Scottish Athletics advises all clubs to review their legal status annually. Should club circumstances change, the club can adapt accordingly. Considering this, your club officers recently reviewed the various options available to AAAC, subsequently presenting a summary and proposal to the club’s committee for consideration.
As some of you may be aware, AAAC is currently a community amateur sports club (CASC) which is a tax scheme. This means the club has some tax advantages, like a charity.
The club is not incorporated, thus is not a legal entity. This means that members, likely the committee, may be held personally liable, and the club cannot own property, sign legal documents, or run a payroll. (Scottish Athletics manages the payroll for AAAC’s club manager and pathways development officer.)
The committee has concluded that the club would benefit from a transition to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO). As a SCIO, the club would have further tax advantages and the personal liability would be minimal to nil. The club could potentially own property, sign contracts, and run a payroll. SCIOs also have more potential for fund raising through Gift Aid and corporate donations, and access to more and bigger grants.
There appears to be somewhat of a trend among athletics clubs and other sports clubs becoming SCIOs. While AAAC should not just follow the crowd, AAAC has a tradition of being progressive and a leader among athletics clubs. There may be no current or urgent reason for AAAC to change but doing so could create opportunities for the future. Despite being over 60 years old, being a SCIO might also improve the club’s sustainability.
The first step in this process that the committee has agreed to begin is to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) so that the greater club membership may vote for or against the transition. If the club were to choose to become a SCIO, the process would take several months to a year and require a team effort. However, AAAC would have great support from ACVO, Scottish Athletics, and likely, other clubs.
The club committee and officers are continuing investigation into the process prior to making specific plans for an EGM. Please watch for future news on this project. In the meantime, should you have questions to ask or specific advice or expertise to offer, please speak to a committee member or club officer.