Keeping your Charity safe

A guide for Trustees of small or medium-sized charities

Your responsibilities

As a trustee, your job is to act as the “custodian” of your charity.

This means acting in the charity’s best interests and managing it responsibly.

As a trustee you are legally responsible for the management of the charity, a responsibility which is shared with your co-trustees.

The UK Charity Commission sets out the key responsibilities of a trustee, which include:

  • Ensuring the charity is carrying out the purposes for which it was established.
  • Following the charity’s governing document.
  • Complying with charity laws and all other laws in the countries where the charity operates.

A key part of a trustees' job is to regularly review and assess the risks your charity faces. This helps you to manage these risks and ensure your charity continues to fulfil its goals. Risks can come in many forms.

This guide will help you to manage the specific risk of financial crime.



Download Charity Guide
(PDF, 3.16MB)

 

Top 10 tips for Charity Trustees

  1. 01

    Comply with your governing document and make sure important documents such as insurance policies and licences are up-to-date and in one place.

  2. 02

    Understand your charity’s record keeping processes; make sure they are accurate and you can show where your funds come from and how they are spent.

  3. 03

    Make sure you have processes to identify and manage risk – the Charity Commission has excellent resources on risk management for smaller charities.

  4. 04

    Appoint new trustees in line with your constitution. Make sure they understand their roles and obligations.

  5. 05

    Consider minuting all meetings properly and ensure that minutes are kept safely.

  6. 06

    Keep up-to-date with your paper work and make sure that you have lodged all the right documents on time with the Charity Commission.

  7. 07

    Review the financial health of your charity regularly and make sure you are confident that the accounting requirements and methods are robust.

  8. 08

    We recommend volunteers are selected, trained and managed formally including any statutory obligations such as CRB checks.

  9. 09

    Observe data protection laws. Public sector organisations have received six figure fines for breaches such as losing confidential data or not storing it securely.

  10. 10

    According to the National Audit Office, significant sums are lost in unclaimed Gift Aid. Gift Aid reclaim can now be done online. Consider reviewing your Gift Aid strategy if it is something that you’ve not looked at recently.

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