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Supporting Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Helping charity trustees feel confident in their roles

Posted on 14 April 2022 by Fiona Gillespie

By Fiona Gillespie, Head of Charities - Scotland, Rathbones

At Rathbones we’re proud of our long history of supporting the charitable sector. Charities have entrusted us with their money for over 100 years. With funds under management of £7.1 billion* for more than 1,900 charities, in portfolios that range from £10,000 to more than £100 million, we are one of the leading investment managers for in the third sector.

We understand that the role of a charity trustee is demanding but very rewarding. Trustees play a vital role in ensuring the charity is run as effectively as possible within a framework of legal duties. Trustees join with the best intentions wishing to contribute to wonderful organisations spanning numerous causes, but many often underestimate the responsibilities which come with the position. Rathbones is very supportive of the SCVO’s great work in helping charity trustees understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as the practical support it offers in helping trustees develop the necessary skills for their positions so they can exercise good governance. We’re delighted to partner with the SCVO Trustee Network to help more people get involved with charities as trustees.

We very much hope to meet you at the various investment management training events we’ll be delivering this year. Our SCVO investment training series kicks off with a lunchtime webinar on 10 May when we’ll take you through how to develop an investment policy statement. This sets out a charity’s investment objectives and how it intends to achieve them. It enables trustees to demonstrate that they have complied with their duties and provides the charity’s investment manager with a framework to make informed decisions that align with your charitable purpose. This practical webinar will look at:

  • what you need to think about when deciding your investment objectives
  • considerations for your short and long-term financial commitments and spending plans
  • key risks that trustees need to consider
  • restrictions and ethical considerations
  • performance benchmarks to help assess your investment manager
  • how you’d like to receive reports on your investments

Looking forward to June we hope to meet you in person at The Gathering when we’ll be delivering a session aimed at demystifying responsible investment. Thinking about ESG issues as an investor and shareholder is becoming more popular with every passing month, as people wake up to the possibilities it presents to reduce risks and identify opportunities. Through responsible investment investors can also play their part in making the world a better place. But this is a field rife with differing opinions and confusing jargon. In this session we’ll talk about why responsible investment matters, the different types of responsible investment, and how to work out which type might be right for your charity.

In the autumn you’ll be invited to join us in our Edinburgh office when we’ll distil the main points you need to consider when selecting the right investment manager for your charity. There are a lot of decisions to make before you start your search. Active or passive? Pooled or segregated? Income or total return? It can be a time-consuming process for a charity to change investment manager so it’s important you appoint one you can see yourself working with for the long term. You’ll leave this session better equipped to make this important decision.

We’re very much looking forward to developing our partnership with SCVO and providing you with the investment management training you need to help you feel confident in your role. Please join us next month at our first webinar.

*total charity funds under management as at 31/12/2021