Charity Commission Consultation and New Guidance

We recognise that many charities are facing difficult circumstances resulting from rapidly increasing costs, from their own cash flow to the issues faced by their staff. Some charities are also experiencing increased demand, particularly charities providing services to people in need.  To support trustees who may need help when facing difficult decisions about their charity’s financial position, the Charity Commission has produced new guidance.  The Charity Commission is also currently consulting on charities use of social media.

Charity Commission Guidance for Trustees

The Charity Commission has published new guidance for trustees, especially trustees of smaller charities, which includes information on:

  • Trustees’ duties and decision-making
  • What to do if you experience financial difficulties
  • What to do if your charity cannot continue to operate
  • Reporting a serious incident to the Charity Commission

Click here to read the Charity Commission’s new guidance for trustees.  The guidance also includes information about managing fuel costs following the government’s decision to put in place automatic energy bill relief for non-domestic customers until 31 March 2024, although the current level of support will reduce after 31 March 2023. In these challenging circumstances, it is important that trustees continue to understand and comply with their duties to provide effective financial stewardship, and to ensure that any decisions are in the best interests of the charity and legally sound.  The guidance does not directly address wider issues that those in the charity may face, such as staff hardships, with guidance on this and other aspects available for trustees from the Empowering Communities Partnership.

Draft Guidance on Social Media

The Charity Commission is also currently consulting on draft guidance on charities use of social media, with a closing date of 14th March 2023.  Whilst it is reasonable for trustees to delegate the day-to-day operations of social media, it is important that there is an appropriate shared understanding of the charity’s use of social media and the particular risks it can bring. The aim of this draft guidance is to help trustees improve this understanding, and to encourage charities to adopt a policy on social media as a way to set their charity’s approach.  The Charity Commission does not introduce new trustee duties but seeks to make clear how existing duties are relevant to a charity’s use of social media.

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