COVID-19: Charity update
The last two weeks have been the most surreal that I remember… so where are we now? With many of us working from home, there will be some charities unable to continue to operate their charitable activities due to the social distancing restrictions. There will be other organisations, particularly in the social care sector, that will be seeing an ongoing or increasing demand for their services. Staff and overhead costs will need to be paid and higher demand and service delivery generally results in increased costs. All at a time when income streams are challenging and in some areas are being impacted significantly.
Preparing budgets/forecasts is a key part of good financial management, and at the current time is even more essential. Cash is king, and cashflow forecasts for the next few months will also be essential. These will need ongoing monitoring against actual results so that you can update your plans accordingly.
There are, of course, the government measures that are aimed at supporting all businesses over the next few months, including charities.
In addition, you may wish to consider some of the following steps to streamline your finances and maximise your cash position:
- Consider how you can flex your fundraising strategy and maximise opportunities via the use of technology;
- Review insurance policies to determine whether any claims can be made;
- Review your costs and cut any non-essentials;
- Bring your Gift-Aid claims up to date – you can go back 4 years for Gift Aid and two years for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme;
- If you have any tax deducted from investment income this should be claimed via Charities Online (the same method used to claim Gift Aid);
- Check that you have claimed the employment allowance if you are eligible – you can go back four years;
- Consider claims for the Creative Industry Tax Reliefs if you operate in those sectors e.g. Theatre Tax Relief, Museum & Galleries Tax Relief, Orchestra Relief. These can generate a cash repayment from HMRC.
The National Cyber Security Centre issued guidance regarding home working which you may find useful, click here. www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/home-working
At BHP we live by our core values of People, Teamwork, Commitment, Excellence and Innovation and it is these values that will get us through these unprecedented times. Our office is closed, but our staff are set up to work remotely and so we are there to continue support our clients and contacts. We will provide further updates as information is released.