We currently only have 3 trustees, 2 of which are related. We are currently recruiting to rectify this situation.
We need them to juggle the current Catch 22 situation - to enable us to grow and with this growth, introduce all bureaucratic (some I believe unnecessary) measures, i.e.
Memorandum and Articles of Association
A governing document (we do have a constitution)
Full accounting with the annual reports (we have virutally no money !)
Minutes of the board meetings (onsite or VoIP)
Strategic, Business or Operational Plan
Policy and procedure documents of the organisation
We actually have some of these items but until we are able to obtain more Trustees we prefer to concentrate on getting the job done rather than whether or not people believe we're corrupt or trustworthy. That is an increasingly hard task in todays world but one I will not spend ridiculous amount of time / money or effort on.
We do not charge fees from our volunteers (who cover their own essential costs). I will not allow AVIF to become a "gap year con". We do not get financially involved with any of our hosts. Both myself and Sharon, as Managing Trustee, a Kenyan citizen, are unpaid and cover our own expenses. The corruption existing in Africa is severe and we actually prefer to be non-financially involved.
We "emphasise the importance of resilience, self-reliance, and innovation; we separate fact from emotion & balance necessary levels of protection whilst preserving reasonable levels of risk. Unwilling or able to spend vast amounts on insurance policies we would like to empower individuals to take more personal responsibility for risk since they are best placed to manage it."
No-one is paid, as it should be. We have only received £650 in total for funding, which has been used to cover costs. Our current Barclays charity account holds the remaining £230 which will be used to cover costs of the orientation running in July, purchase solar cookers etc. Most will be covered by ourselves.
Until we spend time and money on bureaucratic measures to improve our governance and transparency we probably will not receive funding .. hence our need for Trustees.
We are an innovative charity and are aware of governance and transparency to the point of ridicule (this blog for example)
We do everything short of publishing the access codes to the online Barclays Community Account. Should our non-conforming current governance, however, mean we must remain financially uninvolved, we are still able to achieve a great deal more than if we followed the advice of consultants and became a limited company.
We have been wonderfully advised by someone far more bureaucratically experienced than I (thank you Liz) that certain procedures as essential for even the smallest of non-profit-organisations.
I hope we can continue to grow and juggle without spending too much time on red tape. The phrase trustee indemnity insurance will not help an orphaned child complete their secondary education rather than succumb to child labour. I do understand though that it may indirectly get us Trustees that can conform us enough to be able to obtain funding for these children.
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