ARC minutes 2019-09-12
Jane Carlin (Chair), Marnie Woodward, Susan Williams. Staff: Lucy Crompton-Reid, Davina Johnson, Katie Crampton (minuting).
As this was due to be Kate’s last meeting, JC asked for thanks to be recorded for KW for all her contributions to ARC over the many years she has been a member.
Declarations of interest
Minutes from last meeting
2 and 5 can be marked as complete. 13 - action for Lucy to discuss dates for 2020 meetings with Josie soon. 15 - Lucy explained that this has been actioned, however rather than creating an appendix for the authority limits these have been added to the financial procedures. It was noted that Michael Maggs will need to be removed from bank mandates and to be replaced as the Credit Card administrator. Action - circulate draft document retention policy (created by Susan) to ARC.
£14k ahead of budget, not counting Gifts in Kind. This is due to an underspend in costs, which will happen in a later quarter so will not go towards surplus. Direct debits are down but this is offset by other donations. Action to add project fundraising budget to QFMR. MW wanted to know if there were any big changes to expect in the year end position. LCR responded that she hadn’t looked at this in detail yet as reforecasting happens at the end of Q3, but that she anticipated we would be overspent on print costs; that we would receive higher than budget income from gifts in kind (in a continuation of the current position) and that donations by direct debit would be under target.
Action to put overspend as a negative variance and underspend as positive.
JC asked whether staff time on fundraising would continue to be under budget for the remainder of the year. LCR thinks the next quarters will see less of an underspend in this area, but noted that staff time budgeting is a fairly blunt instrument.
There was a short discussion about the cost implications of the strategic review. LCR reminded ARC that the amount of additional spend for this agreed by the board in March (on top of the planned budget) was £25 - 30,000, but that the total amount falling into 2019/20 is likely to end up being less than that.
The Co-op savings account is now open and £85k has been transferred from the Co-op current account. Cash reserves are at over 100%, but that’s due to the time of year. It’s likely that we will be able to apply for the same amount from the Foundation in the form of an Annual Plan grant for 2020/21. It’s possible we may be able to make additional requests for specific expenditure, which LCR is exploring with the Foundation.
LCR and DAJ wondered if a more light touch report on staff time budgets would be acceptable for inclusion in the finance commentary, to which both JC and MW agreed. MW suggested there could be more details on the income side in the commentary. Action to add notes column to Gifts in Kind page of QFMR.
MW asked if we ever give spot (ad-hoc) bonuses. LCR responded that we do, very rarely, and would add this to the policy, along with a section of any other mid-year promotions and pay rises. She confirmed that holiday entitlements and other benefits (aside from pay and pension) are covered elsewhere in other existing policies.
Discussion of whether the current situation regarding personal contributions to pensions is fair, given that in theory it could mean some staff having to make a contribution while others don’t (although in practice, all staff currently make a donation). Action for Lucy to edit paragraph on pension contributions to state that staff must pay 1%, or an amount to bring their contribution to 8% of qualifying earnings; whichever is greater.
JC and LCR met in August to review the format of the Risk Register and have made some minor tweaks, including changing the formula in the risk rating to provide for greater differentiation. There was a discussion about some of the higher ‘amber’ risks and it was agreed that the ratings could be changed on the risk about Foundation funding. LCR will also add a new risk around Brexit focused on short term, operational risks rather than the potential strategic impact, which is already included. Action to add brainstorming risk to the away day. Action to recirculate the Crisis Communications plan as new board members have joined since this was last shared (a link to the document should also be added to the induction pack).
There was a discussion at GovCom on committee membership, and LCR suggested that she would ask ARC to consider priorities for new members as following Kate West’s departure the committee will be down to three members, made up of two trustees and one external member. A lawyer is the first priority, with other relevant skills including HR, and/or senior management experience within the voluntary sector. Action to add an oral report on GovCom to the standard ARC agenda.
We have redeclared our pension, as required three years after enrolment.
LCR mentioned that she is discussing joint fundraising applications with Kiwix, who are based in Switzerland but are fundraising in the UK. JC suggested we might consult legal experts on the implications of this sort of arrangement, which was similar to that suggested by Women in Red.
LCR updated the committee on a promising meeting with a potential funder.
There was a short discussion about our current reserves policy, which MW feels is too low. This will be added to the December agenda for a more detailed discussion.
Date of next meeting
5th December 2019.