Almost 1.5m distributed for charitable purposes following Charity Commission investigation

From: Charity Commission
Published: Fri Dec 15 2023

Genesis Philanthropy Group is to be wound up, with its remaining funds transferred to other charities.

Today (15th December 2023), the Charity Commission has published the report of its inquiry into Genesis Philanthropy Group. The charity will be wound up, with its remaining funds of £1.46m paid in grants to charities with similar purposes.

The inquiry was opened after three of its founding trustees were designated as sanctioned individuals in the UK following the outbreak of war in Ukraine. In the Commission's view, it is not legally possible for a designated person to act as a trustee.

  • the inquiry immediately froze the charity's bank account in order to protect its funds
  • an Interim Manager was appointed due to the ongoing risk that the charity's funds could become subject to sanctions as well as wider governance concerns
  • the Interim Manager concluded that there were significant challenges to the charity's future viability and that the charity's best course of action was to distribute its remaining funds as grants to similar charities, and then wind up
  • working with the charity's staff, the Interim Manager paid grants totalling approximately £1,462,000 to new and existing grant recipients
  • the inquiry found that the trustees were responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity, particularly relating to conflicts of interest and ensuring the charity had properly appointed trustees

Steve Roake, Assistant Director of Investigations and Compliance, said:

We moved quickly in this inquiry to protect the charity's funds following the designation of three of its trustees. The Commission is clear that designated persons are unable to discharge the duties of trusteeship without committing a criminal offence and we acted accordingly.

The £1.46m of recovered funds will now have the positive benefit they were intended to, funding a range of charitable causes, including to support those in need in Ukraine.

The full report detailing the findings of this inquiry can be found on GOV.UK.

Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
  2. The statutory inquiry was opened into the charity on 16 March 2022.
  3. On 16 March 2022 the inquiry froze the charity's UK bank account under section 76(3)(d) of the Act to protect the charity's funds from any potential risk of misapplication or abuse. The order was revoked on 7 June 2022 under section 337(6) of the Act as it was no longer required following the appointment of an Interim Manager as detailed below and her having secured the bank account.
  4. On 28 March 2022, the inquiry appointed Emma Moody as Interim Manager of the charity under section 76(3)(g) of the Act with all the powers and duties of the trustees of the charity and to the exclusion of the trustees of the charity. Although the inquiry closed with the publication of this report, the Interim Manager remains in place to monitor the expenditure of the charity's final grants totalling c.£1,462,000.
  5. The three founding trustees were listed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as a ‘designated person' for the purposes of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.
  6. The effect of designation with an asset freeze by the UK government, means it is prohibited to deal with the frozen funds or economic resources, belonging to or owned, held or controlled by a designated person. It is also prohibited to make funds or economic resources available, directly or indirectly, to, or for the benefit of, a designated person. Matters relating to sanctions should be directed at the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.
Company: Charity Commission

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