In April 2016, About With Friends became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
A CIO is a recently established legal form designed specifically for charities. The CIO was created in response to requests from charities for a new structure which could provide some of the benefits of being a company, but without some of the burdens.
Under the old “unincorporated association”, AWF had to abide by the following rules:
- trustees are personally liable for what it does – including financial if it is proven that the trustees have mismanaged affairs
- are unable to enter into some contracts or control some investments
- trustees (two or more), a corporate custodian trustee or the charities’ land holding service will have to ‘hold’ any land on your charity’s behalf
- would require trustees to be on land registry and own property on behalf on charity but not benefit from sale
As a newly-formed CIO however, AWF benefits in the following ways:
- own its own land / property
- control substantial funds or assets
- enter into contracts, for example employing staff
- engage in charitable activities involving financial risks
- have a constitution as a governing document
Will how we are governed be changed?
At AWF we have a Trustee board who oversee the strategic direction of the charity and finances and a wider membership – our members, who vote on constitutional issues, including ratifying the Trustees each year. The charity commission recommends using the association model constitution – for this structure.
Trustees cannot be employed by the charity so the CEO will no longer be a trustee
The Trustees went through the model constitution and have noted no conflicts to how we currently work. In fact the constitution gives Trustees and the charity more freedoms and flexibilities than currently available. The final draft has been accepted by the Charity Commission, if you would like a copy please contact us.