Foundation 'did not sit on donations' for a year

The Wallace and Gromit Children's Foundation will publish accounts that it says show that the charity did not sit on donations for more than a year, as claimed by watchdog website Intelligent Giving.

The dispute relates to the charity’s grant-making activities during 2005/06. Intelligent Giving claimed that the charity had not given any grants during the period and stated in June 2007: “Sitting on a pile of cash – £253,000 to be exact – for over a year is irresponsible.”

The charity disputed the claim and said that its annual grant-making round was actually put back by two months because of a delayed trustee meeting. Grants that should have been given in March 2006 were instead distributed in May and June. Because the charity’s financial year ends in March, the delay meant that the grant round was reported in the following year’s accounts, making it appear as though no grants were made during 2005/06.

The 2006/07 grants were distributed in March 2007 as planned. Accounts ending in March 2007, to be published in late October, will describe how both years’ grants were distributed.

Anna Shepherd, deputy director of the foundation, said the fact that grants would be distributed a couple of months late had been explained to Intelligent Giving at the time. “In hindsight what we should have done was add a footnote to the 2005/06 accounts saying that the grants would be distributed after the year-end,” she said.

Adam Rothwell, features editor at Intelligent Giving, said: “We understand that if someone gave Wallace and Gromit a donation on 30 March 2006, it would be spent within two months if, as the charity claims, it released the 2005/06 grants two months after the year end, in June 2006. But we will know for sure only when the charity publishes its 2006/07 report.”

He added: “Notwithstanding this, the fundamental facts are unchanged: Wallace and Gromit is one of the most untransparent charities we’ve ever seen.”

Intelligent Giving said it would amend its blog to make to make this clear.

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