Handling money

Top tips & quick links

Handling money for informal groups

As an informal group it’s tricky to set up a bank account. Rather than put money through a personal account here’s some ways that you could look at:

  • Work through a fundholder organisation – link up with a friendly organisation who is a legal entity and has bank accounts and procedures. If you speak to them nicely, they could agree to handle funds, receive income and make payments on your behalf. This could be your local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) see the list here, or a local trusted charity or community organisation. Some orgs. may wish to charge a percentage or management fee.
  • Accountable – Run by the Social Change Agency through its Community Interest Company the Social Nest CIC, Accountable (AKA Open Collective) offers ‘digital fiscal hosting’. In other words, a service to manage your money for you. You do need an Expenses Policy (they provide some templates) and there is a percentage charge and set up fees. https://thesocialchangeagency.org/what-we-do/support-for-groups-and-movements/accountable/
  • Bank accounts – groups have had varying experiences, but it is possible! For example, Isolation Help Bexley, after trying other banks, successfully opened an account with Barclays. You will need to have drawn up a constitution at least. (Click through to the Handling Money resources for a template for a constitution for your group)

Policies and procedures – as you grow you will find more need for policies and procedures. Most Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) will be able to help with this and may have sample policies and templates. See the list here to find your local London CVS.

Relevant to this topic – see the model Financial Management and Controls policy on Voluntary Action Islington’s resource page here