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					Quick Index               Our thoughts are with everyone in Christchurch
                          Important advice for charities wanting to assist with earthquake relief
                          Two appeal judgments received – NZ Computer Society, Draco Foundation
                           Charitable Trust
                          Retirement of general manager Registration and Compliance; acting GM appointed
                          Opening up the Register – greater transparency
                          Did you know…? Key facts about registered charities
                          Spam avoidance
                          Helpful tips about writing rules
                          Charity forums coming to you soon
                          Compliance section added to website
                          Extra help searching the Register
                          Register a hot click
                          Please, tell us your opinions of our newsletter



“Our thoughts     Like many people in New Zealand at 12.51pm on Tuesday 22 February, Charities Commission staff
                  felt the shockwave from the massive tremor that shook Christchurch.
are with
everyone in       At the time, we weren’t immediately aware of the devastation it had caused, but soon saw the news
                  reports of the tragic deaths and damage that it had brought to the city and its people.
Christchurch,
and the           All of us feel shock and grief at the terrible losses Christchurch has suffered, but we are also very
charities who     aware of the wonderful work being done by the people and charities who have stepped up to offer
                  comfort and practical support to those who need it most – they really are “making a difference”, and
are helping       deserve our thanks and support.
them”
                  There are 2,395 charities registered with us who are based in Christchurch, six in Lyttleton, 23 in
                  Akaroa, and 18 in Darfield. As well, there are three charities registered as a group that are based in
                  Christchurch, and numerous nationwide-wide charities operating there – many of which have sent
                  additional staff and volunteers to the city since the quake struck.

                  We hope that everyone in our wider Christchurch “charities family” – including your families and
                  friends – are safe and well, and will be thinking of you often during the weeks ahead, and doing
                  whatever we can to lend our support. Meanwhile, please be aware:


Trevor Garrett
Chief executive
                  The Commission will deal sympathetically with Christchurch charities delayed in filing
                  Annual Returns or meeting other compliance requirements
                  Of course – it goes without saying – the Charities Commission understand the other important
              demands that are being made upon Christchurch charities right now, and will be sympathetic to any
              requests or problems you might have in fulfilling your ongoing obligations for registration during the
              coming weeks. If you are likely to be delayed or have problems with filing compliance documents
              that fell due on or after 22 February, please just call us on 0508 CHARITIES to let us know.




              Calls to 0508 CHARITIES
              The Commission’s Call Centre is based in Christchurch – thankfully, although the building was
              damaged, staff were uninjured. Since the quake, we have been answering all 0508 CHARITIES
              calls in our Wellington office. If it takes a little longer than usual for us to pick up your call, please be
              patient – we have a small team, and are doing our very best.




              Charity scams – how to donate safely
              We are also aware that some unscrupulous people are seeking to take advantage of the high regard
              in which most registered charities are held, by sending out scam emails or collectors purporting to
              come from legitimate charities. We have sent out a warning through news media, and have updated
              our advice for donors and charities. We have also provided details of legitimate quake relief funds,
              and are encouraging the public to ask collectors for charities’ registration numbers.




              Meanwhile – we hope that, given time and the generous support of New Zealanders and
              international relief efforts, Christchurch and its people will recover. Kia kaha – be strong.




              Trevor Garrett




Important     Check your rules first, before fundraising
              Please ensure your charity’s rules allow you to fundraise for the disaster before you launch an
advice for    appeal. For example, if your purposes are to provide sports facilities for young people, you may not
charities     be able to fundraise for a disaster.

wanting to    Even if it is within your charity's rules to run a disaster appeal, you should first think about whether
assist with   you are best placed to organise and run an appeal, or whether other charities are in a better position
              to do so.
earthquake
relief        Thinking of starting a new charity to assist earthquake relief?
              The Commission strongly advises careful consideration before starting a new charity to help with the
              earthquake. Well-established aid agencies already have networks, infrastructure, expertise and
              systems so they can respond quickly.

              They also generally have donee status, so donors receive tax credits. We suggest that if you want to
              help, it's best to contact an established aid agency to offer your time and expertise.
Two more        The Commission has received judgments from two recent appeals, now available on our website:

appeal          New Zealand Computer Society Incorporated - 28 February 2011
judgments
                Draco Foundation New Zealand Charitable Trust - 15 February 2011
received

                The Computer Society judgment relates to the Commission’s deregistration decision, and the Draco
                judgment to the Commission’s decision not to register the entity.

                To date, nine appeals have been heard, and eight judgments received, upholding the Commission’s
                decisions. Three more appeals are still to be heard – two are scheduled in March, and a date is yet
                to be set for the third. All judgments received to date are published on the Court judgments page, to
                assist wider understanding of what the law means by “charitable”.

                Comment from principal advisor
                Angela van Dam, the Commission’s principal advisor, says that these judgments will add to the body
                of case law already used by the Commission’s analysts when making decisions to register or
                deregister entities.

                “When making our decisions, we are bound by the law set out by the courts. Over the years, courts
                have evolved a body of legal reasoning and precedents that we apply to every individual application
                and to each decision about whether to allow an entity to remain on the Register, “ she says. “We do
                not compare applications with already-registered charities – every decision is made on its own
                individual merits. We do not refer to any other already-registered charity or applicant, or even to any
                application we had previously declined.”

                The Commission must be sure that every applicant and registered charity has main purposes that
                are exclusively and wholly charitable. A charity’s rules must all be directed towards a charitable
                purpose recognised by the law, and all its activities must be directed at achieving its charitable
                purposes (and nothing else).

                This enables the public to feel assurance that registered charities have been scrutinised to be sure
                they comply with the law, and that they are genuinely and wholly charitable.




Registration    The Commission’s general manager Registration and Compliance, Chris Winstanley, is to retire in
                March.
and
Compliance      Chris has had a long and distinguished public service career, which included senior roles with the
                Qualifications Authority and several New Zealand secondary schools before she joined us.
general
manager Chris   She started at the Commission in 2006, when we were planning our processes to register charities
Winstanley to   after the Register opened on 1 February 2007. At the time, we estimated up to 25,000 charities
                might apply.
retire
                Since then, Chris and her teams have processed more than 35,000 applications and more than
                50,000 Annual Returns and Notices of Change, responded to complaints and enquiries from the
                public, and monitored and investigated charities. They have also assisted counsel in several High
                Court appeals and educated charities about their compliance obligations by personal contact, by
                speaking at forums around the country and through information sheets.

                Chris’s tenure with the Commission has certainly been demanding at times, but, we hope, rewarding
                as well. We wish her the very best for the future, and her planned travels.
Acting           Acting general manager Registration, Sally Stonier, appointed
                 Responding to Chris’s decision, the Commission has appointed an acting general manager
appointment      Registration until the end of the year.
made
                 We welcome Sally Stonier, who will take up this role in mid-March. Sally will bring a wealth of
                 leadership, strategy and charities registration experience to the position, having most recently been
                 the Registration Development Manager for the UK Charity Commission. She has also worked in the
                 charitable sector in both the UK and the USA.

                 Charities will most likely have an opportunity to meet Sally at the Commission’s forums, being
                 arranged for April-June this year.




Opening up the   At present, if you search the Charities Register using the criteria on our Search page, you can
                 generate a list of charities that – for example – operate in a particular area, work in a particular
Register –       sector, and/or help a specified group of beneficiaries.
greater
                 Many people using the Register have found this information useful.
transparency
                 However, the Commission is taking it a step further, and is developing a new “advanced” search
                 function that will allow users to download sets of data about charities.

                 For example, it could be possible to search for “all charities that act as an umbrella/resource body,
                 operate in the Wellington area, received donations of more than $40,000, and whose main
                 beneficiaries are children and young people”, or any other combination of search criteria.

                 It will enable the data from the Charities Register to be “opened up” more widely, and allow
                 government agencies, charities, the public, researchers, academics, professional advisers and
                 others to find useful and relevant information about charities, and put it to good use.

                 “Open Data” will help to make the sector more transparent – to charities themselves, and to
                 everyone else. It is likely to be a valuable tool for enhancing trust and confidence in the sector, and
                 to increasing knowledge and understanding of what charities do and achieve. Open data will open
                 up charity data to third party web developers and add value to current and new web applications and
                 services that will benefit both the public and charities.

                 We’ll keep you posted about progress on “Open Data”, which will be developed and introduced in
                 two stages during the next six months – firstly to other government users (so we can test it in a “real
                 life” environment and develop some case studies), and then publicised more widely to charities and
                 others.
Did you            As at 21 February 2011, from Annual Returns filed by registered charities from the most recent 12
                   month period (that is,. for years ended between 1 August 2009 and 31 July 2010), we know that:
know…? Key
facts about                more than 40% of registered charities are “grassroots” groups working with less than
registered                  $25,000 income a year
                           almost 85% of all donations / koha are received by 5% of registered charities
charities                  almost 82% of all assets are held by 5% of registered charities
                           registered charities spend $12 billion a year on their charitable purposes, and provide paid
                            employment to the equivalent of 11,000 full-time staff
                           volunteers give more than 33,000 hours to charities every week
                           the charitable sector holds more than $35 billion in assets




Spam               Have you ever received spam emails?

avoidance          Spam is any message that's sent to multiple recipients who haven't specifically requested the
                   message. Often, it is from overseas scammers, seeking to harvest “live” email addresses, bank
                   account or other commercial or personal details, and/or fraudulently obtain money.

                   In 2007, Government passed the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act, which is administered and
                   enforced by the Department of Internal Affairs.

                   When planning to send commercial “bulk” emails (even one-off messages), it’s wise to make sure
                   that you

                           gain prior consent before sending any email (this can be “implied” or express consent)
                           record when, where and how that consent was given, in order to produce evidence should
                            any issues arise
                           clearly identify who your email is from and supply your contact details, which must be valid
                            for at least 30 days from the date of the email
                           provide a free, clear and easy to use way for people to unsubscribe from your messages,
                            which also must remain valid for at least 30 days
                           action all requests to unsubscribe within 5 working days from the date of their receiving the
                            email.

                   If you have any questions or want to report spam, you can contact info@antispam.govt.nz or contact
                   the :

                   Anti-Spam Compliance Unit
                   Department of Internal Affairs
                   PO Box 805
                   Wellington 6140
                   Phone: (04) 495 7200




Helpful tips for   The Commission is sometimes contacted by new charities wanting assistance with writing rules to
                   use with their application for registration.
writing rules
                   We have published several information sheets to help with writing rules:
                          Your rules and the Charities Act
                          Helpful tips for writing rules

                  And examples of wording for purpose clauses:

                          The relief of poverty
                          The advancement of religion
                          The advancement of education
                          Purposes beneficial to the community

                  However, you might also refer for guidance to the rules of similar organisations that the Commission
                  has already registered (their rules are published on the Charities Register).

                  Be careful though, not to simply “copy and paste” clauses from other charities’ rules into your own
                  rules if they aren’t a true reflection of what you will be doing. Your rules should clearly show what
                  your charitable purposes are, and be the framework for your activities.

                  Having rules that aren’t consistent with your activities could put your charity at risk of complaints
                  from the public, and possible deregistration if your charity is monitored by the Commission.




April – June      Following the successful forum series the Commission ran last year for charities, we are now
                  organising a further series of 17 forums, to be held in main centres across the country.
charity forums
confirmed –       We will work closely with local groups to organise and publicise the forums in each area, and involve
                  a range of other government and non-government organisations that work in and alongside the
details to come   charitable sector.

                  Charities who attended the earlier forums had asked for them to become a regular event, with
                  feedback indicating that one of the most valuable things they got from them was the chance to
                  network with other charities, representatives from government agencies, and advisers to the sector.

                  We have created a list of the proposed dates and we’ll keep you posted as venues and speakers
                  are confirmed. Personal invitations will be sent out shortly. Note that we will confirm some dates and
                  venues for Christchurch area charities as soon as practicable.

                  If you require any further information, please contact education@charities.govt.nz.


Compliance        A new section has been added to the Commission’s website – it includes pages explaining how the
                  Commission’s Compliance team work to monitor and investigate charities, and an online
section added     Complaints form and FAQs.
to website
                  Over time, we will add more resources and tools for charities to use, to help ensure that you
                  continue to meet the Commission’s compliance requirements.

                  We may also publish summaries of the outcomes of our investigations work over time, and our
                  recommendations to charities we have monitored, to assist members of the public to more easily
                  recognise the attributes of effective charities.
Extra help with   You can use a range of search options to search the Charities Register, whether you are looking for
                  a particular charity, or for a list of charities that share certain criteria in common.
searching the
Register          So, for example, you can look for a charity by using a keyword in its name, or look for a list of
                  charities using search criteria that include an area of operation, beneficiaries, sector and activities.
                  Or, you can search by an officer’s name.

                  Now, we have added some “animated” screenshots showing you some of the ways to search. Take
                  a look and try them out for yourself!




Charities         In the year from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010, there were:

Register a hot             473,925 visits to the online Charities Register with just under 4 million page views
click                      158,624 of those visitors viewed 496,587 charity summary pages on the Register
                           The total number of hits for all pages during the year was 14,338,288 hits.

                  What does this mean for you and your charity? Traffic to the Charities Register has been steadily
                  increasing since the Register was opened in early 2007, indicating a growing level of public interest
                  in charities, and their financial and other information.

                  The Commission recommends that you check your charity’s summary page on the Register
                  regularly, to be sure that your contact and other details are up to date, that you have filed your
                  Annual Returns on (or before) they are due, and you have advised us (using a Notice of Change
                  form) if you have changed your charity’s:

                           name
                           address for service
                           balance date
                           rules
                           purposes
                           officers (including new appointments)




Your opinions     Update has around 7,000 regular subscribers, and we would like to hear your opinions!

count! – 5        We’d like to invite your feedback on its content, frequency and usefulness. Please consider
minute Update     completing our readership survey by Monday 11 April – it takes just five minutes and will help us to
                  ensure we are meeting your information needs.
survey
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                  once they have been compiled.

                  Please have your say at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7L6MHJJ - it only takes a few minutes!




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