Statement from Effective Ventures Foundation – May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Effective Ventures Foundation UK (EVF UK) is pleased that the completed statutory inquiry into our work by the Charity Commission of England and Wales has found no wrongdoing and confirmed that our trustees “acted diligently and quickly” to protect assets and operations and advance our charitable mission. We welcome the report’s conclusion that EVF “sought to put these things right at the earliest opportunity.”

“I am pleased that the Charity Commission recognised EVF’s work to respond to a difficult incident responsibly. The Commission’s report highlights the swift, proactive actions taken by our trustees to not only ensure appropriate compliance and perform their legal duties, but to implement stronger frameworks and policies to protect our projects’ important work in the future,” said Rob Gledhill, CEO of EVF UK.

Following the FTX collapse in November 2022, EVF UK filed a Serious Incident Report with the Charity Commission stating that one of EVF UK’s funders had filed for bankruptcy. Subsequently, the Commission opened an inquiry into EVF UK’s financial situation and its governance by its trustees. The inquiry examined whether any of EVF UK’s assets were at risk, whether the trustees were complying with their duties to protect the charity’s property, and whether the general governance of the charity by the trustees was sound. EVF cooperated fully with the Commission throughout the inquiry.

The Commission’s report recognised that EVF took expected and appropriate steps in response to the situation: EVF ringfenced funds received from FTX, installed measures to protect charitable assets and continued operations, and excluded trustees with actual or perceived conflicts of interest from decisions and discussions related to FTX. The Commission’s report noted that “there is no evidence to suggest that there were any unmanaged conflicts of interest regarding funds the charity received from the FTX Foundation or that any trustee had acted in a way contrary to the interests of the charity.” Finally, the Commission highlighted that EVF took additional actions in seeking independent legal advice to support our decision-making throughout the process which led to reaching a settlement agreement with the FTX estate.

The Commission recognised that EVF took this process as an opportunity to not just demonstrate compliance, but to further strengthen our policies and frameworks. In response to the collapse of FTX and starting prior to the launch of the Charity Commission’s inquiry, we expanded our finance and legal teams and implemented more robust mechanisms for preventing conflicts of interest. We expect that these actions will continue to serve our organisation’s work in the future.