Category Archives: Governance

11 FAQs about your NI Charity Number

Charity Savings Jar

With a little help from our admin team, who deal with incoming queries every day, we have put together answers to the eleven most common questions about the NI Charity Number.

What does my NI Charity Number look like?

Your NI Charity Number starts with NIC and contains six digits, for example NIC123456. This number, and the fact that a charity is registered, must be displayed on all printed or online notices, advertisements and other documentation used for soliciting money or property. It must also be displayed on bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods, invoices, receipts and letters of credit. If in doubt, use it anyway!

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Why Young Trustees Matter

Alex SwallowI became a Trustee in my mid-twenties – I was really surprised but very pleased to be asked. I thought Trusteeship was only for people who were a lot more experienced than me. When I attended a national conference for Trustees- my first real opportunity to meet other people in my position- I realised how few young people were on Boards. After investigating the issue further and discovering it was a real problem, I set up my organisation Young Charity Trustees. Our biggest community (of current young Trustees, potential young trustees and everyone who wants to encourage Board Diversity) can be found here.

So, why does it matter that we encourage more young people to join Boards?

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What’s a serious incident and why should you act on it?

The Commission took part in an event in partnership with NIVCA last week that provided a forum for interested parties to feed back their views on Serious Incident Reporting. We were particularly interested in the reaction to our draft guidance on reporting serious incidents and were grateful for the opportunity to explain the regulatory approach behind it.

Our role is simply to ensure that any serious incident is adequately dealt with by charity trustees in accordance with their legal duties. With this aim in mind all charities, whatever their size and whatever their income, must report serious incidents to the Commission.

There are two main reasons for this.

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The future of trusteeship

Frances McCandless, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Chief ExecutiveAt the closing of a discussion on the leadership demands and role of trustees at the CO3 leadership conference in Belfast two weeks ago, one of my fellow panellists asked “is everything always so pleasant here?”

As far as conversations between regulators and the regulated go the conversation was very constructive with both the panellists and the audience agreeing, for the most part, on the direction of travel with regards to trusteeship. We discussed where we wanted the sector to be in five years, and what steps we were taking to make our vision a reality. Continue reading

Unblurring the lines – lessons in governance from the Rainbow Project

Duane Farrell, Chair of The Rainbow ProjectHow do you make best use of the skills and experience of Trustees, while still respecting the proper roles of Trustees and senior management? 

It’s a question that has underpinned The Rainbow Project’s development of its governance structures, in the context of a new strategy that focused us on being a change agent for clients, in wider society, and within the organisation itself.  We knew Trustees had a lot to offer. But we’d been working to clarify the Board’s and executive team’s respective contributions, and didn’t want to end up blurring those lines between strategy/governance on the one hand, and management/implementation on the other. Here is what we learned.

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“Trust is always conditional” – why Data Protection matters

Damien Smyth, IT OfficerWe’re sitting on the cusp of a vast data-driven age that some have even started to refer to as the fourth industrial revolution.

The theory goes that if steam powered the first, electricity, mass production and the division of labour the second and computing the third then the fourth epoch of technological progress will be driven by what we can store

Indeed, we can already see how this is beginning to shape our lives. Drones, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and ‘the internet of things’ are already starting to impact on our day-to-day lives. Much of this is powered by information sharing and while the sharing of information helped power our last great technological jumps, the next few years will be defined by it.

It is perhaps with great foresight that the Data Protection Act 1998 came into being. In an increasingly interconnected world it sought to strike a balance between innovation-feeding and the right of the individual to enjoy privacy.

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