How to run a charity meeting

Charity MeetingsHow to run a charity meeting

Once you’ve found a suitable date, time and venue for your meeting, following these guidelines will help you to run it effectively.

1. Have an agenda

Your governing document may tell you whether you should give advance notice of items to be discussed. Generally, if all present agree, they can introduce a new item of business on the day of the meeting.

2. Deal with any conflicts of interest

If a trustee’s decision-making could be influenced by their personal circumstances, or their involvement with another organisation, they are in a conflict of interest.

Legal requirement: you must prevent a conflict of interest from affecting a decision you make.

3. Have a ‘quorum’ – enough people to make a decision

A quorum is the minimum number that must attend a meeting so that decisions can be made properly. The people may be trustees at a committee meeting, or members at a general meeting. Your governing document should tell you what your quorum is. If it doesn’t, think about amending it.

If you set your quorum too high, any absences may make it difficult to have a valid meeting. If it’s too low, a small minority of people may be able to impose its views unreasonably.

The commission recommends that the quorum for a trustees’ meeting is a minimum of one third of the total number of charity trustees plus one. So a charity with ten trustees will have a quorum of four.

For general meetings, you should give careful thought to the quorum – it needs to be appropriate to the size of your charity and the number and geographical spread of members.

You still need to ensure that you have a quorum throughout the course of a remote or hybrid meeting.

4. Follow voting rules (if applicable)

Voting arrangements differ between charities and the type of meeting that you are holding. As a general rule, you should follow the instructions in your charity’s governing document.

At trustee meetings, generally only the trustees vote on decisions. If a vote is evenly split, sometimes the chair has a second, casting vote to decide the matter, but only if the governing document says so. At general meetings, the members vote on decisions.

Usually a show of hands is enough to tell the result of a vote, but a poll can be used if not. You will need to ensure it is clear how those attending a virtual or hybrid meeting can vote.

5. Keep minutes of every meeting

The commission recommends that you keep accurate minutes of all meetings. They don’t need to be word-for-word, but should give:

  • the name of the charity
  • the type of meeting
  • the date and time of the meeting
  • the names of those present
  • who chaired the meeting
  • what capacity people attended in, such as trustee or staff member
  • any absences for agenda items due to conflicts of interest
  • apologies for absence

The minutes should record exactly what was agreed, particularly for important or controversial decisions. For example:

  • the exact wording of any resolution and who proposed it
  • a summary of the discussion on each item of business
  • information used to make decisions
  • how many votes were made for and against, and how many didn’t vote
  • what action is needed and who is responsible for taking it
  • the date, time and venue of the next meeting

Ideally, someone who isn’t involved in the meeting should take the minutes. If a trustee is taking the minutes, they should ensure they can also contribute actively to the discussion.

You must make the minutes of trustees’ meetings available to all charity trustees. Professional advisers such as auditors may also ask to see them.

The minutes of a general meeting are usually made available to members (in the case of a charitable company they have to be) but you don’t have to make them available to the public unless the charity’s governing document says so.

Trouble at meetings

People can get very passionate about their charity’s work, and this can lead to debates and disagreement.

You and the other trustees are responsible for managing the charity’s meetings. Set standards of behaviour to make sure everyone present agrees to behave professionally and in the charity’s interest. For example, a code of conduct.

You can’t stop people coming to a meeting if they are entitled to be there. Tell the police if you think that people intend to cause violence at a meeting.

VAT Relief For Charities

VAT taxCharities pay VAT on all standard-rated goods and services they buy from VAT-registered businesses.  As a charity you do not pay VAT when you buy some goods and services

What qualifies for the reduced rate

Your charity pays 5% VAT on fuel and power if they’re for:

  • residential accommodation (for example, a children’s home or care home for the elderly)
  • charitable non-business activities (for example, free daycare for disabled people)
  • small-scale use (up to 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month or a delivery of 2,300 litres of gas oil)

If less than 60% of the fuel and power is for something that qualifies, you’ll pay the reduced rate of VAT on the qualifying part and the standard rate (currently 20%) on the rest.

Qualifying fuel and power includes gases, electricity, oils and solid fuels (such as coal). It does not include vehicle fuel.

What qualifies for the zero rate

Find out about the conditions you must meet so that your charity pays no VAT (the zero rate) when you buy:

VAT-free goods from outside the UK

Charities do not pay VAT on goods imported from outside the UK as long as they’re benefiting people in need by providing:

  • basic necessities
  • equipment and office materials to help run your organisation for the benefit of people in need
  • goods to be used or sold at charity events

You can check which goods you can claim VAT relief for as well as how to claim.

National Insurance Contributions Changes

NI Card PictureFor Employees

From 6 July 2022, as an employee you will be able to earn more before you start paying National Insurance. This means you may pay less tax, after accounting for the recent Health and Social Care Levy.

You can use this tool to get an estimate if you’re employed and paid the same amount monthly, by your employer through the PAYE system.

Click here to start


For Employers

The Primary threshold from 6 July 2022 to 5 April 2023 will be £242 per week and £1,048 per month, equivalent to £12,570 per year (increased from £9,880 per year).

PAYE tax and Class 1 National Insurance contributions

You normally operate PAYE as part of your payroll so HMRC can collect Income Tax and National Insurance from your employees.

Your payroll software will work out how much tax and National Insurance to deduct from your employees’ pay.

Tax thresholds, rates and codes

The amount of Income Tax you deduct from your employees depends on their tax code and how much of their taxable income is above their Personal Allowance.

England and Northern Ireland

PAYE tax rates and thresholds 2022 to 2023
Employee personal allowance £242 per week
£1,048 per month
£12,570 per year

Voluntary National Insurance Contributions

NI Card PictureGaps in your National Insurance record

You may get gaps in your record if you do not pay National Insurance or do not get National Insurance credits. This could be because you were:

  • employed but had low earnings
  • unemployed and were not claiming benefits
  • self-employed but did not pay contributions because of small profits
  • living or working outside the UK

Gaps can mean you will not have enough years of National Insurance contributions to either:

You may be able to pay voluntary contributions to fill any gaps if you’re eligible.  You can check your National Insurance Contributions status here

Decide if you want to pay voluntary contributions

Voluntary contributions do not always increase your State Pension. Contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if you’ll benefit from voluntary contributions.

You may also want to get financial advice before you decide to make voluntary contributions.

Making Tax Digital for VAT

Making-Tax-DigitalAll VAT-registered businesses who have not yet signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT need to do so.

When to sign up

You must keep digital records from the start of your first Making Tax Digital accounting period.

Your last VAT accounting period before signing up to Making Tax Digital Submit your VAT Return between Do not sign up to Making Tax Digital between Sign up to Making Tax Digital from Your first Making Tax Digital accounting period
1 Jan to 31 Mar 2022 1 Apr to 7 May 2022 28 Apr to 7 May 2022 8 May 2022 1 Apr to 30 Jun 2022
1 Feb to 30 Apr 2022 1 May to 7 Jun 2022 31 May to 7 Jun 2022 8 June 2022 1 May to 31 Jul 2022
1 Mar to 31 May 2022 1 Jun to 7 Jul 2022 29 Jun to 7 Jul 2022 8 Jul 2022 1 Jun to 31 Aug 2022
1 Mar to 31 Mar (monthly submissions) 1 Apr to 7 May 2022 28 Apr to 7 May 8 May 2022 1 Apr to 30 Apr 2022

Before you sign up to Making Tax Digital for VAT you’ll need either:

  • a compatible software package that allows you to keep digital records and submit VAT Returns
  • bridging software to connect non-compatible software (like spreadsheets) to HMRC systems

If you use an agent or accountant, talk to them about what software you need.

Watch a video about getting compatible software.

The Importance of Volunteers

Mr Claw CoverDCAS has always been proud of its record in providing volunteering opportunities and this has in many occasions helped further the careers of our volunteers.
88D91407-BE0D-4A3A-B53D-6691E2548EF3This has never been more true than the case of Baker Salah, who after helping write our accounting manual ‘The Adventures of Mr Claw in the World of Charity Accounting’ has gone on to become a University Lecturer and will soon be awarded his Doctorate in Accounting and Finance.   Well done Baker!!!
Volunteers are the bedrock of the voluntary sector.  Without them we would not exist, as it is volunteers when acting as trustees who run charities.

Charity trustees

Charity trustees direct how a charity is run and help make sure it does what it was set up to do. This includes making sure the charity:

  • sticks to its charitable mission
  • has the money it needs
  • spends that money responsibly on the activities it was raised for
  • follows the law and doesn’t break its own rules

Charity trustees are also known as:

  • directors
  • board members
  • governors
  • committee members

Find out more here

Workplace Absence Policies

ACAS logo jpegChecking how your workplace deals with absence

Apart from annual holiday entitlement, an employee might need time off work for reasons including:

  • short-term and long-term sickness, including mental health conditions
  • helping a child, partner or relative
  • medical appointments
  • pregnancy-related illnesses and appointments, including IVF
  • bad weather or travel disruptions, making travelling to work difficult or impossible
  • bereavement

Each workplace might have different rules on what they see as acceptable reasons for absence and what they will pay.  For this reason, every workplace should have its own absence policy, so it’s important to check this.

ACAS has some very helpful guidelines on putting together an Absence Policy

What an absence policy should cover

An absence policy should make clear exactly what’s expected from both the employer and employee if the employee needs to take time off work.

An absence policy should include:

If your workplace does not have an absence policy, the employee can ask their employer or HR manager what to do if they need time off work. The employer should follow best practice as outlined in this guide.

There are some areas that are covered by law, for example:

For more support creating or reviewing an absence policy, ACAS provides:

Statutory Payments 2022-2023

DWPStatutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Shared Parental and Parental Bereavement Pay

Use the maternity, adoption and paternity calculator for employers to work out your employee’s:

  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • paternity or adoption pay
  • qualifying week
  • average weekly earnings
  • leave period

These rates apply from 3 April 2022.

Type of payment or recovery 2022 to 2023 rate
Statutory Maternity Pay — weekly rate for first 6 weeks 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings
Statutory Maternity Pay — weekly rate for remaining weeks £156.66 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) — weekly rate £156.66 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) — weekly rate for first 6 weeks 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings
Statutory Adoption Pay — weekly rate for remaining weeks £156.66 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) —weekly rate £156.66 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP) — weekly rate £156.66 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
SMP, SPP, ShPP, SAP or SPBPproportion of your payments you can recover from HMRC 92% if your total Class 1 National Insurance (both employee and employer contributions) is above £45,000 for the previous tax year103% if your total Class 1 National Insurance for the previous tax year is £45,000 or lower

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The same weekly Statutory Sick Pay rate applies to all employees. However, the amount you must actually pay an employee for each day they’re off work due to illness (the daily rate) depends on the number of ‘qualifying days’ they work each week.

Use the Statutory Sick Pay calculator to work out your employee’s sick pay, or use these rates.

Unrounded daily rates Number of qualifying days in week 1 day to pay 2 days to pay 3 days to pay 4 days to pay 5 days to pay 6 days to pay 7 days to pay
£14.1929 7 £14.20 £28.39 £42.58 £56.78 £70.97 £85.16 £99.35
£16.5583 6 £16.56 £33.12 £49.68 £66.24 £82.80 £99.35
£19.87 5 £19.87 £39.74 £59.61 £79.48 £99.35
£24.8375 4 £24.84 £49.68 £74.52 £99.35
£33.1167 3 £33.12 £66.24 £99.35
£49.675 2 £49.68 £99.35
£99.35 1 £99.35

Student loan and postgraduate loan recovery

If your employees’ earnings are above the earnings threshold, record their student loan and postgraduate loan deductions in your payroll software. It will automatically calculate and deduct repayments from their pay.

Rate or threshold 2022 to 2023 rate
Employee earnings threshold for student loan plan 1 £20,195 per year
£1,682.91 per month
£388.36 per week
Employee earnings threshold for student loan plan 2 £27,295 per year
£2,274.58 per month
£524.90 per week
Employee earnings threshold for student loan plan 4 £25,375 per year
£2,114.58 per month
£487.98 per week
Student loan deductions 9%
Employee earnings threshold for postgraduate loan £21,000 per year
£1,750.00 per month
£403.84 per week
Postgraduate loan deductions 6%

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

cash jpegThese rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age). The rates change on 1 April every year.

Current rates from April 1st 2022

23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2022 £9.50 £9.18 £6.83 £4.81 £4.81

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice. You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 23 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 22 and under


Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Who gets the minimum wage

Read the information on who is entitled to the minimum wage.

You can use the minimum wage calculator to check whether the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage is being paid.

Contact Acas if you’re not getting the National Minimum Wage and think you should be.