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Advice on purchasing policies

Just as the raising of funds is essential to the well being of charities, so is the effective spending of resources.

In our experience, there are three quite distinct areas where trustees and administrators often need guidance.

These are :-

  • People involved in charities are often highly motivated, inspired individuals but sometimes lacking in business experience. Sad to say, many suppliers know this and take advantage of it. We have often seen examples of old, out of date and unsaleable computer equipment being palmed off on charities at inflated prices. We have known of cases where service agreements have been entered into that would not have been entertained in the commercial world.
  • The Charity Commission quite rightly encourage the separation of powers between trustees and administrators ie the policy makers from the executives. However, this requires that are sound systems of delegation laid down so that the powers of individuals to incur expenditure are rigourously controlled. Because something is in the budget does not mean it has to be spent. If something is not in the budget, then there should be clearly defined procedures to authorize the spending.
  • Specific purchasing policies should be laid down. These might include joint arrangements with other charities sharing the same activity, or in the same geographical area so that bulk purchasing discounts can be obtained. They might include a critical review of whether national local authority or other public body salary scales really are appropriate for this particular charity. They might include ethical guidelines.

Peter Brown & Co can assist in developing such policies. We also have access to funding under the Government’s Home Computer Initiative, under which computers can be supplied at heavily discounted prices to employees of the charities for whom we act through a payroll scheme. Further details of this are available upon request, using our enquiry form.


As with all our services, our fees are highly competitive. Our offices are set in a rural location, and therefore we have low premises overheads. This means that we are able to offer the highest quality services, very often at the lowest price.

For further information, please email or complete our Enquiry Form


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