Survivors Fund (SURF) is a charitable company, registered in England and Wales with both the Charity Commission (1065705) and Companies House (04311565).
This structure, which is used by many charities, allows us to have all the advantages of charitable status, and simultaneously to limit the trustees’ liability through the company’s ‘limited’ status. As a charity and a company limited by- guarantee, Survivors Fund (SURF) has no share capital and therefore cannot be owned by anyone.
The charity is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association, dated 30 July 1997.
SURF is headed by a Board of Trustees. For company-law purposes, the trustees are also the directors of Survivors Fund (SURF) Ltd. Day-to-day management of the organisation is undertaken by the Chief Executive, supported by an administrator in the UK.
The Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees has authority over and responsibility for the organisation and acts as its legal guarantors. The effective involvement of the Board of Trustees is considered crucial to the success of SURF and is dependent on shared goals, the development of sound and creative working practices and significant time commitments.
The Board meets at least five times a year, to assess the charity’s progress since the previous meeting, and to set milestones to be achieved by the next meeting. The Chief Executive attends each Board meeting and provides an update to the Trustees on the charity’s progress, and to assist in the setting of goals. Trustees also provide valuable assistance to the Chief Executive and other members of staff when necessary.
Trustee election, induction and re-elections
Trustees are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by the members of Survivors Fund (SURF). The members include all the trustees, and a small number of other supporters of our work. In between AGMs, Trustees may be appointed temporarily by the general agreement of the existing trustees. However, any such appointments are only valid until the next AGM.
After appointment, trustees are presented with a copy of our most recent annual report, the charity’s governing documents, and the minutes of the two most recent Board meetings. They are also asked to study the principles of the Charity Commission’s Essential Trustee booklet, and are invited to meet with the Chief Executive and either or both of the Co-Chairs to discuss the charity’s position and operation.
At every AGM, one-third of the Board of Trustees is required to resign, though they can then be re-elected. At the 2010, held on 12th June, two trustees retired.
The Trustees delegate day-to-day responsibility for the running of the charity to the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive has a strong working relationship with the trustees, and is in regular contact with them concerning the running of the charity.
Our work is helped by the contribution of a number of individual volunteers, which constitute the SURF Projects Team. Their work is vital in extending the reach of SURF.