking your case to court? Disputes with third parties Your charity’s disputes may be: contractual issues with suppliers employment issues boundary disputes regaining […]

How your charity can avoid election fines
April 22nd, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

In the run-up to this general election, it matters what your charity says, and how much it spends on saying it. The Electoral Commission chose the day after Theresa May called our snap 2017 general election to announce fines on Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace for breaking campaigning rules during the 2015 General Election. […]

How to boost your charity’s blood-count
April 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

You may not have been waiting with bated breath for the House of Lords to produce its report “Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society”, but here it is, all 156 pages, published for weekend reading on Sunday 26th March 2017 – and usefully summarised for you here. Is this of any real practical use to […]

Is being a charity trustee a nightmare?
March 18th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

If so, you may not be alone! A charity CEO complains of being driven out of the third sector by “Victorian attitudes” among charity trustees – just as the draft of a new Charity Governance Code is published. Co-incidence or serendipity? Everyone starts out with the best of intentions, but… Are your trustee boards like […]