Special Purpose Funds


Special Purpose Funds

The charity oversees more than 400 donor-gifted funds each with a specific purpose to support a particular ward, department, area of research, service or group of patients. Through the generosity of our donors we are able to provide tailored funding opportunities to a wide range of Trust departments and services.

The charity team, trustees and designated special fund advisors - who are made up of suitably qualified staff from within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - identify ways to utilise the funds to make a real difference to the Trust’s work in line with donors’ wishes. 

Special Fund Advisors have delegated authority to spend funds in line with their specific purposes and agreed priorities, without the need for formal applications on each occasion of use.

Frequently asked questions

How can I tell whether my ward or department has a special purpose fund?

Please contact the charity’s Deputy Finance Director or Administration Manager to find out whether a fund exists already. If not you can set one up.

How do I set up a special purpose fund?

If your ward, department, service or area of research receives – or hopes to solicit – donations, then it may be advisable to open a special purpose fund with the charity into which those donations can be paid. The charity’s Deputy Finance Director or Administration Manager can advise on whether a suitable fund exists already. If a suitable fund doesn’t already exist, a new fund can be opened by completing and submitting (as a signed hard copy) the Opening a Special Purpose Fund form.

Do I need to use special forms to record donations?

You are encouraged to use the donation form CF02 provided to record donations, and donation form CF02A to obtain the donor’s name and address, so that their donation can be acknowledged and, where appropriate, they can be encouraged to Gift Aid their donation (which allows the charity to claim from the government an extra 25p for every £1 given, at no cost to the donor).

Can fund advisers use funds as they see fit?

No. Fund Advisers act as agents for the charity’s trustees. Ultimate responsibility for the funds remains with the trustees, who may determine that a proposed use is inappropriate or that an alternative use is required (subject to the express requirements of the donor). The charity's trustees may replace fund advisers or take direct control of funds where they deem it appropriate.

What regulations apply to special purpose funds?

Fund advisers are required to abide by the regulations that govern all special purpose funds administered by the charity. The regulations provide guidance on the types of income that can be accepted, explain the restrictions on types of expenditure that can be incurred, and generally provide a framework for administration of the funds.

How do I access the funds in a special purpose fund?

Before a Special Purpose Fund can be accessed, the fund adviser(s) must prepare a spending plan for the fund and have it agreed by the appropriate person within their CPG (generally the head of operations, but for research funds the head of research) and approved by the charity. For guidance on special purpose fund spending plans please see Appendix 3 of the regulations.

I have an agreed spending plan – how do I go about spending the money?

This will depend on what you want to use the money for:

Equipment of any description (medical, computer, furniture etc) must be ordered by completing a manual non-stock requisition form and submitting it to the charity for authorisation. With many types of equipment (but not all), the charity benefits from VAT relief. The charity’s Deputy Finance Director will be able to advise on whether VAT relief will apply and will draw up the relevant paperwork if it does. Once approved by the charity, the goods will be ordered by the NHS Trust Purchasing Department, with the invoice addressed directly to the charity rather than the NHS Trust. All orders must comply with NHS procurement policies.

In the case of other items (e.g. books, conferences), it is generally easiest if the fund adviser (or relevant staff member) incurs the expenditure personally (e.g. on a credit card) and then claims reimbursement using the charity’s expense claim form. It is always advisable to check with the charity’s Deputy Finance Director before incurring expenditure, to ensure that reimbursement can be made. Reimbursement will only be made where a valid expense claim form is submitted with original receipts and countersigned by a fund adviser who is not the person claiming reimbursement.

I have been a fund adviser but am now changing my role/leaving the NHS Trust – how do I appoint a replacement fund adviser?

Please use the change of signatory form to advise the charity of the recommended replacement. Please note that appointment as a fund adviser is at the discretion of the charity, but they will always take account of recommendations received.

How do I appoint additional fund advisers?

Please use the additional signatory form to advise the charity of additional signatories. Please note that the appointment of additional fund advisers is at the discretion of the charity, but we will always take account of recommendations received.

If you have not found the information you are looking for, please contact Finance Director Russell Shea on 020 3857 9849 or email russell.shea@imperialcharity.org.uk

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