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Board summaries

Minutes from the Board are summarised below.

Board meeting: 1 May 2019

This was a shorter meeting of the Board as it took place during the annual Board strategic away day.

The Board were updated on the latest financial position as we approach the final months of levy collection for Levy Year 3. The board were updated on the plans for the next levy year, when the levy will be based on the latest available information about fundraising expenditure. There will be changes to the levy for some charities from 1 September 2019.

The Board noted developments that had occurred since we started publishing a monthly list of charities that have breached the code in relation to the Fundraising Preference Service. They were informed of the process for keeping the list updated and the reasons that are given by charities who fail to take part.

The Board noted the latest situation with regard to complaints and investigations and noted that the Annual Complaints Report had been published since the last meeting.

The main topic considered by the Board was the revised Code of Fundraising Practice. This had been subject to public consultation and also reflected work with the Plain English Campaign and lawyers representing England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Board approved the revised code. The Board thanked the Executive for all of the work that had gone into the new draft, and the members of the Standards Committee who had looked through the new draft in great detail. The Board were informed of the next steps that will mean a PDF version of the code is published in June followed by implementation of the new version alongside a web version in October 2019.

Board meeting: 5 February 2019

The Board welcomed Lord Harris to his first meeting as Chair of the Board.

The Board received a presentation on the initial findings of public research we've done. The Board agreed that more time should be made for discussion on the findings at the next Board meeting in May when the final report will have been received. The Board will consider publication of the findings after that.

The Board were updated on recruitment to fill current and known vacancies, including Board members, the Head of Casework, and Communications Manager. The Board reviewed the current financial position and approved the management accounts.

The Board discussed in detail the proposed changes to the Levy. This followed on from previous discussions at the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and at the previous Board meeting. The Board approved the changes proposed by the Committee. It was agreed that in order to allow charities as long as possible to prepare for any changes, an announcement would be made in March.

A Casework update was presented, giving the latest statistics on the numbers of investigations and complaints and how quickly they are resolved. The Board were also updated on the decision about the International Liberty Association that was due to be published shortly.

The Board noted that from early March the list of charities that have breached the Code in relation to FPS would be made public.

Board meeting: 25 October 2018

The Board were updated on the latest work that had been undertaken in Northern Ireland, including participation at a number of events and work to chase levy payments.

The Board were also updated on the recruitment of our next Chair, and the Board appointed a new External Member to the Standards Committee (to be announced in due course).

The Board noted the current financial position, in particular the rates of payment for Levy Year 3. The draft Reports and Accounts were also discussed - they will be approved by the Chair in November and published on the website.

The Board discussed the Levy, and the options for consultation that were presented. The Board agreed to defer any decision on a levy consultation until the next Board meeting in February 2019, when there will be more information on the progress of Levy Year 3 and the new Chair will be in place.

The Board were updated on the latest position regarding the fundraising platforms, both in terms of how many had signed up to the code by registering with the us and other developments.

The Board gave thanks to the Chair, as this was his last meeting before his term ends in December.

Board meeting: 18 July 2018

The Board welcomed Jill Thompson and Kieron James to their first Board meeting. The Board reflected on the Annual Review meeting that had preceded the Board meeting and the new website that had been successfully launched that morning.

The Board discussed developments regarding fundraising platforms in particular recent discussion in Parliament about the use of gift aid and issues around counter terrorism. The Board agreed that a letter should be sent to all of the platforms reminding of them the recent changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice and alerting them to the parliamentary activity.

The Board were updated on the recruitment for the new Chair which was to start immediately. Interviews are scheduled to take place in late October.

The Board noted the financial position as we drew close to the end of Levy Year 2. The Board noted that the website project had been delivered within budget.

The Board approved the business plan and budget for 2018/19 which will be published on the website.

Considerable discussion took place on the item setting out proposals for the levy review. The options presented had been discussed by the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and included proposals on the basis on which the levy is calculated and the different levy bandings. The Board agreed that changes would need to be proposed in the review to correct unfairness in the existing system, but that more work was needed to further analyse the potential impact of any changes. The review is due to take place in mid-November 2018 so the Board will make a final decision on what it includes when they meet in October 2018.

Finally the Board discussed the Fundraising Preference Service as a full year of statistics was available for the first time. The Board agreed to extend the current contract for running the FPS for a further two years.