New Charities Bill means changes for the sector
There has been much talk about the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill. This has now completed its passage through Parliament.
The Bill will have implications for the charitable sector so in this addition of the BVA ebulletin we thought you might like a summary of what changes in the law we can expect:
- Charity Commission powers: The Charity Commission will have more regulatory powers over charities, including a new power to give official 'warnings' to charities
- Disqualification of charity trustees: The Charity Commission will have a new power to disqualify people from serving as trustees. Disqualified trustees may not be actively involved in the management of a corporate charity trustee.
- Fundraising: All charities that have relationships with professional fundraisers or commercial participators will need to make sure that their fundraising agreements are compliant. Larger charities must include a new statement about their fundraising practices in their annual reports. The Bill also includes new powers for the Government to require charities to register with (and adhere to guidance from) a fundraising regulator. These powers are only likely to be brought into force if self-regulation by the sector fails.
- Social investment: Charities’ powers to make social investments are now confirmed in statute. Social investment means investing the charity’s money in a way which does not just seek to make a financial return for the charity, but also aims in some way to further the charity’s objects.
Government has committed to waiting at least a year before some of the provisions about the disqualification of trustees are brought into force. The rest of the legislation may well be implemented shortly, although the Charity Commission is due to issue guidance on some provisions before they take effect.
If you have questions about the requirements of the Charity Commission to you as a registered charity, get in touch with the BVA's Group Development team who will be happy to help.
Stephen Morgan, Chief Executive
You can follow Stephen on Twitter @BVAStephen