Q&B becomes a 'Quaker' Charitable Incorporated Organisation
The Quakers and Business Group which has been a registered charity, but unincorporated, is now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) No: 1157008, and the constitution it submitted to the Charity Commission (CC) reflects many Quaker aspects. The only difference members may notice is a different charity number.
As explained by Mark Lockwood, Q&B Co-Clerk, "Our group has been in existence in the UK for nearly 20 years, and became a registered charity in 2002. It has a steadily increasing membership; currently 150 members worldwide and over 400 in its associated LinkedIn group. It is open to Quakers and those from other faiths or none who are in sympathy with our ethics, and we have members from the public, private and charity sectors. All are committed to championing Quaker principles in business and the workplace. We are delighted to hear that work is well underway in the US for a similar group to start there.
"Following on from our very successful fund-raising campaign last year to support a PhD - looking at 20th Century Quaker business history - and a MPhil, and our other work and events including the Quaker Bank Project, we felt that we should protect our members and funds by becoming a charity with limited liability. The application process required us to draw up a new constitution, which we did using one of the CC's examples as a starting point. We found that most of what was included we could keep, but there were areas that didn't suit our needs from a Quaker point of view, and so we swapped them for what we thought was appropriate and used sections from Quaker Faith and Practice to give a more detailed explanation. There were one or two places where we couldn't alter the model, so voting and proxies still appear in the sections for General Meetings, although we shall of course continue to conduct them according to Quaker Business Method.
"The CC did come back to us to ask a few high level questions about our work, but other than that they were happy with our submission. The process of changing from one charity type to another has been straightforward, and we are very pleased that we can carry on our work, for hopefully another 20 years or more, knowing that our business structure is now in right ordering."
Q&B are happy to talk to any other Quaker groups or Meetings about their experience.