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A checklist for compliance

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As a nonprofit organisation, make sure you know about the legislation that applies to you

Compliance

A vital component of organisational effectiveness is ensuring compliance with legislation. This involves not only being sure of all of the legislation that applies to your organisation and complying with it, but also being able to demonstrate compliance by keeping records of checks, having policies and procedures around the legislation, and evidencing that people are taking responsibility for compliance.

The five key areas of compliance for nonprofit organisations are:

  1. as a charity: compliance with your governing document
  2. as a charity: compliance with the Charity Act and the Companies Act (see more about charity law)
  3. as an employer: compliance with employment legislation
  4. as an organisation: compliance with essential policies such as data protection and health and safety
  5. as a fundraiser or when accepting funding: compliance with fundraising law.

Other legal obligations

Your organisation must also ensure that it meets its legal obligations in other areas to mitigate its risks. These include:

  • complying with lease, licence or tenancy agreements
  • complying with contracts, for example for photocopiers and vehicles
  • having relevant insurances, displaying a current Employers' Liability certificate, having public liability insurance covering general risks such as fire, theft, flooding and legal action
  • maintaining accurate and secure financial records and information and complying with income tax, national insurance, other tax and VAT regulations
  • maintaining bank accounts, loans, overdrafts and investments according to agreements (including reserves, ethical considerations and risk).

Source: Published with permission from Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness. This material is taken from "Tools for Success: doing the right things and doing them right", published in October 2008. Download or buy your copy from Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness.

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