Victoria Riddleston
Senior Associate Solicitor
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Date Published:18 Aug 2017 Last Updated:24 Oct 2021

Charity Commission Issues Warning Over Use of Charitable Funds

Specialist Sectors

The Charity Commission has issued an official warning under new powers handed down by the Government. An official warning was issued to The National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline on the grounds that the Charity Commission considered that the trustees of the charity committed a “breach of trust or duty or misconduct or mismanagement of the charity

One of the criticisms of the charity was that payments were made to the charity’s founder, Wendy Watson, who was trustee of the charity. Trustees cannot be paid without permission from the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission gave The National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline a chance to resolve the issues raised but as it failed to fully comply, an official warning was issued.

The accounts also show that only a small percentage of the charity’s expenses were listed as being spent on “charitable activities”. In 2014/2015 approximately 3% of annual donations were spent on “charitable activities”.

It is vital that charities and their trustees are aware of the duties imposed on them, for example, charities must keep proper records and must only make authorised payments. The Charity Commission offers helpful guidance on the role of the trustee through one of their publications

If you have any concerns or queries about the duties imposed on charities or the role of a charity trustee, please contact our charities team by sending an email enquiry or contact Victoria Riddleston on 01202 057768.