Update on Worshipful Status and Founder Liveryman Offer

Overview

The company is celebrating its 20th year in 2020/21 and you may have seen the profiles of some of our members on LinkedIn to mark the occasion. We also have our reception at Apothecaries’ Hall on 29th July.

The Company is in a very strong position with a sense of forward momentum:

  • 70 new members since June 2020 and Freemen returning to the Company. 

  • Progress in introducing good practice in diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I):

    • with a virtual event in October 2020 with international speakers (Mandy Rico, Kantar Global and James Burstall of Argonon)

    • review of our procedures to seek to eliminate bias

    • proactive approach to increase diversity amongst membership

    • leaders workshop for the Court  on diversity, equality and inclusion

    • virtual “in conversation events” with Maj Gen Celia Harvey (Army equalities champion for Sikhs), Iain Anderson (Chair Cicero), Mark Glover (Executive Chair of SEC Newgate) and Mark Laity (defence communication strategist)

    • exploring support for the Taylor Bennett Foundation

    • leading an active learning session for the Goldsmiths’ Livery Company

    • support from the City of London for our DE&I efforts.

  • Appointed a Head of Volunteering (Susan Walker). The pilot of the Gift of Communication in partnership with the International Association of Business Communicators was delivered virtually in March. 10 charities/not-for-profit organisations joined with teams of communications advisors for a pro bono advisory session. 61 participants took part in total and the feedback from attendees was very positive.

  • Raised over £2,000 to support the Livery Schools Link Digital Divide campaign to provide digital equipment to schools in need.

  • Launching an ‘apprentice’ scheme later this year to support access to our range of communications talent and to encourage new entrants to the profession to engage with the Company

  • We are in a stronger financial position with sustainability through our increased membership. We also have over £200k in our charitable fund – and have a roadmap/plan to raise the further £100k needed to reach our endowment target of £300k.

The Company is now seeking support from individuals and the profession to become a full livery company to play a greater part in the civic role of the City of London and to enable sustainable charitable donations and support for charities and not-for-profit organisations.

What is livery/worshipful status? Why does it matter?

There are 110 livery companies in the City of London representing both ancient and modern professions. Livery companies play a significant part in the life of the City of London and give liverymen the opportunity to participate in their events as well as voting rights for the senior civic offices. They provide charitable-giving and networking opportunities (both within the company and across other livery companies).

Becoming a ‘full’ livery company is the final stage of a three-part process. It demonstrates that the profession has the support of the profession through achieving a sizeable membership, securing financial sustainability and by building a charitable fund. 

Other professions moving forward through the process are:

  • Guild of Human Resource Professionals

  • Guild of Investment Managers

  • Company of Entrepreneurs

  • Company of Nurses

What will we do differently as a Worshipful Company?

  1. The main difference is that we will be more active supporting charities. The charitable trust will have a secure capital fund /endowment and will be able to draw down interest to support charitable activities.

  2. Building on the volunteering work and supporting charitable endeavours.

  3. Securing financial sustainability will mean that the company can benefit from:

    1. Increased income to enable more services and events delivered for members

    2. Increased networking opportunities due to larger membership base and more events.

  4. As a Worshipful company, we will also have liverymen. Only freemen of the company and of the City can become liverymen (see below).

What is a Founder Liveryman? Who gets to be one?

A liveryman is a full member of the company and a freeman of the City of London. Only freemen of the Company and City can become liverymen. Applicants become members/Freemen of the Company first, then progress through ‘Redemption’ to become a Freeman of the City of London. Freemen and Liverymen of the Company commit to pay annual dues (‘Quarterage’) and make a specific commitment to contribute to the charitable fund.

When a  Worshipful livery company is created, there are different categories of membership. During the year the company is formed, there is the one-off opportunity to become one of the founders – a ‘Founder Liveryman’. After the year of founding, freemen can then become liverymen but the title of ‘founder’ is only available to be awarded during the year. Founder Liveryman status will be bestowed on members once Formal Livery status has been granted to the Company by the City of London Court of Aldermen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qs & As

Why is there a fee to become a Founder Liveryman?

The fee of £1,000 to become a Founder Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Communicators will go in its entirety to the charitable fund. This has to be contributed in advance in order to achieve the capital for the charity to qualify for the status as a full livery company. Most importantly, this will enable charitable giving and social action to support the communications profession. 

Freemen who are not eligible, or do not want to become Founder Liverymen, still contribute by paying their Quarterage (annual dues) and by making their donation to the charitable fund. To become a Liveryman, applicants must be Freemen of the Company and then of the City. We are looking for 100 Founder Liverymen (for the first year of the Worshipful Company of Communicators).

In addition to the full fee going to the charitable fund to boost our ability to donate, once we achieve the Worshipful status, Founder Liverymen will also be able to:

  • Use the title Founder Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Communicators

  • Use a Founder Liveryman digital badge

  • Be invited to attend (at cost) a high-profile Founders’ event to mark the establishment of the Worshipful Company

  • Be recognised as a Founder Liveryman on a dedicated webpage.

  • Most Company events will be open to both Freemen and Liverymen.

  •  Only Liverymen can vote in City elections for the senior civic roles (e.g. Lord Mayor).

Founder Liverymen are not expected to take on any additional roles or responsibilities aligned to their Founder Livery status. In line with existing company policy, the Company will be delighted for Founder Liverymen to become actively involved in the Livery, Court Committees and our exciting plans and charitable initiatives in support of the communications profession. However, this is not a pre-requisite.

What is the charitable impact of the Company's work?

The Company’s charitable work is delivered through

  • Volunteering activities coordinated by the Head of Volunteering e.g. The Gift of Communication;

  • Pro bono activities;

  • Support for City events e.g. the Sheep Drive, Livery Schools Link;

  • Fundraising projects – e.g. the recent ‘sprint’ raised over £2,000 for the Digital Divide campaign run through the Livery Schools Link to provide digital equipment for schools.

  • Charitable donations (currently restricted while we secure the target endowment capital of £300k).

What are the long-term plans for impact?

The charity committee and charitable fund trustees will be working together to produce a medium term plan for the endowment. 

How much am I being asked to donate?

The Company is asking for a charitable donation of £1,000 to achieve Founder Liveryman status. We also encourage individuals to donate via Gift Aid where possible, to further enhance the value to the Charitable Trust. 

We would be delighted to receive expressions of interest for corporate or individual sponsorship. The Company and Charitable Trust will look to recognise endeavour and achievement in line with our charter and charitable purpose. We are delighted to discuss sponsorship opportunities for your name – or your organisation’s brand – to be associated with an award that shines a light on outstanding contribution in the field of communications or an association with one of our events. Our ideas are developing – and we would welcome your input too!

All company freemen are requested to donate £100 annually to the charitable fund.

How do I make a payment?

Payment can be made directly into the charity current account with NatWest sort code 600001 account number 90323815 The Company of Communicators Charitable Trust, shortened as ‘The Company of Commun’ owing to character limit (bank processes vary so you may need to try both options). Please can use the reference ‘Founder Livery’ so we can identity the payment and complete a giftaid form( if it is a personal donation).

What happens to my donation?

Your donation is made to the Company’s Charitable Trust, to support its charitable objectives and contribute towards the Company achieving the threshold to attain full Livery status.

The Charitable Trust is governed by a separate board of Trustees, reporting to the Court and regulated by the Charity Commission. All the money raised for the trust will be safeguarded and protected to:

  • Support charitable organisations and good causes relevant to the communications profession

  • Support, maintain and grow the endowment.

When and how will I become a Founder Liveryman?

The Company will provide a formal charitable/tax receipt immediately on receipt of your donation and also confirm its intention that Founder Liveryman status is to be conveyed.

The Company hopes to attain Livery status by the end of 2022, subject to the completion of all fundraising activities. Clearly, as recent global events have demonstrated, there may be some changes to plans. From the commitment and enthusiasm of all members /Freemen and expressions of support received to date, we are confident of achieving our goals. 

Founder Liveryman status will be bestowed on members once Formal Livery status has been granted to the Company by the City of London Court of Aldermen.

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© Paul David Jagger 2016