Charity Resources: A Trilogy of… Lots?

‘I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.’

‘I love deadlines.
I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.’


I am a fan of Douglas Adams.

He was a great author, writer, humorist, and all round good egg.

So in honour, of Douglas Adams famous Trilogy in Five Parts, I’m starting my own trilogy, on Charity Resources.

And whilst it might  not be as funny as Hitchhikers, it does share a certain ambiguous numeracy. In that I’ve no idea how many there will be. 42 might be appropriate?

But, following Douglas Adam’s lead, I’m going to start at the beginning. And hope that this won’t be regarded as a bad move.

My first Charity Resource page is on charity law.

I hope this series will be helpful.

But as the great man once said:

“You live and learn.
At any rate, you live.”


Procastination is the thief of… timely funds.

I have a confession to make.

I am not a morning person.

As a serial procrastinator, when my alarm goes off, my first instinct is always to ignore it.  Not to hit snooze. Not to switch it off. Just to hope it goes away.  And that the sun-rising thing is just some cosmic mis-scheduled event that will get sorted out in the next few minutes.

The most effective trick I’ve found for my ante meridiem woe?

Having baby. Problem solved.

I now no longer struggle to get up in the mornings, as my little guy wakes up at 6am on the dot, and makes his wakefulness abundantly clear.

But procrastination is not just the thief of time.

A new study out today from the Directory of Social Change suggests that more than half of grant-making trusts check the filing history of charities with the Charity Commission.

Which means that if you are struggling to get those reports in on time, you might be missing out on more than the vague sense of approval of Sam Younger, Charity Commission CEO.

You could be missing out on vital funding.

And in this cash strapped season, that is not a wise move.

So my advice to all charities would be have a baby.

Or set sufficient calendar reminders, and plan ahead to ensure that your Charity Commission reports are drafted and approved by trustees in good time.

Either works.

Two Useful Guides

Just came across these on these two helpful guides produced by Gaby Hardwick Solicitors.

The first one deals with Charitable Incorporated Organisations,  the second with Incorporating a Charity.

Helpful if you are considering setting up a charity from scratch.

Any questions or thoughts, do get in touch: andrewkmackay[at] and @BetterCharity.


CIOs: we’re finally there!

It’s finally arrived.

Many thought this day may never come.

Many found the waiting hard.

But the present is on its way, and the Big Day is almost upon us…

No, not Christmas, but the day the Charity Commission finally accepts applications for CIO registration.

For those of you who don’t know, the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is a new legal form for a charity which has been expected for a number of years now.

CIOs holds the advantage over current legal forms for charities in England and Wales, by being incorporated (unlike unincorporated associations and charitable trusts) but being regulated only once (by the Charity Commission alone, unlike charitable companies which have to register with the company regulator, Companies House).

This means that CIOs provide added protection for charity trustees, by allowing the CIO itself as a legal person to enter contracts, sign leases, employ staff etc, instead of the charity trustees themselves.

And it also means that CIOs involve less admin and cost, because CIOs don’t have to additionally register with Companies House, and file annual accounts, returns, change of detail forms etc, unlike current charitable companies.

The Charity Commission will start accepting applications to register completely new organisations that wish to be CIOs from today, 10 December 2012. As I warned previously, current charities will have to wait a little longer.

Please note that although the Charity Commission will accept applications from 10 December, they cannot register CIOs until 2 January 2013.

For more information, visit the Charity Commission website, or email me: andrewkmackay[at] or @BetterCharity.