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    • BarryShowboat
    • By BarryShowboat 2nd Dec 19, 3:09 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    BarryShowboat
    Concerning Activity at my local Charity
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 19, 3:09 PM
    Concerning Activity at my local Charity 2nd Dec 19 at 3:09 PM
    The backstory -

    In September, a charity i volunteer at locally gathered supporters and told them that they are looking at shutting down the centre as soon as possible due to financial difficulties. The other 4 centres would remain open. They told us that we were welcome to look at ways of saving the place, but it would take an astronomical amount to keep it open.

    After consultation with some of the volunteers, we launched a group to put forward a proposal - the charity said they would be open to allowing people to put forward proposals and take over the centre under a new charity or group.

    Our group put forward a proposal with backing that would keep the staff on. The proposal to the charity was essentially to buy the land. Two other charities also made offers, which would involve keeping the existing 20+ staff on.

    It was announced last week that of the 4 proposals, they'd chosen to sell it to another rescue centre who WOULDN'T be continuing to employ the existing staff, and would instead run independently. There has been a number of concerns raised, mainly that the charity they have chosen has a number of existing debts in another country.

    Sorry, I realise this is all very vague but i can't reveal who the charity is or the sector they're in so it's difficult, but my main concern is -

    1. The trustees and CEO are REFUSING to give the staff, even managers of other centres, and particularly not supporters, information of how they came to choose this proposal over all the others, particularly when the other 3 all offered to take on the existing staff.

    2. We've asked for information on the acceptance criteria, diligence checks etc they did on this charity and they're flat out refusing.

    My question is, are there any laws in place or commissions that would force them to provide a detailed report on why they came to choose this charity over the other proposals? Some of our supporters/volunteers have pledged literally thousands to them over decades, and they won't even acknowledge our existence.
Page 1
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 2nd Dec 19, 4:26 PM
    • 4,480 Posts
    • 3,876 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 19, 4:26 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 19, 4:26 PM
    The backstory -

    In September, a charity i volunteer at locally gathered supporters and told them that they are looking at shutting down the centre as soon as possible due to financial difficulties. The other 4 centres would remain open. They told us that we were welcome to look at ways of saving the place, but it would take an astronomical amount to keep it open.

    After consultation with some of the volunteers, we launched a group to put forward a proposal - the charity said they would be open to allowing people to put forward proposals and take over the centre under a new charity or group.

    Our group put forward a proposal with backing that would keep the staff on. The proposal to the charity was essentially to buy the land. Two other charities also made offers, which would involve keeping the existing 20+ staff on.

    It was announced last week that of the 4 proposals, they'd chosen to sell it to another rescue centre who WOULDN'T be continuing to employ the existing staff, and would instead run independently. There has been a number of concerns raised, mainly that the charity they have chosen has a number of existing debts in another country.

    Sorry, I realise this is all very vague but i can't reveal who the charity is or the sector they're in so it's difficult, but my main concern is -

    1. The trustees and CEO are REFUSING to give the staff, even managers of other centres, and particularly not supporters, information of how they came to choose this proposal over all the others, particularly when the other 3 all offered to take on the existing staff.

    2. We've asked for information on the acceptance criteria, diligence checks etc they did on this charity and they're flat out refusing.

    My question is, are there any laws in place or commissions that would force them to provide a detailed report on why they came to choose this charity over the other proposals? Some of our supporters/volunteers have pledged literally thousands to them over decades, and they won't even acknowledge our existence.
    Originally posted by BarryShowboat
    If you have not already done so I would start by going to the Charity Commission website and downloading the last few years report and accounts for the charity concerned. They are public documents and are, by law, far more detailed than would be required for a private limited company at Companies House. You can also download a list of the trustees and see if they are also trustees of any other organisation which may be a conflict of interest. Googling the individuals can sometimes be interesting!

    When you have looked at the accounts etc., ideally with the help of someone who is familiar with accounts (if you are not), then speak initially to the Charity Commission helpline to see if they are acting in any way unlawfully. If so they will advise you how to proceed.
    Last edited by Undervalued; 02-12-2019 at 4:29 PM.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 2nd Dec 19, 5:42 PM
    • 21,644 Posts
    • 15,870 Thanks
    molerat
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 19, 5:42 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 19, 5:42 PM
    I suspect the offer they accepted was greater without the baggage of existing staff and TUPE arrangements. You have little rights or say in who takes over the property as long as you get any redundancy due. I have found the least charitable organisations on the employment front are charities !
    https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/donate-now/
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 2nd Dec 19, 8:55 PM
    • 40,280 Posts
    • 37,731 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 19, 8:55 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 19, 8:55 PM
    I suspect the offer they accepted was greater without the baggage of existing staff and TUPE arrangements. You have little rights or say in who takes over the property as long as you get any redundancy due. I have found the least charitable organisations on the employment front are charities !
    Originally posted by molerat
    I agree, some charities are shockingly bad employers.

    However, the charity taking over may not escape TUPE: either they or the original charity will be liable for those redundancy payments.

    I'd encourage all the staff to join a union ...
    Still knitting!
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    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 3rd Dec 19, 4:04 PM
    • 4,480 Posts
    • 3,876 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 19, 4:04 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 19, 4:04 PM
    I agree, some charities are shockingly bad employers.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    Indeed.

    In fact, sadly, I would delete the last word and go as far as to say....

    .....some charities are shockingly bad!

    Obviously there are a huge number of really good ones but there are a significant minority where you have to wonder how they deserve charitable status at all.

    There are far too many where the charitable objective is little more than a device, allowing what should properly be a business to be run with lower overheads and all kinds of tax advantages.
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