Chartered Surveyors and NCVO launch property advice line

4th June 2009

RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) in partnership with NCVO and the CFDG* has launched Charity Property Help***, a service through which Chartered Surveyors provide free advice to voluntary organisations and charities on all property related issues.

Charity Property Help will provide registered charities and voluntary organisations with a one hour) consultation from an RICS member firm of charge. 103 property firms from across the UK have already registered in the past few weeks to join Charity Property Help, including Savills and Alder-King, with many more expected to join.

Many voluntary organisations, from small community groups to multinationals need advice on property matters, and often are not aware of the great cost savings they can make with informed property advice from a professional. The launch of Charity Property Help is timely in assisting those charities that are feeling the pinch in the current economic downturn.

Richard Williams, Director of Enterprise, NCVO said “Property maintenance and management is one of the largest fixed costs for any voluntary organisation. Whether renting or leasing a small office or managing a large portfolio of building assets having the right advice on issues from rent reviews to dilapidations can save charities substantial sums. We are delighted to be launching Charity Property Help and believe that it will grow to become an invaluable service to our members and the wider voluntary sector “

RICS Member, Geoffrey Barber*** said:
“A great deal of time and effort is used in raising money for charities and the correct advice is needed if good business decisions are to be made. A dedicated facility has been formed by the RICS to ensure that charities make best use of their expenditure on property with the help of reliable advisors who can be contacted through the Charity Property Help website.

“This will enable the property industry to make a valuable contribution to society, with surveyors offering at least one hour’s free advice, and property owners being able to gain access to the charity world should they wish to provide subsidised accommodation. We envisage that this facility will save charities and voluntary organisations millions of pounds.”

Keith Hickey Chief Executive of Charity Finance Directors' Group (CFDG) said:

"Property management and maintainence is often a core part of the role of a Finance Director and making the wrong decision can be costly, time consuming and impact on the day to day running of the charity. CFDG is pleased to be part of this initiative which we believe will be invaluable to all charities making decisions about property and would urge the sector to make use of it."

 

ENDS

 

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Cooper or Grant Imlach in the NCVO press office on 020 7520 2469/68, 07714 243942 (out-of-hours) andrew.cooper@ncvo-vol.org.uk , grant.imlach@ncvo-vol.org.uk


Notes to Editors
***Charity Property Help was set up with the support of The Return Foundation; a philanthropic foundation established by Geoffrey Barber an RICS member.
* Charity Finance Directors Group (CFDG)

Details of how to register
Please visit and register on the RICS website www.charitypropertyhelp.com or call the RICS Contact Centre on 0870 333 1600

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is the umbrella body for the voluntary sector in England, with sister councils in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. NCVO has over 6,900 members , ranging from large national bodies to community groups, volunteer centres and development agencies working at a local level. With over 280,000 staff and over 13 million volunteers working for our members, we represent and support almost half the voluntary sector workforce. For more information visit: www.ncvo-vol.org.uk.

About RICS
RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is the mark of property professionalism worldwide. It covers all aspects of property, construction and associated environmental issues. RICS has 86,000 chartered members (FRICS and MRICS) and 55,000 members in other categories of membership (TechRICS, trainees and students) globally. It represents, regulates and promotes the work of these property professionals throughout 146 countries. RICS is governed by a Royal Charter approved by Parliament which requires it to act in the public interest. It is also a professional regulatory body approved by Government (HM Treasury).

About CFDG
The Charity Finance Directors' Group (www.cfdg.org.uk ) was set up in 1987 and is an umbrella group that specialises in helping charities to manage their finance-related functions. CFDG’s 1,600 plus members are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Between them our members manage some £14.7 billion in charity income per year. For further information please contact our Policy Team.

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