Many charities are considering how to respond to the crisis in Ukraine. Naturally, people want to help as much as possible, but in this complex, fast-moving situation, it is important that trustees remain aware of their governance responsibilities.
The Charity Commission has issued guidance for charities and trustees on responding to the crisis in Ukraine.
The Charity Commission has issued new guidance to help trustees with responses to the most commonly asked questions. The guidance covers the following areas:
Fundraising and appeals
How your charity can help when responding to an emergency, including advice about collaborating with other charities and managing risks when planning an appeal.
Setting up a new charity to help the people of Ukraine
The Commission encourages those applying to first consider whether supporting an established registered charity with relevant experience may be more efficient.
Changing charitable objects to support the Ukraine crisis
Trustees should first consider whether the charity’s existing charitable objects allow them to help. If your existing objects do not allow you to help, you may be able to amend your governing document to change them, but should consider whether other charities are better placed to assist, the wider impact and best interests of your charity.
Dealing with a large increase in funding
If your charity receives a sudden, significant, increase in funding to help respond to the crisis in Ukraine, it is important that, as trustees, you carefully consider the practical implications for your charity and manage the risks.
Operating safely and effectively in a conflict zone is incredibly complex, as is providing support to those fleeing conflict zones, but it is critical that charities protect and safeguard their beneficiaries, volunteers and staff.
Organising or participating in aid conveys
Trustees need to think very carefully about whether organising and/or participating in a convoy is the most effective way to deliver aid to those in need given the risks involved. Supporting local economies by buying much needed goods close to the point of need is often a more practical and sustainable alternative.
Complying with financial sanctions
Trustees are responsible for checking whether individuals or organisations you are dealing with (such as donors but this could include others) are subject to financial sanctions and take appropriate action to ensure you are not breaching the regulations.
Working with new partners
If you are considering working with new partners, remember the ‘know your partner’ principle. Trustees must carry out appropriate and proper due diligence on individuals and organisations that the charity gives grants to or uses to help deliver its work.
For more detail and useful links, please read the guidance in full and check back regularly for updates.