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Ukraine crisis – what you need to consider in your work with charities

Author: Kristina Kopic, Head of Charity and Voluntary Sector, ICAEW

Published: 21 Mar 2022

The war in Ukraine is deeply distressing and makes many of us feel helpless. Millions of people will be displaced because of the crisis and charities are playing an important role to get help to the people who need it.

Because of the fast-moving situation, this article will date quickly. Its main aim is therefore to signpost you to information on the Charity Commission website and ICAEW’s own resources which will be continuously updated.

Charity Commission guidance

On 2 March, Helen Stephenson CBE, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, published her Statement on Ukraine crisis and its implications for charities. The Charity Commission later created a bespoke webpage with guidance for charities and trustees responding to the crisis in Ukraine. Please follow the link for the most up-to-date information. At the time of writing this article, the guidance advises on:

  • Fundraising and Ukraine appeals
  • Setting up a new charity to help the people of Ukraine
  • Changing charitable objects to support the Ukraine crisis
  • Safeguarding
  • Organising or participating in aid convoys
  • Complying with financial sanctions and identifying donors
  • Working with new partners

In her statement, Stephenson expresses her shock, but also points to the immense generosity of the British public who have donated millions of pounds to support Ukrainians. She encourages the public to give to established registered charities with experience in delivering humanitarian aid in challenging circumstances.

Stephenson shared a few simple checks before giving to appeals to check that their money gets to its intended cause, and said:

"The public, as always in times of crisis, has responded generously to help those in dire need in Ukraine itself or who have escaped to neighbouring countries. It’s important that this money goes to those who need it most, those whose lives have been uprooted by fighting. We encourage everyone to follow our simple steps to check that their money gets to its intended cause. Donating to a registered charity is a good way to feel confident of that."

ICAEW resource hub on the Ukraine crisis

Visit ICAEW’s Central Resource Hub on the Ukraine crisis to access resources, news and features on the impact of the Ukraine crisis on accountancy, business and the wider economy. Learn about the actions that ICAEW members are taking to ensure that their clients comply with sanctions imposed by different countries and jurisdictions and discover the support available from ICAEW.