Notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting of Natural Kirklees
to be held at 2 pm on 16th February 2017 at Beaumont Park Visitor Centre
Natural Kirklees and Charity Status
At the AGM on 1st December 2016 it was agreed that we investigate charitable status for Natural Kirklees. Over the past month myself, Mary, Joan and Tim have put in a lot of time on the investigation and as a result we have a proposal to put to the membership, details of which are set out below.
Over the past year we have developed from an organisation which had no money to one that with your approval obtained a Heritage Lottery Startup Grant of £10,000 and agreed with Kirklees Council that we would run a free insurance and tool share scheme for members and maintain a website for 3 years for which we are paid £20,000 per annum. This means that our income is now above the limit for an organisation such as ours and as a result we have to look further than being an unincorporated organisation as we do have potential liabilities that apply to every member. As discussed at the AGM the best way forward is to obtain Charitable Status.
The main benefits of being a Charity are as follows:
1. Liability as members will be limited to as little as £1 per member
2. It will give us better opportunities for funding and only this last month an opportunity has arisen where we may be able to access money for a large conservation project from a source which will fund us if we have charitable status.
3. We will only be accountable to one body – the Charity Commission- as opposed to two bodies – the Charity Commission and Companies House. The degree of accountability this gives us however is essential for the safeguarding of the membership and minimising its liability.
4. As volunteers it is essential that neither trustees nor members stand to profit from the activities of Natural Kirklees and Charitable status does not allow this.
In recent years the Charity Commission has developed better options for charity status called Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) of which there are two types:
The Foundation Model where all decisions are made by a small number of people – the trustees
The Association Model which is run by members and trustees.
As our organisation is run by its members it makes sense to apply for the Association Model CIO but we do need to have between three and twelve trustees in either case.
Information about the various charitable organisations can be obtained from the Charity Commission website. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission
The application process takes at least forty days and we would like to submit an application as soon as possible. An extraordinary General Meeting will be held on 16th February 2017 in the Friends of Beaumont Park Visitor Centre at 2 pm to discuss and vote on this proposal. Please note that each member organisation is entitled to ONE vote at the meeting.
If you require any further information prior to the meeting please contact us by e-mail at least one week before the meeting date. An Agenda will be sent out.