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Minimum Standards For Grantmaking

BBC Children in Need uses Minimum Standards for grantmaking to look at the strengths of an organisation. We look at areas including your finances, governance, and safeguarding.

The NSPCC offers a free Self-Assessment Tool to help organisations check their current safeguarding and child protection arrangements. We recommend you use this tool before you apply.

Our Minimum Standards at a glance…

Below are the minimum standards an organisation must meet to be eligible for funding from BBC Children in Need. To be eligible for a grant, an application must also meet additional criteria. Please read our guidance for Core and Project Grants, and our A to Z Guidance.

Governance

A governing document which shows:

By ‘charitable aims’ we mean a statement that describes the purpose of the organisation. The aims must be for public benefit and must be appropriate for working with children and young people.

By this we mean that all income is used to achieve the organisation’s charitable aims and cannot be paid out to members, shareholders or owners.

If your organisation closes, any funds would be transferred to another not for profit organisation with similar charitable aims. This is sometimes known as a Dissolution Clause or Asset Lock

A dissolution clause or asset lock describes what happens to any property or money if the organisation closes. To meet our requirements, the clause must say that these are to be given to another not-for-profit organisation with similar charitable aims.

CICs must have an asset lock and must name the selected organisation which funds will be given to. To meet our requirements, this other organisation must have similar charitable aims.

If you currently do not have a suitable dissolution clause or asset lock in your governing document, you may still be eligible to apply to us. If you were successful in receiving a grant, we would require you to have this in place before we release any funding to your organisation. We may be able to offer support to help you achieve this.

By ‘independent’ we mean governing body members who are not related to each other or living with each other.

BBC Children In Need funds not for profit organisations. Therefore we would not normally expect governing body members to be paid. We would not expect organisations (excluding housing associations) to pay governing body members for their membership of the governing body, other than for legitimate out-of-pocket expenses.

We expect organisations to follow the requirements of their regulator.

If you pay members of your governing body for services outside of their role as a member of the governing body (e.g. as a consultant or a sessional member of staff) you must have:

  • a written agreement between the organisation and the individual, which explains what a member of the governing body can be paid to do, when, and how often they can be paid and how much they can be paid
  • a conflict of interest policy in place that details how decisions around payments for an individual will be managed by the governing body

If you are a Community Interest Company this must be clearly detailed in your governing document.

If you are a registered charity in England or Wales you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • there must be a written agreement between the charity and the charity trustee or connected person. This must set out the amount or maximum amount to be paid
  • the charity trustees should be satisfied that it would be in the best interests of the charity for the individual to provide the services proposed
  • less than half the total number of charity trustees should be getting paid (directly or indirectly) from the charity
  • there is nothing in the governing document of the charity that says you cannot pay a member of your governing body

If you are a registered charity in Scotland you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • there must be a written agreement between the charity and the charity trustee or connected person. This must set out the amount or maximum amount to be paid
  • there must be nothing in the governing document of the charity that says you cannot pay a member of your governing body
  • less than half the total number of charity trustees should be getting paid (directly or indirectly) from the charity
  • the charity trustees must have approved the payment

If you are a charity registered in Northern Ireland you must meet the following conditions:

  • there must be a written agreement between the charity and the charity trustee or connected person. This must set out the amount or maximum amount to be paid
  • there must be nothing in the governing document of the charity that says you cannot pay a member of your governing body
  • less than half the total number of charity trustees should be getting paid (directly or indirectly) from the charity
  • the charity trustees must have approved the agreement
  • the charity trustee being paid must not take part in any decisions about the making of the agreement, the acceptability of the service provided, or setting the price

Finance

Your accounts should:

  • be no more than 18 months old and be signed and dated by the Chair or Treasurer of your Governing Body
  • include an income statement showing all income and expenditure
  • include a balance sheet detailing your assets, liabilities and reserves (we cannot accept micro accounts).

Ideally your income, expenditure, and reserves should be broken into unrestricted and restricted activity/ funds. However we recognise that some organisations are not required to do this by their regulator.

Restricted funds are funds that can only be used for a specific purpose. For example: a grant from a funder to deliver a project is restricted to only being spent on that project.

Unrestricted funds are grants or donations that can be used in any way that is appropriate to achieve the organisation’s charitable aims. Donations from members of your local community are an example of unrestricted donations.

If your organisation is in the first 12-18 months of operation and doesn’t have accounts yet you must provide a financial forecast. A financial forecast should include projected income and expenditure with some planning / clarity around how you will raise funds.

If your organisation’s accounts documents do not show a breakdown of restricted and unrestricted funds or current assets and current liabilities (and you are required to do this by your regulator), please complete the Financial Template. To complete this you will need to have a record of your income, expenditure, and reserves as well a breakdown of any current assets and liabilities. To access the financial template and guidance please click here.

Please note, if you are completing the financial template, you will also need to submit your most recent set of accounts with your application form as well.

By this we mean that the value of your current assets is greater than the value of your current liabilities.

Financial transactions should be reviewed by two people permitted to authorise those payments. The two payment authorisers should not be related or living together.

Safeguarding

We do not accept policies that are in the name of another organisation. For example, a partner organisation, a parent organisation or a related organisation.

This should include who to inform and how to contact them.

This person is commonly known as a ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’. They are responsible for making and managing referrals to social services, reporting when problems are discovered and keeping internal records up to date. They should keep up to date with any changes in this area and attend training to support them to carry out their role. More information can be found here.

All staff, governing body members and volunteers who have face-to-face contact with Children and Young people must receive regular and appropriate safeguarding training.

Training must:

  • Cover safeguarding best practice as well as information on the organisation’s safeguarding policies and procedures
  • Be appropriate to the nature of the work
  • Be refreshed regularly. We advise that this is at least once every three years.

All people working with children should be subject to relevant background checks. These would involve Disclosure & Barring Service in England and Wales, Disclosure Scotland in Scotland or Access NI in Northern Ireland. This includes all staff, management committee, trustees or volunteers, who have direct contact with children. Checks must be refreshed regularly. We advise that this is at least every three years however we would expect this to be appropriate to the nature of the work being delivered.

If you are in England and Wales and use the Update Service you should have a process in place to regularly check if there have been any updates or changes. We advise that this is at least every three years however this may need to be more frequent, depending on the nature of the work being delivered.

If you are in Scotland and use Disclosure Scotland PVG check you do not need to refresh or check background checks. This is continually monitored by Disclosure Scotland.

If you currently complete background checks less frequently than every three years, you may still be eligible to apply to us. If you were successful in receiving a grant, we would require you increase the frequency of your background checks before we release any funding to your organisation.

For more information about relevant checks in England and Wales, please visit the gov.uk website.

For more information about relevant checks in Scotland, please visit the myscot.gov website.

For more information about relevant checks in Northern Ireland, please visit the nidirect.gov.uk website.

Cymraeg/Welsh

Am y dudalen Cymraeg cliciwch yma.

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