Introducing the Livery Charity Chairs Group

In May 2021 nearly 200 delegates from over 60 Livery companies attended the ‘Who was found to be naked when the tide went out?’ charity conference.

The event was hosted by the Chartered Accountants’ Company on Zoom. The conference had been prompted by the publication of a new Charity Governance Code and the realisation that all Livery Charities would be interested in what it had to say.

Delegates to the Conference had been asked to indicate if they might be interested in an informal network of Livery Charity Chairs to enable the ongoing sharing of experiences and ideas among those of us holding similar roles. There was an enthusiastic response and on June 14th the Chairs of 23 Livery Charities attended an initial Zoom meeting where input was sought as to how a Livery Charity Chairs Group could best meet the needs of those present.

The feedback identified many topics where experiences could usefully be shared such as Governance and compliance with the Charity Governance Code, Fundraising, the role and appointment of Trustees, the results from the 2020 Pan-Livery Survey into Philanthropic Giving, engaging our Company Members, Investment issues including topics such as Total Return and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investments, Endowment funds and Reserves, possible conversion to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) and last, but by no means least, how best to communicate what our Charities and our beneficiaries have achieved.

The Group will be holding its next meeting on Monday September 20th at 16:00 on Zoom. The ‘hot topic’ for that hour long meeting will be Governance. Short presentations from two members on their Companies’ experiences will be followed by breakout rooms and a final plenary discussion. The Charity Commission Governance Code and its accompanying implementation Template will be used to underpin the presentations and discussions.

The Group plans to hold two further ‘hot topic’ Zoom meetings in December and March and an annual conference in June which hopefully will be face-to-face. Three of the Charity Chairs, Ann Buxton (Pewterers), Steve Graham (Glaziers) and Peter Alvey (World Traders) are supporting Hilary Lindsay (Almoner and Chair of the Chartered Accountants’ Charity) in co-ordinating the Group’s activities. Future plans include piloting less formal drop-in events and developing ways of responding to enquiries from our Members. The overall aim is for the Group and its Members to be additional resources to support the Chairs of Livery Company Charities.

The respective Chairs of the Livery Committee and the Pan-Livery Steering Group are both very supportive of this initiative.

If you would like any more information about the Group, or if the Chair of your Livery Company’s Charity is interested in becoming a Member, please contact Hilary Lindsay.

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