By law, you have a duty of care to protect your charity’s assets and resources. Depending on what your charity does, you can buy insurance to protect its money, property and reputation.
Examples of types of insurance that might be needed to cover a charity’s property against loss or damage are:
- buildings insurance
- contents insurance
- event insurance
Examples of types of insurance that might be needed to cover against a charity’s third party liabilities are:
- professional indemnity insurance
- public liability insurance
Charities that employ staff are required by law to buy employers’ liability insurance. Charities that own or operate motor vehicles are required by law to buy motor insurance.
For insurance purposes, charities are advised to treat volunteers in the same way as they do their employees and to ensure that they are covered by the usual types of insurance a charity might buy, such as employers’ liability or public liability cover.
More details can be found here, and here
About corporate structures
Some charity structures are corporate bodies. If you choose a structure that forms a corporate body, the law considers your charity to be a person in the same way as an individual.
This gives your charity the legal capacity to do many things in its own name that a person can do, such as:
- employing paid staff
- delivering charitable services under contractual agreements
- entering into commercial contracts in its own name
- owning freehold or leasehold land or other property
If a charity structure is a corporate body, generally its trustees aren’t personally liable for what it does.
If your charity isn’t a corporate body (‘unincorporated’):
- the trustees are personally liable for what it does
- it won’t be able to enter into contracts or control some investments in its own name
- two or more trustees, a corporate custodian trustee or the charities’ land holding service will have to ‘hold’ any land on your charity’s behalf
More information can be found here
Receipts and Payments Accounts is the simpler of the 2 methods of accounts preparation and may only be used where a non-company charity has a gross income of £250,000 or less during the financial year. Receipts and payments accounts contain a statement summarising all money received and paid out by the charity in the financial year, and a statement giving details of its assets and liabilities at the end of the year. Charitable companies are not allowed by company law to adopt this method.
Templates are available to help eligible non-company charities prepare their trustees’ annual report and receipts and payments accounts. When fully completed these meet the requirements of the law and can be used for submission to the Charity Commission. The pro forma receipts and payments accounts can be used in one of two ways:
(i) where trustees do not wish to design their own annual accounts they may enter the relevant details and amounts from the cash book (and other) records of the charity on to the forms
(ii) trustees who want to produce their own form of receipts and payment accounts can use the forms as a checklist.
Very useful Receipts and Payment Accounts Introductory Notes can be found here
Templates for preparing Receipts and Payments Accounts can be found here