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Annual Review 2021

Annual Review 2021

Highlights and activities

Our key achievements and challenges over the past year, plus the CharityComms statement of accounts for 2020-2021.

Sarah Clarke

Sarah Clarke

Author

Sarah is the Head of membership at CharityComms, dedicated to growing and improving the membership experience for our fantastic network of charity communicators as well as overseeing many of our data projects and reports. She is also part of the comms group for Charities Against Hate.

Section 1

Welcome

Adeela Warley

Adeela Warley

CEO at CharityComms

Adeela joined us as CEO in Feb 2017, having previously been a CharityComms trustee and Head of communications at Friends of the Earth.

Mark Russell

Mark Russell

Chair of Trustees at CharityComms

Mark was appointed as CharityComms Chair in March 2019 and has previously been Chair of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association.

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A year of challenge and change

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to set the context this year, bringing uncertainty and disruption to both home and working lives. The CharityComms team was not immune to the pressure of the pandemic – operating in a world of huge uncertainty and a prolonged period of crisis response.

Testing new ways of working

We identified the risk to our income from membership and events and put in place contingency plans which were monitored with increased frequency. Thanks to the continued support of our members who recognise the value we bring to their work,  we have been able to manage the impacts of the crisis.

We tested new and more agile ways of working, including flexing hours and days to provide support for colleagues who were flexibly furloughed or home schooling. We brought our events programme 100% online to increase reach and inclusivity for our members. We worked hard to keep our finger on the pulse of our membership, with regular surveys and calls to hear directly about the challenges they were facing and how we could best support them.

Despite these challenges, the CharityComms team pulled together to deliver a bumper year of service and support for our members. We are extremely proud to have helped them through the crisis, to build strong and resilient brands, and to inspire supporters action for social good.

Creating collaboration and change

We empowered our community to engage with some of the most pressing themes in the sector: mental health and wellbeing and race equality, diversity, and inclusion by bringing people together to listen and learn from each other with a focus on the leading role communicators as agents of change in their organisations and beyond.

In line with our organisational strategy, we embraced opportunities for collaboration – securing sponsors who share our values, convening the best speakers and thinkers, joining forces with sister organisations like Media Trust and Small Charities Coalition to focus our attention where it could have most impact. And at sector level, we launched our Salary and Organisational Culture survey in partnership with Charity People, and helped coordinate the #CharitiesAgainstHate Coalition to bring positive change to social platforms.

CharityComms played a leading role in galvanising the resources and communications skills to deliver the communications campaign #NeverMoreNeeded and the #RightNow social media campaign to champion and celebrate the vital work charities deliver on behalf of their beneficiaries.

The CharityComms trustees were delighted to end the hear with the news that Adeela Warley, CEO CharityComms, had been awarded an OBE for services to charity communications in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.

Looking forward

After 18 months of intense activity and huge change, the CharityComms team is taking time to reflect and to think strategically about where and how we work as a team and how we can achieve our mission more quickly and with greater impact for our members. We’ll be sharing ideas, listening, and finding ways to engage our members in new plans for 2022/23.

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Thank you to our amazing community

We would like to say a big thank you to our amazing community for their engagement and support, to the trustees for their generosity and commitment to good governance in the crisis and to the CharityComms team who have worked so hard to ensure the CharityComms members felt like they had someone in their corner, listening, responding, and empowering them to do great work.

The CharityComms team was honoured and delighted to win the Team of the Year award at the 2021 memcom Membership Excellence Awards

Section 2

Objectives and activities

Why we’re here and what we’ve achieved this year

Our vision

We enable every charity to value and use effective communications for a better world.

Our purpose

We champion the value of communications and continually improve the quality of communications by connecting and inspiring our community.

Our goals by 2023

Communications will be recognised across the sector as an integral part of the effectiveness of charities.

Charities will have senior management team/senior board representation from communications (i.e. an equal voice at the top table).

More and better resources will be available to help charity communicators improve their skills and the impact of their work.

The planning and delivery of charities’ communications is aligned with their brand and organisational strategy.

CharityComms’ theory of change

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communications create change

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charities create change

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charities that communicate better, create better change

Headlines from 2020-2021

Finances

In light of the pandemic, we revised our budgets and monitored them closely recognising the risks to membership and events income. On an income of £631,180, the charity reported a deficit of £7,660 in the year to 30 April 2021. The income and deficit reported were both better than budgeted. Against the previous year, the charity retained a strong membership subscription renewal. We were able to fund the year’s activities mainly from operating income and the deficit reported did not have significant impact on our free reserves which are preserved at £261,000.

“[I like] being part of something that is improving my own knowledge and professional practice, at the same time as improving the profession as a whole and making a difference to the sector.”

Community

We worked hard to stay close to our members and respond to their needs and changing financial circumstances. Our network increased by 6% over the financial year (May 2020-April 2021), bringing the current total number of people in our network to more than 9,250.

We ended the year with 451 organisational members (not including those who are part of an umbrella membership) which was an increase of 9% on the previous year, 321 individual members and 61 corporate partners.

organisational members

individual members

corporate partners

The idea of being part of an active network and working toward a common goal saw an increase on 2020, with networking with other comms professionals featuring highly in our membership survey at 91% (up from 81% in 2020), and 64% citing being part of improving comms in the sector (up from 53% in 2020).

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Mentoring scheme

Peer-to-peer mentoring remained a key benefit for our members with 178 applications throughout the year and 142 successful matches. In our 2021 membership survey 70% of respondents listed our mentoring scheme as one of their most important membership benefits.

“The mentoring scheme is amazing, and a huge support for me and my team. The conferences are great quality. And I’ve really valued the opportunity to connect with others at senior lead level this year through the senior leaders call.”

Events

Events income fell as we pivoted to online delivery. However, we were able to substantially reduce the costs associated with face-to-face events and increase accessibility for our members. 62 online events were attended by nearly 5,200 delegates, representing an 18% increase in delegate numbers since we switched to online only events. We supported 80 small charity members with bursaries to attend key conferences and our Media Messaging Workshop.

online events

event delegates

78% of members told us that they have attended an online event with us since the start of the pandemic.

“Whenever I leave an event (online or in person), I feel fired up about engaging others and creating worthwhile content, as well as more enthusiastic about my current job role specifically.”

Digital content

We worked hard to improve and extend our knowledge resources, successfully relaunching our website along the way. Adopting a test and learn approach we created thematic hubs to help promote and surface the content members needed during a particularly difficult time.

The CharityComms podcast has attracted over 500 listens to date, and we added a new Best Practice Guide on Brand, working in partnership with two of our long-standing corporate partners. With over 3,000 pageviews this Brand guide became the second most read resource on the site in 2020-2021. We also added new content to our existing Wellbeing Guide based on sector needs in the midst of pandemic uncertainty, and a dedicated Coronavirus resources page was created and updated to help signpost our audience to resources most relevant to them.

 

“I really appreciate the regular communication. This means I don’t miss out on what’s happening. The email that alerted me to this survey included a round-up of on-demand content currently available to me; this is excellent communication.”

Shortlisted for Team of the Year

Finally, we were delighted to be shortlisted for Team of the Year at the memcom membership excellence awards 2021.

Section 3

Public benefit

How we deliver our services to members

The trustees confirm that they have complied with the requirement set out in the Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008 on how they have carried out their charity’s purposes for the public benefit and have complied with their duty to have due regard to the Charity Commission’s public benefit guidance when exercising any powers or duties to which the guidance is relevant.

Optimising communications

CharityComms was established to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of charities, not-for-profit organisations and voluntary organisations, for the benefit of the public throughout the UK, by the provision of resources to optimise their communications.

In short, we exist to help our members and others communicate more effectively, more efficiently, and to the benefit of all stakeholders and beneficiaries.

To do this, we have created a unique community of communicators willing to share with and learn from each other. We use a membership model to do this, although some of our resources are open to all.

Our free or low-cost resources, skills and best practice sharing and training, and unrivalled access to data and insight, are all aimed at raising the standard of communications across the charity sector. The following summary of our significant activities demonstrates how we deliver both our mission and our public benefit.

 

Section 4

Charitable purpose

How we work to raise the standard of communications

At CharityComms, our aim is to connect, inform, empower, and inspire comms professionals in the charity sector. We work with our members and the wider communications community to raise the standard of communications in not-for-profits, to enable them to deliver their world-changing missions more effectively.  

From our membership scheme and events to our best practice guides, reports, support for professional development and web and social media content, we aim to listen and respond to our members to deliver a service that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations. 

“The team clearly work really hard to do what’s right for the sector and I really appreciate that. The platform you provide for shared learning in a neutral space, digital or online, is priceless to organisations big and small. And I genuinely believe you are fantastic value for the membership cost. Thank you!”

How we worked to support our members in response to COVID-19

Over the past year, CharityComms has continued to work to strengthen our membership base, increase the diversity of our team and Board of Trustees, deliver even more events by moving them online, build more digital capability in our platforms, and continue to share and create content to support our members.

“I am really impressed with everything CharityComms is doing at the moment.”

– corporate partner, April 2020

Room for improvement

At CharityComms we believe in continually adapting and developing to best meet the needs of what you, our members need. This year members told us that “this is always more than can be done to raise the profile of comms within organisations, particularly so leaders view it as a strategic function, but this is as much about a culture change in those organisations as it is something CharityComms can influence.”

Other suggestions included showcasing small charities more and highlighting specialist roles such as internal comms at bigger conferences, providing practical templates and offering more networking opportunities. 19% told us they would like more ways to engage and to develop professionally to demonstrate return on investment (ROI).

Section 5

Business Plan

Priorities for the year

In line with the four key work streams included in our business strategy, as an immediate response to the pandemic in March/April 2020 our work included: 

 

Improving our systems

Improving our systems and invest in developing our staff and trustees to provide the best service for our members. 

  • Launch of a refreshed website in June 2020, using topical themes to showcase more content and ensure easier access to relevant events and articles.
  • We implemented more transparent and inclusive ways for working for Event Steering Groups and Sponsors.
  • Invested in updating our CRM systems to improve the member and delegate experience and automation tasks to free up staff time.
  • Revising comms and resources and ensuring our mentoring programme could work in an online format.
  • Launch of an online community, offering members a chance to network with each other as well as share ideas and inspiration and access member-only resources.
  • An internal buddy scheme, matching a trustee to work with each of the leaderships team, acting as a sounding board for membership, events and digital.
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Maximising

Making the most of our unique quality content – marketing, sharing, and increasing access to resource.

  • Creating a coronavirus information hub for charity communicators. 
  • Transforming our face-to-face events into a compelling, innovative, and more accessible online experience. 
  • Introducing an on-demand service to increase access and offer more flexibility to members. 
  • Creating a resources hub for small charities
  • Bringing senior leaders at our member charities together for vital information sharing and networking opportunities regularly. 
  • Relaunch of our podcast in June 2020, championing charity communicators who inspire all those around them. 
  • Refreshing our organogram project with a new Beyond the Organogram blog series, looking at comms team culture and structure. 

Partnering

Working collaboratively with others to extend our reach and impact.

  • Working with partners to quickly curate content especially relevant to our members, from crisis management to internal communications and lobbying.
  • Partnering with Media Trust to conduct a state of the sector survey and create content and resources in response.
  • Partnership with the Small Charities Coalition in September, that allowed us to welcome 50 new small charities to our network.
  • Supporting the comms for the Charities Against Hate coalition, a group of more than 40 charities working together to combat online hate.
  • Digital launch of Who Cares? book in November 2020, in partnership with Eden Stanley, including free digital resources and a free on-demand event for members and non-members on how to create audience-centred engagement.

Championing

Gathering and promoting evidence of the effectiveness and impact of communications.

  • Representing our members’ interests and championing the sector by leading on the #NeverMoreNeeded
  • Championing our members, listening to their needs and responding with initiatives such as our #MeetAFreelancer campaign that highlights the work of our freelancer members.  

Throughout the 2020, and into mid-2021, we continued to help members and other charities continue the shift toward digital communications and capacity, showcase their impact on beneficiaries, and build trust and engagement across their stakeholders and supporters.  

Section 6

Membership

Bringing our community together

Sarah Clarke

Sarah Clarke

Head of membership

Sarah is the Head of membership at CharityComms, dedicated to growing and improving the membership experience for our fantastic network of charity communicators as well as overseeing many of our data projects and reports. She is also part of the comms group for Charities Against Hate.

Supporting our comms community

Our membership community is our greatest asset and our primary concern is to support this community of communications professionals, which includes organisations that are charities and not for profits, corporates that include Third Sector focused agencies, and individuals.

Our focus over the past year has very much been on nurturing our membership community, both through improving and maximising our current offer and making the most impact we can within available resources.

organisational members

individual members

corporate partners

“Firstly just to say thank you, for all your and your colleagues’ work at CharityComms, because it’s really helped feel connected and part of something bigger, at this time – the webinars and updates have been really timely and helpful.”

– organisational member

Listening and responding to feedback

Each year we conduct a survey of our members, to ensure we have our fingers on the pulse of what our members most need and how to meet them.

This year, more than half (54%) of our members said there are engaged and familiar with CharityComms and our community and are eager to make connections. 26% said they were newish members and have not attended many events yet and are just finding out about what we have to offer.

“It’s accessible and friendly – no sense of needing to ‘be something I’m not’ in order to participate.”

– organisational member

What members value

Many of the membership benefits listed as being of most value to our members are very similar to last year, including online events (98%), free seminars (96%), learning from best practice (96%) and access to practical guidance and tools online 96%). 92% said they value new ideas and inspiration, with 70% listing our mentoring scheme as their most important benefit.

The idea of being part of an active network and working toward a common goal saw an increase on 2020, with networking with other comms professionals featuring highly at 91% (up from 81% in 2020), and 64% citing being part of improving comms in the sector (up from 53% in 2020).

Growing our network

The number of people added to our network increased by 6% over the current financial year (May 2020-April 2021), bringing the current total number of people in our network to more than 9,250.

Welcoming new members

The number of new members (across all types of membership) who joined our community over the past year has increased by just over 10% compared to the previous financial year.

“I secured a new client as a result of your ‘meet the freelancer’ initiative. A couple of ex-colleagues RTd your tweet, which led to one of their connections getting in touch with me about support with brand messaging and marketing support. So, thanks!”

– freelance member

Helping members make the most of their benefits

We are always working on ways to make sure that everyone is aware of all of their benefits and how they can make the most of their membership.

The number of people who said that they know about our Digital Benchmark increased by 8% on last year, as did the number of those who are aware of our mentoring scheme, while the percentage of those who know about AskCharity increased by 10%, as did the number telling us that they are aware of our downloadable best practice guides and resources (up to 87% of respondents. 

78% of members told us that they have attended an online event with us since the start of the pandemic, with 13% saying they had accessed live transcription and 52% stating that they have viewed on-demand content.

“Thank you for the tweet you sent a month or so ago too specifying me as a gd
videographer to hire. That gave me a lot of hope. It was a very warm feeling.”

– freelance member

#MembershipMonday campaign

We’ve started a new #MembershipMonday promotion on social media to make sure that new and existing members are reminded of the full range of their membership benefits.

86% of people said they would recommend CharityComms to others working in the sector (an increase of 5% from last year).

Section 7

Mentoring scheme

Offering peer support and career development

Lally Wentworth

Lally Wentworth

Mentoring manager

Lally looks after our mentoring matching service, making sure that both mentors and mentees get the best experience from our scheme.

A unique matching service

During 2020-21, out of 178 applications, our mentoring scheme made 142 matches.

Many people took on new or additional challenges during the pandemic, which was reflected in the priorities of those applying. Keeping the mentoring scheme going digitally was one of our main prioirities and we worked to produce additional supporting materials for mentees and mentors such as how to maintain a successful relationship when meeting online

matches made in 2020-2021

  • 142 matches in 2020-2021
  • 206 matches in 2019-2020
  • 197 matches in 2018-2019
  • 69 matches in 2017-2018

Who applies for the scheme?

As seen in previous years, officers and managers from our network are those most in want of a mentor and those working for charities in the largest charity income bands (over £10million) dominate applications. Objectives from applicants tend mostly to be about being in a new job role ad ‘stepping up’ and wanting a mentor to talk through the challenges.

Job level of applicants in 2020-2021

  • assistant / officer / senior officer 52% 52%
  • manager 37% 37%
  • head of dept 9% 9%
  • director / deputy director 2% 2%

Size of applicant charities in 2020-2021

  • £10 million and under 54% 54%
  • £5-10 million 6% 6%
  • £2-5 million 10% 10%
  • £1-2 million 14% 14%
  • £1 million and over 16% 16%

What our mentees say

“I have really valued your support, time and advice through what turned out to be a very challenging year due to COVID and having to adjust overnight to WFH. I’ve been grateful for the safe space you created as you guided me through my first steps in line management as I recruited and hired my first junior designer.”

– mentee on our mentoring scheme, Dec 2020

“My mentor is amazing and we have such lively and productive chats. It’s great to connect with someone who shares my passion for social media and who can guide me in such a relatable way.”

– a Communications Assistant / mentee on our scheme

Shifting priorities

During the year of the pandemic, applicants have been looking increasingly for a mentor they can relate to outside of work also – juggling work and home life, parents returning to work from maternity or paternity leave, people wanting to check-in with wellbeing and settling into our new working environment of working from home, people dealing with the effects of being furloughed and restructures in the sector.

New work priorities and responsibilities also played a key role, with those seeking support with a specific comms challenge increasing by 10% to 22% of applications in 2020-2021.

#MentoringMagic

To show our appreciation for the amazing work of our fantastic group of mentors, we launched a #MentoringMagic campaign on social media, also highlighting the benefits that being a mentor can bring.

Main themes of applicants in 2020-2021

  • new role or promotion 20% 20%
  • specific comms challenge 22% 22%
  • combined new role and specific challenge 16% 16%
  • career progression 31% 31%
  • leadership or people management 11% 11%

Main themes of applicants in 2019-2020

  • new role or promotion 27% 27%
  • specific comms challenge 12% 12%
  • combined new role and specific challenge 14% 14%
  • career progression 36% 36%
  • leadership or people management 11% 11%

What our mentors say

“Being able to share my skills and experience and also being able to hone my coaching skills. Plus, great, friendly support from Lally and the team if it was needed.”

– a Head of Communications and Marketing / mentor on our scheme

“Getting to know the mechanics of comms within a different charity. Being able to offer advice on my lived experiences to benefit [my mentee] in her new role. All the matches have been spot on.”

– a Head of Marketing and Digital / mentor on our scheme

Section 8

Events

Moving online, adapting and connecting

Vanessa Weddell

Vanessa Weddell

Head of events

Vanessa is responsible for our events portfolio, overseeing more than 60 events each year.

Mandy Cheng

Mandy Cheng

Events manager

Mandy supports the smooth running of our entire events programme – from Zoom production to on the day workshop management.

Emma Wickenden

Emma Wickenden

Senior events producer

Emma produces the content for all of our conferences and seminars, including our flagship annual digital conference.

Lauren Haizel-Cobbina

Lauren Haizel-Cobbina

Events and membership assistant

Lauren is the main point of contact for the events team, helping delegates with both event and membership queries.

Bringing our mission to life

CharityComms’ events continue to bring our mission to life by showcasing examples of innovation and best practice by allowing our network to share their successes, challenges, solutions, and ideas with their peers. We aim to inform, inspire, and empower delegates to use effective communications to better serve their beneficiaries and supporters.  

We use our special insight into the sector and communications issues to ensure content, speakers and resources are what members need. We worked tirelessly to support our members through the ongoing pandemic, holding our events programme online to reach more people than ever before and keep our members safe. We kept our finger on the pulse of our members, bringing them timely and relevant content in a variety of formats. We also provided opportunities for peertopeer exchanges and support throughout our events, helping our members stay connected with fellow comms professionals. We were delighted to learn that events were named as the top membership benefit in our annual membership survey. 

online events

attendees

Transitioning to online events to support members through the crisis 

Just before we entered the first lockdown in March 2020, we began exploring how to deliver online events so that we could continue supporting our members through the pandemic. We quickly flexed the event programme online virtually overnight, rescheduled some events and paused others as we came to grips with running online events. We also worked quickly with trusted partners to bring to life webinars on crisis communications, boosting resilience in your remote teams, held calls with senior leaders, and canvassed our steering groups to understand the issues they were facing in their own work and organisations as the pandemic began. We then shared these gathered insights with our special interest groups so that they could know that they were not alone in facing these challenges and to help identify any opportunities.  

“The session was full of energy from the start. I very much liked the format and the informality. It was such a helpful session and a great opportunity to meet and chat to other creatives who work in similar settings.”

– delegate at our Creatives Group Network events

Flexing to online events was a steep learning curve for the CharityComms team, but we are proud of how we adapted quickly to this new way of working and adopted a more agile approach to our work. We adapted the programme and individual events as we went along, establishing a new planning cycle, and flexing as necessary to support our colleagues through the year. Our events reached more people than ever before, even though we ran fewer events than in the previous year. We ran 62 online events attended by nearly 5,200 delegates, which represents an 18% increase in delegate numbers since we switched to online only events. We also supported our members and the wider sector with ad hoc advice on how they could run their own online events, based on our own learnings and experiences. 

“Really relevant, really interesting, practical, pragmatic. Punchy sessions.” 

– delegate at our New Rules of Audience Engagement Conference

We quickly recognised that members were time poor and not always able to attend our live events in the same way as before. We launched our ‘on demand’ functionality so that our members could explore event content at a time that suited them best, and there were 3,334 plays of our on-demand video content during the year. We also made our events more accessible than ever before by using live transcription and providing a transcript for all pre-filmed material too.  

Our events income was hit substantially by the pandemic, as charities faced uncertainty with their budgets and online events not valued in the same way as in person events. We were able to offset this reduction in events income with substantial savings on venues for our planned conferences – we received a full refund for every conference we were unable to hold in person as originally planned. We also proactively helped with debt collection to ensure CharityComms’ sustainability throughout the year. 

“Just wanted to feedback on what a great event that was, well done on organising virtually. The speakers and presentations were perfectly pitched and very inspiring, they also supported a lot of what I’d been saying to my marketing manager who also attended! We’ve just spent the last hour having a debrief and thoughts on what it meant for us.”  

– delegate at our Brand 360 Seminar

Transparency in our work 

We put an emphasis on greater transparency in several ways: 

  • Developed and began using a speaker fee policy.
  • Held open callouts to our members and the wider sector for speaking opportunities.
  • Held open callouts to our members to join our steering groups and implemented a formal application process.
  • Advertised sponsorship opportunities widely to corporate partners and implemented a formal pitch process.

“Many thanks for organising the course today. It was outstanding in every way. Brilliant facilitators – knowledgeable, experienced, skilled, encouraging. Really engaging activities – lots of tips and realistic scenarios. And I enjoyed meeting the other participants. I really feel I learned something and that doesn’t always happen.”  

– attendee at our Media Messaging for Small Charities Workshop

Event highlights

  • Our largest audience of the year was our Brand 360 Seminar, with 436 delegates booked to join us.  
  • We supported the launch of the Who Cares? Building Audience-Centred Engagement Strategies in the Non-Profit Sector book with a special audience engagement strategies event, bringing together an audience of 337 delegates from across the sector.  
  • We supported senior leaders with regular calls to bring them together to discuss their most pressing challenges and opportunities and offer support where possible. 
  • We trialled running multi-day conferences, including Storyfest, Digital Conference, Video for Charities, and The New Rules of Audience Engagement to give time for delegates to delve deeply into key topics.
  • We supported 47 small charity members with bursaries to attend key conferences. 33 small charity members were able to attend our popular Media Messaging Workshop at no cost to them.
  • We held two iterations of our popular Stepping into Comms Leadership workshop series, as well as one Hack Yourself workshop.
  • We added three new workshops to the event portfolio:
    – Where next, seeking your next career move
    – How to be an anti-racist brand
    – New year, new you 

“It was a varied programme and I feel like I learnt a lot. The speakers were all really knowledgeable and interesting. It was great to see so many inspiring videos made by charities as well! I also liked the emphasis on accessibility and the wellbeing activities during the breaks. It’s also great to have so much information in the delegate bag. It was a great conference, thank you so much.”  

– delegate at our Video for Charities Conference

Thank you!

We’d like to say thank you to Hanna-Mariam Chowdhury, our Events officer, who left us in 2020.

Section 9

Digital content

Producing valued content, best practice, advice and inspiration

Christine Fleming

Christine Fleming

Head of digital content

Christine is responsible for managing our digital content across the website and social, as well as leading on digital development and projects.

Adel Hanily

Adel Hanily

Digital content officer

Adel is the digital content officer at CharityComms, leading on all of our social media.

Producing digital content to inspire members

In what has been a very busy year the digital content team has successfully delivered the CharityComms website relaunch, adopted a test and learn approach to find ways to use the new look site to help promote and surface the content members need during a particularly difficult time, and relaunched the podcast. Above all though the team has worked hard to ensure CharityComms continues to be a source of best practice, advice, and inspiration for our members no matter what their current comms needs or stage of their comms career. 

Championing effective and thoughtful charity communication

In the past year we have continued to work with sector peers to produce over 100 new articles for our twice weekly blog. We also added a new Best Practice Guide on Brand (working in partnership with two of our long-standing corporate partners). To date the Brand guide has had over 3,000 pageviews and was the second most read resource on the site in 2020-2021. Additional content has also been added to the existing Wellbeing Guide based on sector needs in the midst of pandemic uncertainty, and a dedicated Coronavirus resources page created to help signpost our audience to resources that are most relevant to them. Plus we found the time to create an updated Salary & Organisational Culture report in our new long-form style that showcases the capabilities of the new site too. 


Pivoting and adapting at speed has been vital for us during the pandemic and so the digital team has embraced a test and learn approach to enable us to keep up with demand. For example we drew on our Digital Roadmap refresh work to create a dedicated section for our ‘Beyond the Organogram’ resources – which was a new approach to updating the ever-popular organogram report. Like our guides this resource was created in partnership with one of our long-standing corporate partners and by creating it in a hub style as opposed to a full guide format we were able to build the creation of this vital resource into our already packed content schedule, and fit around the demands on the authors’ time. A similar approach was adopted for the launch and promotion of the new Make it Matter book that we partnered on in 2020/2021 and which the digital team led on the marketing comms for. Again we took the opportunity to create a hub to house resources related to the book and to create opportunities to cross-promote it and drive sales while flexing our resources and staggering the demands on our time. 


Alongside all the written content that has been created in the past year the digital team have also been able to relaunch the CharityComms podcast whilst working remotely. The past year saw our first series return to the airwaves with a focus on inspiring communicators. The aim was to provide a much-needed boost of positivity for the sector while also serving as a useful vehicle to promote our popular yearly ICA event. Then going into the end of 2020-2021 and the start of 2021-2022 we moved into our second series which has focused on Wellbeing in response to the continued need for support in this area that we have seen across the sector. 

We have also worked hard to practice what we preach in terms of demonstrating best practice in the sector. Even while juggling multiple other priorities we found time to proceed with implementing a robust new website cookies policy which empowers readers with clear options and choices around online tracking. This fully audience-first approach makes the ability to opt out of all cookies as prominent and easy as opting in. It has of course had an impact on our analytics numbers (internal benchmarking suggests a drop of half) but this is common among other charities who have done the same.

In headline terms, all the work that has been done to continue creating digital content that meets members ever changing needs at this important time has led to a steady stream of traffic to the site at a time of turmoil for the sector.  In 2020-2021 overall traffic to the site was 310,489, which when you consider our above assumption that only about half of readers are opting in, is comparative to 2019-2020’s  639,678 site visits. Meanwhile each of the five podcast episodes released in the last year has attracted over 500 listens so far, showing we are also succeeding in reaching our audience in this new and exciting way too.

website articles

website users

Twitter followers

Digital communications

As always CharityComms’ focus in the last 12 months has continued to be to create valuable free content to the whole sector. We have sought to add value and improve the member experience by providing excellent content that is widely promoted through eNews and our social media channels and have seen users on www.charitycomms.org.uk remain on track at 92,503. Again this figure is indicative of our cookie policy meaning we are now only tracking half of the traffic we were before, but positively we can also report that average session duration of those we can track is up by 11.25% from 1.36 seconds to 1.47 seconds. 
 
In terms of our other digital communities the subscriber numbers for our eNews mailout continued to increase with over 10,000 individuals signed up to eNews at the end of the year. Our Twitter following also grew from just over 45,000 in 2019-2020 to 47,819 by the end of 2020-2021 and we were recording an average of 14,000+ engagements a quarter. On Facebook our followers have also increased from 2,432 to 2,667 over the course of the year. 
 
Given CharityComms’ standing in the sector we have also been using our comms to help support others during the pandemic. We partnered up with Media Trust at the start of COVID-19 to survey what charity communicators needed to help them in these times and repeated the process again at the start of 2021. The digital content team worked on this project producing the comms messaging for a joint comms push to both share the survey results and act on them. 

Section 10

AskCharity

Connecting charities and journalists

Imogen Lees

Imogen Lees

Membership Assistant

Imogen works as a key part of the membership team, supporting our products and services including AskCharity, the jobs board and our online directories.

i

Helping charities tell their stories

Building media contacts is a vital part of getting charity stories in the spotlight. AskCharity is a free service that helps charities and not-for-profit organisations to connect with the media. Journalists, programme makers and other media professionals use it to send out requests for stories and case study direct to charities. It’s also an online contacts book which lists charities’ details including their key media contacts.

“We are very glad we signed our charity up to this. We have been included in articles appearing in several national publications as a result.”

 AskCharity user, March 2021 

Engagement with AskCharity has grown particularly since lockdown.

April 2020’s increase in the number of charities signing up was 74% above our 2019 monthly average, with just over 3,700 charity contacts listed. Journalist requests were up 51% on last year’s monthly average and we have more than 4,200 journalists registered. A data cleaning exercise also resulted in an 80% increase in journalist sign-ins in April 2020 compared to 2019. 

increase in charity sign-ups in April 2020

increase in media requests in 2020

journalists registered with our service

"Keep up the good work AskCharity, you provide a unique and useful service for journalists and PRs.

 AskCharity user, March 2021 

Any registered charity or voluntary sector organisation can sign up to AskCharity for free. Just fill in the simple online sign up form to get started.

Section 11

Digital Benchmark

A unique collaboration helping charities improve their online performance

Alexis de Ponson du Terrail

Alexis de Ponson du Terrail

Digital projects manager

Alexis joined us in July 2021 and looks after our Digital Benchmark as well as working on special data projects such as our annual salary and organisational culture survey.

Evaluating online performance

The Digital Benchmark is a service that allows charities share data anonymously in order to improve everyone’s performance.

As part of a regular series of improvements, we launched an updated Digital Benchmark dashboard in March 2021, with faster load times and improved filtering options.

Winner of a Drum award

The Digital Benchmark won the “Most effective use of data” category in The Drum’s 2020 Digital Advertising Awards, with our Digital Benchmark partner agency, Uprise Up.

Increasing awareness

We are always working on ways to make sure that everyone is aware of all of their benefits and how they can make the most of their membership. The number of people who said that they are aware of the Digital Benchmark increased by 8% on last year.

Digital Comms 2020-21 report

A new report and supporting resources

As part of a series of additional resources and articles, in April 2021 we produced a new report looking at the impact of COVID-19 and charities’ digital response to the coronavirus, working with our partners Uprise Up and Bertie Bosrédon.

The report looks at the data behind how charities have reprioritised and adapted their communications and marketing to meet the rapidly changing landscape.

We also released an article looking at how only a third of charities curently pass Google’s ‘Core Web Vitals’

Thank you!

We would like to thank digital marketing agency, Uprise Up, and digital expert, Bertie Bosrédon, for their invaluable advice and assistance with the benchmark so that we can provide the best possible product for participating charities.

We’d also like to say thank you to Stacey Kelly-Maher, who left us as Digital projects officer in January 2021, for all of her hard work in developing the benchmark over the past few years.

Section 12

Partnerships and collaboration

Continuing to lead the way with our sector partners

Working together to increase our impact

CharityComms has always worked with others to increase efficiency, reach and impact.

We work with corporate partners, freelancers, other sector bodies including the Media Trust and the Small Charities Coalition to maximise access to learning and development. This approach is one of the key pillars of our new organisational strategy 2020-2023.

We continued to work with Media Trust and the Small Charities Coalition on joint research to understand and respond to our members most pressing communications needs – conducting a second wave of research and developing our resource hub to help signpost more relevant content for those professionals working in small charities.

We formed a partnership with Charity People to launch our Salary and Organisational Culture Survey in February 2021 – providing important tracking data on the on the health of the sector and the latest trends for communications professionals.

Throughout the year, we continued to support a variety of sector and wider social movements including the Charities Against Hate coalition of more than 40 charities, working as part of the leadership and communications groups.

CharityComms played a lead role in helping to coordinate the charity sector’s communications response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many people were relying on the support of charities and community organisations. At the same time charities and community organisations were trying to scale up their emergency responses while seeing a  huge increase in demand and many fundraising routes blocked, as well as rapidly reorganising their internal operations to work in lockdown.

Working with in-house specialists from different charities as well as external consultants, CharityComms helped develop framing, messages and digital materials and coordinated social media bursts highlighting the essential work being carried out by charities and voluntary organisations. Using the #NeverMoreNeeded and #RightNow hashtags to unite many organisations with a shared message and call to action. This work was funded by a grant from the Lloyds Bank Foundation, who supported a review of the communications.

Key benefits identified

A feeling of solidarity, at a difficult time for individuals and organisations, building new relationships and strengthening existing ones. This will continue to be in important as we move forward.

Sharing intelligence.

Pooling resources and sharing the load.

Speaking with one voice.

Speaking at the same time, using key moments to create pressure and visibility.

Harnessing the collective power of collaborating organisations for greater reach, for a richer understanding of difference perspectives and for a breadth of stories and actions.

Section 13

Report of the trustees

Structure, governance, management and financial activities for 2020-2021

Joseph Fadahunsi

Joseph Fadahunsi

Head of finance and operations

Joseph leads, delivers and develops the finance and governance management functions at CharityComms.

Jolene Asante

Jolene Asante

Finance officer

Jolene works to support the finance department and the wider CharityComms team with any accounting and finance needs.

The trustees who are also directors of the charity for the purposes of the Companies Act 2006, present their report with the financial statements of the charity for the year ended 30 April 2021. The accounts have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies set out in note 1 to the accounts and comply with the charity’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, the Companies Act 2006 and “Accounting and Reporting by charities: Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) (effective 1 January 2015)”.

Our trustees

Kirsty Marrins

Kirsty Marrins

CJ Marshall

CJ Marshall

Mark Russell

Mark Russell

Lucy Devine

Lucy Devine

Jessica Abelscroft

Jessica Abelscroft

Chrystyna Chymera-Holloway

Chrystyna Chymera-Holloway

Pip Gardner

Pip Gardner

Justin Driskill

Justin Driskill

Financial review

Financial position

We budgeted for a significant adverse impact from the Covid pandemic, both on membership renewals and new members joining, and on income from events, which were largely in-person. It was therefore heartening to see in the year that membership subscriptions held remarkably firm given the pressure on the budgets of our members, and we saw only a 7% drop in income from membership. As expected, income reduction from events was much more significant, despite excellent work by the team to pivot to online events and on demand content. However, we also benefited from a significant lowering of events-related costs associated with no longer using venues and in-person activity. In summary then, while our income was down from £738,267 in 2020, to £631,180 our costs were also down, from £759,652 in 2020 to £638,840 in 2021, leaving a lower than budgeted deficit at year end of £7,660.

Reserves policy

The charitable company retained its reserves policy in the year. This is at the same level as 2020, reflecting six months of our current staffing and support costs (estimated at £261,000). The total net assets of the charitable company were £337,415 at 30 April 2021 with £318,309 of unrestricted funds and £19,106 of restricted funds. The reserves policy of the charity is therefore met.

Going concern

At the start of the year the trustees approved a significant deficit budget, acknowledging that we had sufficient reserves to weather the Covid pandemic, and that the needs of the sector and our members for our services, excellence in communications, and shared learning was never greater. As stated in the financial review, some of our assumptions were proved conservative, as membership held relatively firm – hopefully as members appreciated the value CharityComms could provide in a time of crisis. We also took the opportunity to review our events offering, which shifted solely to online/virtual platforms, and explored new models of event delivery, sponsorship and other content. With this experience
and learning, and a renewed focus on our business model and how we can best provide value to members, we are well placed to have a robust performance in 2021-22.

Coupled with the current strength of our balance sheet at 30th April 2021, we can therefore state the charity is a going concern, but we remain vigilant about risks to income and the changing nature of the pandemic.

Risk management

The trustees have a risk management strategy which comprises:

  • a quarterly standing item on the Board agenda reviewing key risks and policies
  • the establishment of policies, systems, and procedures to mitigate those risks identified in the risk register
  • the implementation of procedures designed to minimise or manage any potential impact on the charity should those risks materialise
  • for a period during the COVID-19 lockdown, more frequent Board meetings reviewing specific KPIs, and indicators associated with key risks, including income levels and membership renewals

This work has identified that financial sustainability is the major financial risk for the charity. A key element in the management of financial risk is a regular review of available liquid funds to settle debts as they fall due, daily review of banking activities, and active management of membership and events debtors and creditors balances to ensure sufficient working capital. Further mitigation has involved the monthly review of prepaid subscriptions of membership fees and events places to ensure that the receipts are accrued prudently as income deferred and thus provided for as current liabilities in the accounts.

Attention has also been focused on non-financial risks to ensure the health and safety of staff at work. The Charity has in place a non-contributory EAP scheme through Assured Health, provides extra guidance on safer ways of working from home, and engages in regular assessments of staff wellness and wellbeing via weekly team virtual meetings and activities. These risks are also managed by ensuring accreditation is up to date, having robust policies and procedures in place and regular awareness training for staff working in these operational areas.

 

Structure, governance and management

Governance

The charity is controlled by its governing document, the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and constitutes a limited company, limited by guarantee, as defined by the Companies Act 2006.

The governing document was reviewed in the previous year to ensure it remains fit for purpose, in tune with changing regulations and to ensure our key objects are being met. The overhaul of the governing document was achieved in liaison with our legal advisers and approved at our AGM in October 2019

Following a review of our Governance Manual in 2019 we have adopted this as an action document to support a culture of best practice and continuous improvement within the charity.

Changes to our trustee board

The following changes have been made to our trustee board during the year:

  • Katherine Hall stepped down as trustee on 9 March 2021.

Decision making

The charity is run by the board of trustees, which sets and monitors strategy and policy. The board receives quarterly reports of all the activities of the charity. A minimum of one full strategy review meeting is held each year. In recent times and in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the board meets more frequently to review the situation against set KPIs and to provide necessary support to the team to ensure that the team’s new working culture is supportive, effective, and efficient.

 

Since the stepping down of our previous treasurer last year, the board has been operating without one. This position has been

difficult to fill in a pandemic period but we have managed this risk through the diligence and effective working of our Finance,

Risk and Remuneration Committee.

 

Induction and training of new trustees

New trustees receive an induction pack drawing information from the various Charity Commission publications signposted through the Commission’s guide “the Essential Trustee”.

Trustees receive the following governing documents: our Governance manual, Memorandum and Articles and the latest financial statements and management accounts, the organisational strategy and annual business plan including the financial budget. The respective documents cover:

The obligations of trustees, the CEO and senior management team

  • The main documents which set out the operational framework for the charity including the memorandum and articles
  • Resourcing and the current financial position as set out in the latest published accounts
  • Future plans and objectives, vision, and values
  • Trustee training programme, including self-learning, external training, and peer support to ensure high performance and continuous learning
  • Additionally, new trustees are invited and encouraged to proactively familiarise themselves with the charity and the context within which it operates.

Key management remuneration

The board of directors, who are the charity’s trustees, together with the senior management team constitute the key management personnel of the charity and are in charge of directing, controlling, running, and operating the charity on a day-to-day basis. All directors give of their time freely and no director received remuneration in the year. The pay of the senior staff is reviewed annually and normally increases in accordance with average earnings. In view of the nature of the charity, the directors benchmark against pay levels in other charities of a similar size and nature.

Developments 2021- 2022

CharityComms will continue to improve internal systems and deliver quality content to our members working in partnership with others to speed up and increase impact.

We are currently working on a strategic business review and will find ways to share new ideas and proposals with our members as part of our business planning process in Winter 2021 and Spring 2022 for implementation from 1 May 2022.

Reference and administrative details

Registered company details

Registered Company number
06210121 (England and Wales)

Registered Charity number
1138312

Registered office
2-6 Tenter Ground
Spitalfields
London E1 7NH

Trustees

Jess Ablescroft

Lucy Devine

Chrystyna Chymera-Holloway

Mark Russell (Chair)

Pip Gardner

Justin Driskill

Kirsty Marrins

Curtis-James Marshall (Vice Chair)

Senior managers and company secretary

Senior Managers
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Name: A Warley

Company Secretary
J O Fadahunsi

Independent examiner, bankers and legal advisers

Independent examiner
Galloways Accounting
30 New Road, Brighton
East Sussex BN1 1BN

Bankers
The Co-operative Bank PLC
Business Direct, PO Box 250
Skelmerdale
Lancashire WN8 6WT

Legal Advisers
Hempsons
100 Wood Street
London EC2V 7AN

Independent examiner's report

Responsibilities and basis of report

As the charity’s trustees of the Company (and also its directors for the purposes of company law) you are responsible for the preparation of the accounts in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 (‘the 2006 Act’).

Having satisfied myself that the accounts of the Company are not required to be audited under Part 16 of the 2006 Act and are eligible for independent examination, I report in respect of my examination of your charity’s accounts as carried out under section 145 of the Charities Act 2011 (‘the 2011 Act’). In carrying out my examination I have followed the Directions given by the Charity Commission under section 145(5) (b) of the 2011 Act.

Independent examiner’s statement

Since your charity’s gross income exceeded £250,000 your examiner must be a member of a listed body. I can confirm that I am qualified to undertake the examination because I am a registered member of _ which is one of the listed bodies.

I have completed my examination. I confirm that no matters have come to my attention in connection with the examination giving me cause to believe:

1.

accounting records were not kept in respect of the Company as required by section 386 of the 2006 Act; or

2.

the accounts do not accord with those records; or

3.

the accounts do not comply with the accounting requirements of section 396 of the 2006 Act other than any requirement that the accounts give a true and fair view which is not a matter considered as part of an independent examination; or

4.

the accounts have not been prepared in accordance with the methods and principles of the Statement of Recommended Practice for accounting and reporting by charities (applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102)).

I have no concerns and have come across no other matters in connection with the examination to which attention should be drawn in this report in order to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

Colin Young
Galloways Accounting
30 New Road, Brighton
East Sussex BN1 1BN

Financial activities

Statement of financial activities

Notes Unrestricted fund (£) Restricted funds (£) 2021 total funds (£) 2020 total funds (£)

Income and endowments from

Donations and legacies 3 6,863 2,200 9,063  21,709
Charitable activities 6
     events 91,964 20,000 111,964  197,993
     membership benefits and services 451,636 20,000 471,636  480,738
Other trading activities 4 20,016 20,016 35,921
Investment income 5 538 538  1,907
Other income 7 17,963 17,963
Total 588,980 42,200 631,180  738,268

Expenditure on

Charitable activities 8
     events 294,642 294,642  431,039
     membership benefits and sevices 321,104  6,250  327,354  328,613
Never More Needed 16,844  16,844
Total 615,746   23,094 638,840  759,652

Net income /(expenditure)

(26,766)  19,106   (7,660) (21,384)

Reconciliation of funds

Total funds brought forward 345,075 345,075  366,459
 
TOTAL FUNDS CARRIED FORWARD 318,309   19,106 337,415  345,075

 

Balance sheet

Notes Unrestricted fund (£) Restricted fund (£) 2021 total funds (£) 2020
total
funds (£)

Fixed assets

Tangible assets 13 16,360 16,360  20,112

Current assets

Debtors 14 76,410 76,410  122,876
Cash at bank and in hand 517,302  19,106  536,408  493,425
   
593,712  19,106  612,818  616,301

Creditors

Amounts falling due within one year 15 (291,763) (291,763)  (291,338)

Net current assets

301,949  19,106  321,055  324,963

Total assets less current liabilities

318,309 
19,106 337,415  345,075

Net assets

318,309  19,106  337,415  345,075

Funds

16
Unrestricted funds     318,309  345,075
Restricted funds     19,106

TOTAL FUNDS

    337,415  345,075

The charitable company is entitled to exemption from audit under Section 477 of the Companies Act 2006 for the year
ended 30 April 2021.

The members have not required the company to obtain an audit of its financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2021
in accordance with Section 476 of the Companies Act 2006.

The trustees acknowledge their responsibilities for
(a) ensuring that the charitable company keeps accounting records that comply with Sections 386 and 387 of the
Companies Act 2006 and
(b) preparing financial statements which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the charitable company as
at the end of each financial year and of its surplus or deficit for each financial year in accordance with the
requirements of Sections 394 and 395 and which otherwise comply with the requirements of the Companies Act
2006 relating to financial statements, so far as applicable to the charitable company.

The financial statements were approved by the Board of Trustees and authorised for issue on 23 September 2021 and
were signed on its behalf by: M Russell (Chair) – Trustee.

Cash flow statement

Notes 2021 (£) 2020 as related (£)
Cash flows from operating activities: 18
Cash generated from operations 44,829  27,284
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities 44,829  27,284
Cash flows from investing activities:
Purchase of tangible fixed assets (2,384)  (12,493)
Interest received 538  1,907
Net cash used in investing activities (1,846)  (10,586)
Change in cash and cash equivalents in the reporting period 42,983  16,698
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the reporting period 493,425  476,727
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the reporting period 536,408 493,425

Notes to the financial statements

1. STATUTORY INFORMATION

CharityComms is a limited-by-guarantee company incorporated in England and Wales . In the event of the charity being wound up, the liability in respect of the guarantee is limited to £1 per member of the charity. The address of the registered office is given in the Trustees’ Report on page 11 of these financial statements. The nature of the charity’s operations and principal activities are the promotion of efficiency and effectiveness of charities, not for profit organisations and voluntary organisations, for the benefit of the public throughout the UK, by the provision of resources to optimise their communications.

2. ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Basis of preparing the financial statements
The charity constitutes a public benefit entity as defined by FRS 102. The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland issued in October 2019, the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102), the Charities Act 2011, the Companies Act 2006 and UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice.

Going concern
At the time of approving the accounts, the trustees have a reasonable expectation that the charity has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future Further details are included in the Trustees’ Report. The trustees continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing the accounts.

Income
All income is recognised in the Statement of Financial Activities once the charity has entitlement to the funds, it is probable that the income will be received and the amount can be measured reliably.

Donations
Donated facilities are included at the value to the charity where this can be quantified and a third party is bearing the cost. No amounts are included in the financial statements for services donated by volunteers.

For donations to be recognised the charity will have been notified of the amounts and the settlement date in writing. If there are conditions attached to the donation and this requires a level of performance before entitlement can be obtained, then the income is deferred until those conditions are fully met or the fulfilment of those conditions is within the control of the charity and it is probable they will be fulfilled.

Trading activities
Income from trading activities includes income earned from sponsorship of events. Income is received in exchange for supplying services in order to raise funds and is recognised when entitlement has occurred.

Grants including government grants
Income from grants are recognised at fair value when the charity has entitlement after any performance related conditions have been met, it is probable that the income will be received and the amount can be measured reliably. If entitlement is not met then these amounts are deferred.

Membership fee income
Membership income is recognised on a straight line basis over the period to which it relates.

Event income
Event income is recognised at the point that the event takes place.

Expenditure
Liabilities are recognised as expenditure as soon as there is a legal or constructive obligation committing the charity to that expenditure, it is probable that a transfer of economic benefits will be required in settlement and the amount of the obligation can be measured reliably. Expenditure is accounted for on an accruals basis and has been classified under headings that aggregate all cost related to the category. Where costs cannot be directly attributed to particular headings they have been allocated to activities on a basis consistent with the use of resources.

Fund-raising costs are those incurred in seeking voluntary contributions and do not include the costs of
disseminating information in support of the charitable activities.

2. ACCOUNTING POLICIES – continued

Governance costs
Included in governance costs are the costs associated with the governance arrangements of the charity. Costs include independent examination, legal advice for trustees and costs associated with constitutional and statutory requirements.

Allocation and apportionment of costs
Support and governance costs are recharged to charitable activities based on estimated usage, dependent on the type of expenditure.

Tangible fixed assets
Depreciation is provided at the following annual rates in order to write off each asset over its estimated useful life.

Computer equipment – 25% on reducing balance
Website – 25% on reducing balance

Tangible fixed assets are initially measured at cost and subsequently measured at cost less accumulated
depreciation.

Taxation
The charity is exempt from corporation tax on its charitable activities.

Fund accounting
Unrestricted funds can be used in accordance with the charitable objectives at the discretion of the trustees. Restricted funds can only be used for particular restricted purposes within the objects of the charity. Restrictions arise when specified by the donor or when funds are raised for particular restricted purposes. Further explanation of the nature and purpose of each fund is included in the notes to the financial statements.

Pension costs and other post-retirement benefits
The charitable company operates a defined contribution pension scheme. Contributions payable to the charitable company’s pension scheme are charged to the Statement of Financial Activities in the period to which they relate.

Debtors and creditors receivable/ payable within one year
Debtors and creditors with no stated interest rate and receivable or payable within one year are recorded at transaction price. Any losses arising from impairment are recognised in expenditure.

3. DONATIONS AND LEGACIES

2021 2020
Donations £9,063  £21,709

£6,864 of donations relate to benefits in kind provided within the year by Pemberton Bernes toward the training and improvement of membership services. The remaining £2,200 of donations relate to individual donations made to the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign launched as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

4. OTHER TRADING ACTIVITIES

2021 2020
Sponsorships £20,016 £35,921

5. INVESTMENT INCOME

2021 2020
Deposit account interest £538  £1,907

6. INCOME FROM CHARITABLE ACTIVITES

Activity 2021 2020
Events Events £91,964  £197,993
Grants Events £20,000
Membership benefits and services Membership benefits & services £451,636  £480,738
Grants Membership benefits & services £20,000
Total £583,600
£678,731

 7. OTHER INCOME

2021 2020
Government grants £17,963 

Other income includes Government grant income relating to the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme amounting to £17,963 (2019: £nil). There are no unfulfilled conditions and other contingencies attached to the grants.

8. CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES COSTS

Direct costs Support costs
(see note 9)  
Totals
Events £259,295
£35,347  £294,642
Membership benefits and services £284,779  £42,575  £327,354
Never More Needed £16,844
 – £16,844
TOTAL £560,918   £77,922 £638,840

9. SUPPORT COSTS

Management Finance

Information

technology

Other Governance Totals
Events £5,358  £1,405   £8,929  £17,307 £2,348  £35,347
Membership benefits and services £6,547   £1,717 £10,914  £20,528   £2,869 £42,575
TOTAL £11,905  £10,914  £19,843  £37,835   £5,217 £77,922

10. NET INCOME/(EXPENDITURE)

Net income/(expenditure) is stated after charging/(crediting):

2021  2020
Independent examiner’s remuneration £1,000 £1,000
Other non-examination services £3,025
Depreciation – owned assets £5,624
£6,704
Deficit on disposal of fixed assets £512

11. TRUSTEES’ REMUNERATION AND BENEFITS

There were no trustees’ remuneration or other benefits for the year ended 30 April 2021 nor for the year ended 30 April 2020.

Trustees’ expenses
During the year, £1,249 (2019: £837) of expenses were reimbursed to three trustees for travel, training, home setup and staff welfare.

12. STAFF COSTS

2021 2020
Wages and salaries £421,869  £396,735
Social security costs £39,450  £39,149
Other pension costs £24,670  £18,589
Total £485,989  £454,473

The average monthly number of employees during the year was as follows:

2021 2020
Staff 11 12

The number of employees whose employee benefits (excluding employer pension costs) exceeded £60,000 was:

2021 2020
£60,001 – £70,000 1 1

13. TANGIBLE FIXED ASSETS

Computer equipment Website   Totals
Cost
at 1 May 2020 £14,392  £59,953  £74,345
Additions £2,384  £2,384 
Disposals (4,397) (4,397)
at 30 April 2021 £12,379  £59,953  £72,332
Depreciation
at 1 May 2020 £7,311  £46,922  £54,233
Charge for year £2,366   £3,258 £5,624
Eliminated on disposal (£3,885) –    (£3,885)
at 30 April 2021 £5,792  £50,180  £55,972
Net book value
At 30 April 2021 £6,587   £9,773 £16,360
At 30 April 2020 £7,081  £13,031  £20,112 

14. DEBTORS: AMOUNTS FALLING DUE WITHIN ONE YEAR

2021 2020
Trade debtors £69,759  £100,949
Prepayments and accrued income £6,651  £21,927
£76,410  £122,876

15. CREDITORS: AMOUNTS FALLING DUE WITHIN ONE YEAR

2021 2020
Trade creditors £8,080  £19,034
Social security and other taxes £5,036  £9,154
VAT £23,608  £12,103
Other creditors £3,178  £3,181
Accrued expenses £3,600  £2,600
Deferred income £248,261  £245,266
TOTAL £291,763  £291,338

Deferred income refers to advance payments received by the charity for products or services that are to be delivered or performed in the future.

Membership income is invoiced annually and recognised in the period to which it relates. Deferred income in relation to membership fees total £245,141 (2020: £225,722).

Also included in deferred income are amounts of £3,120 (2020:£19,544) which relate to events that had not taken place before the year-end.

16. MOVEMENT IN FUNDS

at 1.5.20 Net movement in funds at 30.4.21
Unrestricted funds
General fund £ 345,075   (26,766) £318,309
Restricted funds      
Never More Needed £5,356  £5,356
The Paul Hamlyn Trust £13,750  £13,750 
£19,106 £19,106
TOTAL FUNDS £345,075 (£7,660) £337,415

Net movement in funds, included in the above are as follows:

Incoming resources Resources expended Movement in funds
Unrestricted funds
General fund £588,980  (£615,746) (£26,766)
Restricted funds      
Never More Needed £22,200  (£16,844)  £5,356
The Paul Hamlyn Trust £20,000  (£6,250)  £13,750
£42,200  (23,094) £19,106
TOTAL FUNDS £631,180  (£638,840) (7,660) 

Comparatives for movement in funds

at 1.5.19 Net movement in funds at 30.4.20
Unrestricted funds
General fund £366,459 (£21,384) £345,075
Total funds £366,459 (£21,384) £345,075

Comparative net movement in funds, included in the above are as follows:

Incoming resources Resources expended Movement in funds
Unrestricted funds
General fund £738,268 (£759,652) (£21,384)
Total funds £738,268 (£759,652) (£21,384)

17. RELATED PARTY DISCLOSURES

There were no related party transactions for the year ended 30 April 2021.

18. RECONCILIATION OF NET EXPENDITURE TO NET CASH FLOW FROM OPERATING
ACTIVITIES

2021 2020
Net expenditure for the reporting period (as per the Statement of
Financial Activities)
(£7,660)  (£21,384)
Adjustments for:  
Depreciation charges £5,624  £6,704
Loss on disposal of fixed assets £512 – 
Interest received (£538)  (£1,907)
Decrease in debtors £46,466 £94,755
Increase/(decrease) in creditors £425 (350,884)
Net cash provided by operations £44,829 £27,284

 19. ANALYSIS OF CHANGES IN NET FUNDS

At 1.5.20 Cash flow At 30.4.21
Net cash  
Cash at bank and in hand £93,425  £42,983  £536,408
TOTAL £493,425   £42,983 £536,408

 

 

Thank you!

We’d like to say thank you to Katherine Hall who stepped down as a trustee during the past year.

Katherine Hall

Katherine Hall