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Brexit: is your charity ready?

75% of charities unprepared for Brexit according to Charity Finance Group's report.

11 Sep 2019

The government has launched its ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ press campaign alongside a web checklist for individuals and organisations. The aim is to start preparing the country for the potential effects of Brexit to daily life.

Given that our new Prime Minister has stated that the UK will be leaving by the 31 October – no ifs, no buts. This gives us less than two months to put any plans in place.

A recent survey conducted by the Charity Finance Group revealed that 75% of organisations in the charity sector had done little or nothing to prepare for the UK leaving the European Union without a deal. Given the prospect of a no-deal Brexit scenario being an increased possibility, this may cause the sector some turbulence over the coming months.

The fact that 75% of charities have done little or nothing is understandable – as there is much uncertainty surrounding the actual nature of Brexit and any policies the government may implement in a no-deal scenario. Indeed it’s charities and not for profit organisation that may be called upon to help those sections of society who are most affected by the impact of Brexit.

So, what should your charity be considering?

Depending on your organisation’s activities the most likely considerations are:

  • Does the organisation employ staff from the EU?
  • Does the organisation provide/receive services from the EU?
  • Does the organisation receive any EU funding?
  • Does the organisation share personal data with another organisation in Europe?

If you answer is yes to any one of the above your trustees should seek specific advice and consider the potential impact on the organisation. If possible, contingency plans should be put in place to enable a smooth transition and to ensure services can be delivered to those who need them the most. Good governance policy would include updating any risk registers to prioritise risks which would affect the charity most.

Since 2005 donations to charitable causes have remained steady at around £10billion per year, a sustained amount despite financial crises, recession and other major world events, there is hope that the charity sector will navigate through Brexit and find a way to continue to provide the vital and valued assistance to British society in the future.

As advisors to charity and not for profit organisations we are on hand to assist our clients overcome any challenges that they may face.

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