This week (4-8 November) is Trustees’ Week, an annual event showcasing the great work of the 700,000 volunteer charity trustees who run charities in England and Wales.
Creating and maintaining a suitable investment strategy is vital for securing a financial future for many charities, whether you are investing for income, growth or a combination of the two.
Below we have provided our ten key points for trustees, in England & Wales, or anywhere else. For full guidance please visit the Charity Commission for England & Wales.
- Understand your charity’s finances, including investments
All the charity trustees are collectively responsible for the charity’s investments and should have access to investment valuations and reports (not just the Treasurer or Finance/ Investment Committee).
- Check your investment powers
Understand what, if anything, your governing document says about investments and any legislation relevant to your charity’s legal form.
- Know your charity trustee duties
You must make sure that any investment activities are in the best interests of the charity, weighing up the pros and cons before making a decision that could significantly impact the running of the charity.
- Consider your charity’s reputation
Your reputation is an asset to be protected. Charity trustees have a duty to act with care and diligence to protect a charity’s assets and reputation.
- Get help and advice if you need it
Consider what help or advice you need to support your charity in making decisions about its investments. Decisions should be taken in the best interests of the charity and this requires independence.
- Create an investment policy statement
It’s good practice for charity trustees to record policy decisions, keep them under review and include the information in your annual report and accounts.
- Think about your charity’s purposes
Consider how you connect your investments with your charity’s purposes and delivery of your strategy.
- Think about the range of investments
Understand there are different kinds of returns, measured in different ways: financial, social, environmental or otherwise – think about what is right for your charity.
- Understand your responsibilities
You may have power to delegate investment decisions to an investment manager, but you retain overall responsibility.
- Keep up to speed
Stay up to date with investment developments through events, seminars and other training.
It’s good to talk
We help Trustees make better-informed investment decisions. We’ll demystify a complex subject and provide professional independent advice to enable you to build or manage an investment portfolio that meets your investment goals. For further information, please visit the Hugh James Independent Financial Advisers pages.