Get contract help, trustees warned

The Charity Commission has warned trustees to seek professional advice before entering into fundraising contracts after publishing the results of an inquiry into a charity whose board did not do so.

The regulator froze the bank account of Smile UK, a small educational charity in Stoke-on-Trent, in February last year. It had struck a deal that allowed a company to use its name and registration number in return for £200 a month.

An investigation was launched after complaints about fundraising in Smile UK's name. It revealed a lack of trustee control and unmanaged conflicts of interest. The charity folded last July.

"Trustees and fundraisers should ensure that they are aware of the legislation that regulates fundraising," the inquiry report said.

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