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Changes to the ICAEW Charity & Voluntary Community

Posted 12 months ago By Gillian McKay

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Head of Charity & Voluntary for ICAEW, Gillian McKay, tells us about the changes coming up for the ICAEW Charity & Voluntary Sector Community and her thoughts on challenges for the sector.

What changes are happening to the Charity & Voluntary Sector Community?

From January the existing Charity & Voluntary Sector Community will split into two groups: the Charity Finance Professionals Community and the Volunteering Community.

We’re aware that the current Charity & Voluntary Sector Community consists of three groups: Those engaged in their paid working life with the sector, those who volunteer for the sector and those who belong to both groups.

We want to make sure everyone is getting the best value – those in the first group may have no need of the volunteering benefits such as professional liability insurance for volunteering activities, conversely those in the second group may not need the services we offer for charity finance professionals.

It therefore made sense to create a separate Volunteering Community, which will be £30 for 2019, containing only benefits relevant to volunteers and reduce the costs of the Charity Professionals to £60.

What will members of the new communities get?

Aimed at those engaged with the sector as professional advisors, finance directors and other senior charity managers with an interest in finance, the Charity Finance Professionals Community will keep members abreast of developments in charity accounting, taxation and governance. Benefits include a regular newsletter with updates in these areas, discounts at ICAEW charity conferences and seminars and the opportunity to feed their views into ICAEW consultations relevant to the sector.

The Volunteering Community is for those volunteering in the sector, for example as a trustee, providing pro bono financial services or as a befriender or sports coach. Benefits include free professional liability insurance for all volunteering activities with UK not for profit organisations, free access to the new trustee training modules ICAEW are developing and a regular newsletter containing information on volunteering matters.

How can people join?

ICAEW members can select the communities to join during their fees renewals process – or through going to the web pages and clicking join here once the communities go live in January.

Fee paying members of the Charity and Voluntary Sector Community will automatically be enrolled into both new communities, so those that only wish to be in one should deselect the other when renewing their membership.

The Volunteering Community has no free memberships, so those who want to join and are non fee paying members of the current community will need to join through the website.

What is coming up for the two communities in 2019?

A lot! The charity conference in June 2019 will again be an exciting event, with three streams of content for attendees to select seminars from, expert speakers and a host of stalls and workshops for attendees to engage with.

The Trustee training modules for volunteers will launch in January, we plan to continue to develop them throughout the year. We’ll be listening to members to understand what they would like to see next.

What’s been your highlight to date working with the Charity and Voluntary Sector Community?

Meeting the community members. Our members are involved in such a wide range of roles and organisations throughout the sector. It’s refreshing to hear the perspectives of those out there on the coal face of the not for profit sector.

What challenges do you think the sector faces?

The pressure to maintain the confidence of the public and comply with the increasing demands of the charity regulators. I wonder whether the two are connected and if recent announcements from the Charity Commission, stating that public trust in charities has declined has added to the pressure many face to demonstrate this is not the case for them.

While there have been a few recent high profile cases of poor governance in charities this is not across the board. This is a sector that delivers a lot of good and I hope our members will continue to engage to maintain standards and enjoy the work they undertake.

Find out more about the Charity Finance Professionals Community and the Volunteering Community.

Q& A originally published on ICAEW'S Talk Accountancy