Charities – does your governing document hold the key?

The Charity Commission have recently highlighted the importance of referring to a charity’s governing document in the first instance when making significant decisions about strategy or administrative matters.

This message has been circulated to trustees as the Commission were regularly receiving enquiries about matters that should normally be covered in the charity’s governing document.

Examples include:

  • How many trustees should we have at any one time?
  • How do we remove a trustee?
  • How do we close the charity down?

If you have queries similar to the above but cannot decipher the terms of the charity’s governing document, or if it is simply not covered in writing, then the trustees should seek the advice of a professional to review the terms of the governing document.

How often do you refer to your governing document? It is recommended that a copy is always on hand at each trustee meeting and that trustees should be familiar with format of the document so as to aid the answer of any questions the document should provide. A copy should also be provided to new trustees who come on board.

Governing documents are evolving by their very nature; for further guidance or to review your charity’s trust deed, articles or ‘rule book’, please contact Zoe Perry on 01905 730453.


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