7 January 2020 | Comment | Article by Roman Kubiak TEP

Charities: New Year, New Guidance, New Debates

With 2020 now upon us, Partner and head of Legacy Disputes, Roman Kubiak, discusses two important news pieces affecting the charity sector.

New Charity Commission Guidance: Reporting a serious incident in your charity when it involves a partner

The Charity Commission has recently released new guidance – Reporting a serious incident in your charity when it involves a partner – for charity trustees on when to report serious incidents involving a charity’s partners.

The guidance states that trustees should report any incidents involving one of the charity's partners, whether in the UK or internationally, which “materially affects the charity, its staff, operations, finances and/or reputation”.

In the context of the guidance, the term partner includes delivery partners or subcontractors, any subsidiary trading company of the charity, any related organisation which receives funding from the charity or any other charity or organisation linked to the charity.

The overriding purpose of the guidance is to protect charities, their objectives and, crucially, their reputation. Incidents are categorised into three risk categories; (1) those involving the charity's funds, brand, people or activity which it funds or are responsible for, which are seen as high risk, (2) those not involving the charity's funds, brand or people but which could have a significant impact on the charity, which are seen as medium risk and (3) those not involving the charity's funds, brand or people and which have little or no impact on the charity, which are seen as low risk.

The guidance is largely common sense advice but is helpful nonetheless, particularly for those trustees who are new to the charity sector or otherwise who have had little experience of dealing with partners.

Top English private schools reject £1m+ bursary for “disadvantaged white boys”

It was reported on New Year's Eve that two top English private schools, Winchester and Dulwich College, have rejected a bursary offer by Professor Sir Bryan Thwaites, former pupil of both, of over £1 million.

Sir Bryan, who himself benefited from scholarships, specifically wanted the scholarships to be made available for “disadvantaged white boys” and both colleges said that they had rejected the bursary given the ethnic restrictions.

It is reported that Sir Bryan had intended to leave the bursaries in his will and that he is now looking for new beneficiaries to provide the scholarships.

The proposed gift has sparked debate on both restricted gifts generally and, more specifically, those seeking to benefit limited groups based on gender, ethnicity and class. That issue has been particularly hotly debated in this context as reports recently suggest that white boys from poorer backgrounds are amongst the least likely children to go on to university and back in August 2018, rapper Stormzy announced that he would set up a scholarship to fund to black students to go to Cambridge University.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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