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Being a charity is not just about who you are, but what you do

Posted by , Partner

The Charity Commission, at 1pm today, released its long awaited report on the findings of its investigation into Oxfam, and its resultant conclusions. The Commission’s role in overseeing the operation of charities is well-known; but what is particularly interesting in this case is the Commission’s examination of Oxfam’s culture and the way that that culture affected its operations, and allowed the scandal to arise.

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6 ways charities should protect themselves from disreputable donations

Posted by , Solicitor

Following the National Portrait Gallery’s public refusal to accept a significant donation from the Sackler family, the Tate and the Prince’s Trust also announced their intentions to refuse any future donations from the family. These are the latest in a series of charities making difficult decisions regarding so called ‘tainted’ donations. We look at the importance of the need for trustees to understand their responsibilities in relation to fundraising.

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The safeguarding crisis in the charities sector

Posted by , Solicitor

royds withy king charity

Restless Development, a British youth charity, is the latest charity subject to accusations of sexual misconduct and systemic neglect. Volunteers claim that staff, and other volunteers, were involved in sexual relationships with pupils at placement schools and each other. They also report being forced to stay in unsafe accommodation and made to travel with taxi drivers under the influence of alcohol. Those who raised concerns say that these were dismissed by senior staff who put complaints down to “failing to adapt” to circumstances.

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Reputation Management – how to turn crisis into confidence building.

Posted by , Associate

A good reputation management strategy and the right timely advice can turn a potentially disastrous breach of trust into an affirmation of integrity.

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Oxfam scandal – a lesson to be learned?

Posted by , Solicitor

The UK’s charity sector is under close scrutiny, both nationally and internationally, following allegations that Oxfam workers were involved in the hiring of prostitutes and engaged in sex parties whilst working on earthquake relief projects in Haiti and a humanitarian mission in Chad. But what can the sector learn from these events going forward?

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Charitable legacies are looking more secure: outcome of Ilott

Posted by , Associate

In March 2017, the Supreme Court ruled on the long running claim brought by Heather Ilott against the estate of her late mother, Melita Jackson. Whilst the Supreme Court’s decision did not represent a significant change in the law and Mrs Ilott was, technically, successful in her overall claim, the decision made by the Supreme Court suggests that charitable legacies may be less open to challenge than previously thought.

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How trustees of charities can reduce risk

Posted by , Solicitor

Jacqui Lazare, specialist charities solicitor, considers how the increased scrutiny and regulation of charities reminds us of the importance of good governance, and how to ensure any risks are mitigated as much as possible.

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Charities face criminal sanctions over campaign spending on snap election

Posted by , Solicitor

Specialist charity solicitor, Jacqui Lazare, considers the implications of the Electoral Commission’s announcement that charities must declare all campaign spending since June 2016.

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Charities fall foul of data protection obligations

Posted by , Solicitor

Last year, we warned about the pitfalls surrounding personal data and the hefty fines many companies received from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), showing how easy it is for companies to fall foul of data protection legislation. The ICO is once again proving it has got teeth, however this time it is a number of charities that have been named, shamed and fined.

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Which one are we again? Separation in charity governance

Posted by , Trainee Solicitor

The findings of the Charity Commission’s recent inquiry into the Durand Academy and its supporting charities are an important reminder to charity trustees that no matter how much overlap there may be between a set of charitable and non-charitable organisations, the duties of the trustees and governors of each remain separate and cannot be assumed to be automatically fulfilled even when the relationship is running smoothly.

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Charity structure – what is best for your charity

Posted by , Solicitor

Once you have decided that you want to set up a charity, you need to choose which structure would best suit its aims.

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Managing the public image of your charity

Posted by , Solicitor

In today’s 24/7 online media environment, no charitable organisation can ignore the importance of their public image. Arguably, it is even more important for smaller, local charities to manage their image than a higher profile one. The fallout from any mismanagement of media crises that become public, can lead to many ramifications, including legal ones.

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