News from the Charity Commission

Do small charity annual reports and accounts meet the reader’s needs?

We are reviewing small charities’ annual reports and accounts because they are the prime means by which the trustees are publicly accountable to donors, beneficiaries and the wider public for the charity’s activities and how they have used the charity’s money.  Good reporting is important to public trust and confidence in both the reporting charity and the wider charity sector.

We were led us to focus on the following criteria:

  • have the trustees provided us with both an annual report and accounts?
  • does the annual report explain what activities the charity had carried out during the year to achieve its purposes?
  • do the accounts contain both an analysis of receipts and payments and a statement of assets and liabilities and are these consistent with each other?

You can find out more details here

Closing a Charity – The Law

charity_2232731kClosing a Charity – The Law

Charities can close for a number of reasons, such as:

  • a merger with another charity
  • the original purpose has been met or is no longer relevant, for example treating a disease that has since been eradicated in the area the charity serves
  • losing funds or funding
  • a lack of members
  • becoming a company or charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), which means creating a separate charity

If you do decide to close your charity, you’ll need to tell the Charity Commission if it is a Registered Charity, and clear all its debts and liabilities before you spend its remaining assets on your charity’s purposes. This will include checking if you have any:

  • unspent grant money – if so, check if there is any specific agreement with the grantmaker about what to do with it where you are closing the charity
  • money from fundraising appeals that haven’t reached their target – if so, check the commission’s guidance on failed appeals to see if you need to return any donations to donors

Further detailed guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-close-a-charity