ARC minutes 2017-08-30
Carol Campbell, Greyham Dawes, Susan Williams, Megan Griffith Gray, Jordan Landes, Lucy Crompton-Reid, Davina Johnson, Nicola Furness
Alastair McCapra, Kate West
Lucy introduced Susan Williams to the Audit and Risk Committee, who welcomed her to the committee. Susan is currently the Principal Auditor at Cardiff Council and has joined ARC as a non-board member.
Notes of previous meeting and matters arising
The Finance Policy is still in progress is being completely rewritten and Lucy will send the revised policy to Carol/Greyham prior to community consultation. The only change to the minutes from the previous meeting was on the second line of page two where the word ‘forecast’ needs to be replaced with ‘reforecast’. Aside from that the minutes are approved. It was also mentioned that Gift Aid can be removed from the ARC agenda moving forward as this is a process that now runs smoothly and is no longer a concern for ARC.
Davina spoke to the move update mentioning that we were currently in discussion with TSP with regards to our fee payable to them. Their terms of employment state that their fee is made up of 7.5% of our annual rent and 20% of any rent free savings. As part of our lease agreement with have three months’ rent free savings and a further two months if we do not exercise our break clause, we are currently in discussion as to whether we should pay a fee on these further two months. The difference in the two figures is around 2k including VAT. Davina also presented ARC with a capital budget which ARC agreed was fairly modest and agreeable. The topic of security was discussed briefly as we no longer have a fob system as we did at Development House but Lucy and Davina have already mentioned the importance to all staff of locking the office door whenever it is vacant.
Carol extended her thanks on behalf of ARC to Davina and Nicola for their work with the office move.
QFMR and commentary
Davina and Lucy spoke to the QFMR and commentary for Q2. There is a small variance in grant reporting (not reported in the commentary as it falls under the threshold for variance reporting) which was attributable to the grant we were awarded from the Foundation for a partnership salon dinner on 12th July. Megan asked a question relating to gifts in kind and the way that we account for them. Greyham clarified and there was a discussion relating to whether and how we should account for funding that is received by a third party. Greyham confirmed that the charity commission often record the same funding multiple times, so this is fairly common practice - the most important question is whether we directly benefited from the funding. We could therefore potentially revisit the question of how we are reporting on external funding to partner organisations.
Greyham noted that our on cost ratio is currently 60% against a budget of 58%, but that this result was quite positive in the context of the office move.
The conversation was concluded by talking about the percentage of our income which is made up of a grant awarded from the foundation which is down to about 40%, which is a noted improvement in the right direction.
Fundraising and Membership
Lucy gave an oral update on progress with fundraising and membership. After resolving some website issues we contacted all the former donors on our database in July, with the call to action to reinstate direct debits. We will have the results of this email on 1st September. We are continuing to maintain contact with our existing donors and will repeat the call to sign up to Gift Aid later this year. We also plan to ask donors to consider increasing their donation this autumn. No major donations were received in the second quarter and Lucy will be writing to everyone who has donated over £1000 this autumn asking them to consider donating to us again. There are several large applications to trusts and foundation in the pipeline. The charity has been approached by a charity called the Transform Trust who could potentially fund the development of a new website, but this in turn would result in ongoing monthly commitments for the platform that they provide. Lucy explained that she was somewhat cautious about the offer for various reasons but would explore further and discuss with the board. In terms of membership, Lucy had agreed a target with Michael of having 500 members by the time of the AGM, which she was very pleased to have achieved. Moving forwards, she is planning an organisational membership campaign in autumn 2017.
Budget discussion in advance of Annual Plan Grant proposal for 2018/19
Lucy spoke about our grant application to the Wikimedia Foundation. Last year they piloted a scheme whereby chapters could apply for two years’ worth of funding but aren’t yet in a position to evaluate the pilot and roll our further. Last year we applied for 310k and were awarded 297.5k, whilst the year before we applied for 314k and were awarded 277k. For our application for 2018-2019 we plan to ask for an increased amount (possibly circa 320-320k) to include a new dedicated Scottish Programme Manager.
Major Risk Register
The only risk that has changed is the membership risk which has now been moved from the major risk register as Lucy was successful in increasing membership numbers up to the 500 mark. There was a discussion around how this presents a different risk of not achieving quorum at the AGM, and some suggestions were made for mitigating this risk including possibly offering a travel bursary.
Davina proposed to add a consent item to the next board meeting to close two of our Unity accounts which are currently inactive and for which we are being charged an annual fee, with which ARC agreed. Lucy also suggested that ARC meetings could be scheduled for the entire year ahead (once board meeting dates have been agreed) and Nicola would organise this in due course.
Date of the next meeting
This will be arranged by doodle poll