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Challenges For Charities During Coronavirus

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Coronavirus continues to have a major impact on charity events and there are a number of questions that arise relating to meetings and documents.

How can we hold meetings?

Charities and their trustees need to consider how and if they can hold meetings. Some charities have clauses in their governing documents that allow them to meet virtually or to use telephone facilities. Check your governing document and see if you can make amendments to facilitate changes as to how or when meetings are held.

Generally, if there is no such clause in the governing document and you decide to hold meetings over the phone or using digital solutions, the Charity Commission will understand but you should record this decision and that you have done this to demonstrate good governance of your charity.

Can we delay our AGM & Annual Return?

The Charity Commission recognise that for some charities virtual meetings are not a viable solution, nor are socially distanced face-to-face meetings. In such instances trustees may consider they have no choice but to cancel or postpone their AGMs and other critical meetings.

If you do consider such a decision is necessary, you should follow any rules in your charity’s governing document that allow for postponement, adjournment or cancellation. If there are no such rules, but you decide that this is still the best course of action for your charity in the current circumstances, you should record the reasons for this decision to demonstrate good governance of your charity.

This is particularly important if it is not possible to hold your AGM which may make it difficult for you to finalise your annual reports and accounts.

Wherever possible, submit annual reports to Charity Commission on time. However, where the situation impacts on the completion of annual returns and accounts, charities with an imminent filing date can email Charity Commission.

More details regarding this can be found here

You can also speak to our Charity team by calling 0800 088 6004.

Jacqui Headley


Jacqui Headley

Private Client Assistant

Jacqui has been a member of the Private Client team for some six years dealing mainly with Wills, Probates and Lasting Powers of Attorney.