Governance report: March 2022 | NCVO BlogsNCVO Blogs

Charities supporting Ukraine

Earlier this month, my colleague Alex published a blog explaining how charities and civil society can support Ukraine. Our sector is often at the forefront of responding to global issues, and over the past few weeks we have seen voluntary organizations around the world come together to support the people of Ukraine and all those affected by war. .

Boards of charities wishing to participate in this effort should ensure that they are thoughtful in their action and keep in mind their charitable objects and powers. Organizations can support our collective effort in many ways through direct actions, donations and campaigns, but administrators should be aware of their duties when deciding how to participate.

If you would like to contribute to the support effort in Ukraine, but are unsure of your credentials as a trustee, the Charity Commission has released new guidance for charities and trustees on supporting Ukraine.

Charities Act 2022

The Charities Act 2022 received Royal Assent at the end of February, delivering on the recommendations of the Law Commission’s 2017 report, Technical Issues in Charity Law. This Act amends a number of key sections of the Charities Act 2011, one of the main pieces of legislation for charities in England and Wales.

The new law aims to reduce bureaucracy and make it easier for charities to operate. It does this by allowing:

  • simpler amendment to governing documents where the Charity Commission needs to approve the change – the same test will now apply to all charities, rather than different tests for different forms
  • reduced rules regarding disposal of property, ex gratia payments and charity mergers
  • flexibility in how charities can use permanent endowment funds.

If changes to charities law affect your organization, we recommend that you seek specialist legal advice.

Working with non-charitable organizations

The Chelsea FC Foundation found itself in the spotlight earlier this month when reports emerged that the football club was under the charity’s ‘stewardship’. The decision raised the question of whether this management falls within the purpose and objects of the foundation. The administrators also shared that they did not formally agree to the stewardship arrangement prior to the announcement.

The Charity Commission has clear guidelines for charities with a non-charity connection that set out how to manage risk and what to do if something goes wrong.

In the news

Small Charity Coalition Help Desk

NCVO and FSI are working together to advance the services of the Small Charity Coalition, which closes this month. 92% of our members are considered small charities, so we’re excited to be able to offer an even higher level of support to organizations and administrators.

This week we released full details of the NCVO and FSI partnership.

Chairman of the charity committee

The government has announced Orlando Fraser as the preferred candidate for the next chair of the Charity Commission. This is a vital role for our sector, and we know how important open and transparent recruitment processes are for charities and trustees. We are therefore disappointed that the process has not been renewed in its entirety and we are concerned about Orlando Fraser’s political ties. However, we look forward to a final appointment in this vital role.

We have issued a full press release with ACEVO on the announcement.

The organization of alternative therapies against cancer will disappear

In 2018, the Charity Commission undertook a consultation on the charitable status of providers of alternative therapies, concluding with an amendment to the information requested by the Commission to ensure that these providers fully meet the two criteria for charitable status. charity. It is a requirement that charities can demonstrate their public interest and limit any risk of harm. This month, trustees of the Gerson Support Group launched the process of winding up the organization, after the regulator raised concerns about the organization’s alternative therapy claims.

You can find out more in the Charity Commission press release.


This month we were pleased to announce that Sarah Vibert has been named CEO. The nomination process was led by NCVO Trustee Chair Dr Priya Singh, with support from fellow trustees, independent industry leaders and NCVO staff representatives and more than 17,000 agency members charitable.

You can read more about Sarah in our full announcement.

Trainings and events

Sally Stephens is a NCVO governance advisor. For more regular updates, follow @Sally_Steph Where @NCVO on Twitter.

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