Association of Charitable Foundations plans guidance for corporates

Working party will establish best practice on independence from parent companies

The Association of Charitable Foundations is to develop best practice guidance on running corporate foundations.

The move comes after the publication earlier this month by the Charity Commission of statutory guidance for corporate foundations, setting out how foundations should be run.

The commission's guidance emphasises that foundations should be independent from their parent companies and indicates how they should manage potential conflicts of interest.

David Emerson, chief executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations, praised the publication because it brought together previously disparate guidance.

But he said the association would go further and develop best practice with the help of a working party consisting of up to 20 corporate foundations.

It would deal with issues such as whether corporate foundations should have independent trustees, whether grants should support the mission of the parent company and whether foundation staff should be employed by the parent company, he said.

However, Stephen Lloyd, a senior partner at law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite, expressed disappointment with the commission's guidance.

"I was surprised that the commission had not insisted on there being a minimum of two or three independent trustees, who are not in any way associated with the corporate body," said Lloyd.

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