Some of you will have staff or professional advisers who can help you. If that is so, they can guide you, and you should avoid stepping on their toes. But if you don’t have those resources, or they are overwhelmed, you may find one or more of these resources helpful. Please make a note of when the information was published, as the situation is constantly changing. This information is given in good faith, but we cannot take responsibility for its accuracy.
Governance and compliance
The Charity Commission has said that its ‘approach to regulation during this period will be as flexible and supportive as possible.’ Read the Charity Commission’s latest guidance. It has also announced that charities having difficulty filing their annual return can now apply for an extension.
If you are considering new activities, remember to check your governing document to make sure they are within your objects and that you have the necessary powers, for example, to make or seek loans. Charities wanting to apply to change their objects, to expand their reach during this crisis can do so. The Charity Commission is prioritising all coronavirus related applications and enquiries. So make sure to mark any enquiry with COVID 19 or Coronavirus.
Remote meetings: We asked law firm Bates Wells for guidance and they’ve kindly put together a guide on holding charity trustee meetings during the coronavirus crisis.
The Chartered Governance Institute has also created some guidance on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on AGMs.
We’ve created some top tips for remote board meetings.
The FSI has written a good article on making online board meetings work.
Procurement policy: The Government has issued a Procurement Policy Note, setting out guidance for all public bodies on payment of suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after coronavirus.
Legal issues: Sign up to receive the recording of a webinar run by Bates Wells and NCVO, which includes advice on HR, contracts, insurance, governance and volunteer management.
Social distancing and other health measures: See the Government’s advice on social distancing and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.
Responsibilities as an employer: Do look at the ACAS guidance and the Government’s guidance which is now updated daily. Some legal firms have also published advice on this, see for example these briefings from VWV and from Bates Wells.
DBS checks: The Charity Commission has issued new guidance covering DBS checks.
Volunteering: See NCVO’s guidance on volunteering in lockdown.
HR support: Cranfield Trust offers a free HR helpline and support for charities.
Charity Finance Group has collated some resources on looking after yourself during the coronavirus crisis.
Mind has some practical tips for looking after your wellbeing while you’re staying at home.
Emergency funding: Charity Bank has compiled a list of emergency funds which charities can apply for.
You can also find out more about funding in NCVO’s blog Coronavirus and charity funding: the latest developments.
Reserves and restricted funding: The Charity Commission has updated its guidance on using reserves and restricted funding.
Financial guidance: The Charity Tax Group has a useful page on sector lobbying efforts, financial support packages, government guidance, tax and finance updates.
Good Finance has a Resource Hub full of information designed to support charities through coronavirus.
Financial difficulties: If your charity is getting into financial difficulty you may wish to consult CC12 the Charity Commission guidance on managing financial difficulties, especially if there is a risk of insolvency.
State aid: Charity Tax Group has some useful guidance on the Government’s new Expanded Retail Discount and the implications this may have on some charities’ state aid limit.
Funders and donors: If you are facing financial difficulty and have grant funding – talk to your funders. If donors (individual or institutional) have given money for a specific initiative, which is not now possible because of timing, travel or other restrictions, ask if they will give permission to carry funding over or allow it to be applied differently. Read more about funders who are saying they will be flexible, and see if your funder is on this list.
Fundraising events: Do check the advice from the fundraising regulator on what you need to think about when cancelling fundraising events. The Institute of Fundraising also has advice for fundraisers.
Charity Digital is offering digital support to charities. You can submit any questions you may have about using digital platforms during the coronavirus crisis. Charity Digital also has a list of technology organisations which are offering support for charities.
If you need help with digital solutions consider Digital Candle. They offer a free one-hour call. They are currently prioritising support for charities who are looking for urgent help to ensure business continuity (remote working, tools to support their communities etc).
TechSoup is running a range of courses to help organisations adjust to remote working, including using SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and Outlook effectively.
Legal issues and support
Bates Wells has compiled a useful briefing about the range of legal issues that coronavirus is throwing up e.g. around contracts, insurance and immigration.
Other sector sources of advice
NAVCA – are playing a leading role at a local level, do check out their list of members to find local sources of support.
ACEVO – offer guidance and support to Chief Executives of not for profits.
Volunteering Matters – is offering a service which connects charities with businesses/businesses who can offer skilled support.
Reach Volunteering – can help you find volunteers to support you in areas such as taking your services online, working remotely, financial forecasting and navigating change.
Please let us know of any other useful resources you have found which we can add to this page.
#EveryDayCounts campaign- we need your support
We understand that many charities are facing immediate difficulties and are concerned about being able to continue their vital work.
We are working with colleagues across the charity sector to secure reassurances from the Government that charities will receive the support they need, avoiding closures and redundancies.
We’re encouraging all charity Chairs and Vice Chairs to support this campaign. Here’s how you can get involved:
• Join in the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #EveryDayCounts
• Share this tweet with your followers
• Contact your local MP and ask for their support
We’re keen to support Chairs as best we can during this unprecedented situation. If you’d like information on any areas which we’ve not yet covered please email us.
Are you interested in becoming an Association of Chairs member? Find out more about membership.