Citizens UK, the organisation that created the Living Wage campaign, is today, launching its People’s Manifesto in the build up to the 2015 general election at a Civil Society Summit, hosted by Queen Mary University of London. In 2010 Citizens UK’s General Election Assembly was dubbed by the media as the ‘Fourth Debate’ when Brown, Cameron and Clegg all took to the stage at Westminster Central Hall to address the organisations eclectic membership and respond to its manifesto. The 2015 Citizens UK People’s Manifesto launched today has been created with input from 300 institutions from across the UK and demonstrates real areas of concern from a diverse group of communities.
The Charity Commission welcomed the ruling on the Dove Trust as the next step in helping charities receive the funds they are owed by the Dove Trust; the charity that ran the online giving website Charity Giving. Shortly after his appointment, the IM of the charity had concluded that there were insufficient funds for a full distribution to be made to over 1,800 charities and good causes that were owed money by the Dove Trust. Given the complexity of the charity and trust law issues involved, the Commission asked the court to decide how the IM could lawfully distribute the limited funds that were available.
National charity Living Streets has announced Joe Irvin as its new chief executive.
Irvin, currently chief executive of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action, will take over on 1 September from Phillipa Hunt, Living Streets’ interim chief executive since the departure of Tony Armstrong last month. Living Streets’ chair of trustees, Archie Robertson, said: "The Trustees are delighted to have Joe on board.
Work has begun at Nottingham’s historic Malt Cross following the award of a £1.38M Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant. With keys exchanged and builders moving in, the renovation will help transform one of the city’s best-loved venues into a multipurpose heritage and creative arts centre for public use. Two previously unused floors of the building on St James’s Street will be renovated alongside an 11th century cave directly underneath the public house area of the Malt Cross. Once complete, the rooms will host an array of learning and heritage activities, complete with a new space for music practice and an exhibition gallery.
Environment and health charities have the least ‘donation-friendly’ websites and the charity sector as a whole is failing to address the opportunity to maximise fundraising through mobile devices according to a new study from Eduserv, the not-for-profit web and IT services provider to the charity and public sector. The study Optimising Charity Websites for Donations which is published today, found that animal charities came top when it came to having the most donation-friendly websites. This was largely down to the fact that charities in this sector had made the greatest efforts to adapt their websites to the increasing volume of visits via mobile and tablet devices.
Bond, the UK membership body that unites over 400 development organisations working for the world’s most vulnerable people, today pledged its full support for the UK’s first Girl Summit. The Girl Summit, co-hosted by the UK government and Bond member UNICEF UK, takes place in London today. It aims to mobilise UK and international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) within a generation. Bond will be represented at the summit.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Families Against Neuroblastoma, registered charity number 1135974. The inquiry opened on 13 June 2014. The charity, which was registered in 2010, has objects that include the promotion of the physical and mental health of neuroblastoma sufferers in the UK, and the support of sufferers and their families. The charity currently only has one trustee. The regulator is investigating a number of concerns but its focus is a lack of a proper governance structure at the charity, and as a result the risks that may arise to the charity’s funds or other property.
The Charity Commission has today published a report on its case into former registered charity MSL Mountaineering Trust which details how the regulator’s investigation uncovered evidence which led to HMRC securing prosecutions. The Commission became aware of concerns about discrepancies in MSL’s annual accounts when another charity submitted a complaint. They reported that in its accounts MSL claimed it donated £130,000 to them however they only received £17,000. The Commission made a number of enquiries but it was not satisfied with the responses, and its concerns grew.
A report released today, Rising to the Challenge: A Policy Agenda to tackle Low Pay, by The Work Foundation, Lancaster University, will reveal that despite the economic recovery, the UK still lacks an effective strategy for dealing with the challenge of low paid work. The Work Foundation asserts that to have a meaningful impact any low pay strategy must include policies on wages, skills, and productivity in low-wage sectors. The report authors highlight that low pay now affects 5.1 million employees (21%) of the workforce in the UK and that over a quarter of low-paid workers remained stuck in low pay for over a decade.
A Newham homeless charity is in the running for three prestigious national awards this month. Caritas Anchor House, which supports over 200 homeless and vulnerable adults each year, has been longlisted in the first stage of the Centre for Social Justice awards as a project displaying innovation and effectiveness in addressing the root causes of poverty, turning lives around and reversing social breakdown. The Charity Times Awards 2014 have also shortlisted the charity in two categories: Social Champion, for which the charity was runner up and highly commended in 2013, and Big Society.
Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, has welcomed today’s announcement that it has been awarded £1.25 million from the Armed Forces Covenant (Libor) Fund. The award will go towards the funding of the development of a new £1.65 million accommodation, rehabilitation and training unit at Blind Veterans UK’s Llandudno Centre, North Wales. The new unit will enable Blind Veterans UK to provide vision-impaired ex-Service men and women with medium-length stays of between six weeks to six months to access our life skills for independent living programme.
Ofsted inspectors are continuing to encourage unproven child-led teaching methods and discourage traditional teacher-led lessons, an investigation by think-tank Civitas has found. Despite repeated claims by the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, that Ofsted no longer prefers a certain style of teaching, a forensic examination of hundreds of Ofsted reports has uncovered evidence that the bias persists.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Markaz – EL Tathgheef – EL Eslami, registered charity number 328364. The charity is also known as The Centre for Islamic Enlightening. The charity, which is based in London, has objects including the advancement of the Islamic faith in the UK and the advancement of education of the public about Islamic religion and culture. The Commission’s inquiry will investigate regulatory concerns about issues connected with related party transactions between the charity and a company, which appears to run a TV station and is in voluntary liquidation.
The Charity Commission has published revised guidance on Common Investment Funds (CIFs) and Common Deposit Funds (CDFs) ahead of compliance with a new European Directive which becomes compulsory on 22nd July 2014. CIFs and CDFs are pooled investment funds that only charities can invest in. As registered charities they are regulated under charity law by the Charity Commission and as investment funds, their managers are subject to oversight by the Financial Conduct Authority.
A £16 million Youth Engagement Fund aims to improve young peoples’ educational achievement and employability. Through joint funding from the Cabinet Office, Department for Work and Pension and the Ministry of Justice, it aims to support up to 18,000 young people in over 100 schools in England. The fund is being promoted around the country this week with events in Leeds and London to tell potential bidders about the overall aims of the fund and the bidding process. More than 250 people have already registered an interest in the fund via the e-procurement portal.
Two new Statements of Recommended Practice have today been published by the joint SORP making body, the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. The new SORPs provide a comprehensive framework for charity accounting that all charities that prepare accrual accounts must follow. The new SORPs apply to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2015. The new SORPs were needed due to changes in UK accounting following the new Financial Reporting Standard that was issued by the Financial Reporting Council in March 2013.
Brooks Newmark is the new minister for civil society. He is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Braintree. He has represented the constituency since 2005. ACEVO chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb welcomed the appointment. He said: “I am pleased to welcome Brooks Newmark to the position of Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office – and minister for civil society. He has a tough act to follow in Nick Hurd but he brings a sustained record of excellence in academia, business and government and this will stand him in good stead.
After the minister for civil society Nick Hurd announced he would be stepping down from his position, leading lights in the sector have been paying tribute to Hurd’s work. Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO said: "Nick Hurd has been a dedicated and knowledgeable Civil Society Minister, the longest to serve in that role. He has been a fantastic partner to the third sector and a pleasure to work with. We wish him the very best for the future."
Nick Hurd, the minister for civil society, has stepped down from the role as part of David Cameron’s reshuffle ahead of next year's General Election. The Prime Minister is yet to announce a successor to Hurd. Hurd tweeted his departure last night: “Am standing down having been given by DC the rare opportunity to do six years in a wonderful brief. Very proud of what we achieved.” He then added four more tweets: “Thanks to so many friends and critics in our brilliant voluntary sector. You have often driven me nuts but my respect and love is undimmed.”
With the General election less than a year away, the Charity Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales, is urging charities to follow new guidance on campaigning for charities, produced by the Electoral Commission, and to follow its own rules on political campaigning. Charities and Campaigning, published by the Electoral Commission, explains the rules of charity law and electoral law so that charities can ensure they comply with all the relevant legislation when campaigning in the run up to an election. The regulator is urging charities to read and follow this guidance, as well as the Commission’s own guidance Speaking out – Campaigning and political activity by charities.
NHS England has formed a steering group to develop a national health and care commissioning framework for people with learning disabilities. The group will be chaired by Sir Stephen Bubb, the chief executive of charity leaders network ACEVO. It will work with the healthcare, charity and voluntary sectors, as well as with people with learning disabilities and their families to set out a framework to guide more innovative and integrated local commissioning of healthcare and housing to best support people with learning disabilities at home and in their communities, reducing reliance on hospital care.
VSO, a leading international development charity that fights poverty through volunteering, has appointed Sam Younger as the UK board chair and international board vice chair. Younger was the previous chief executive of the Charity Commission and has over 30 years experience working in regulation, public policy and charity. He has had many positions of leadership and previously worked as the founding chair for the Electoral Commission, director general of the British Red Cross, and managing director of the BBC World Service.
The Board of VSO International has announced the appointment of Jim Emerson as chief executive, on a fixed term contract. Emerson, who is currently Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance and a Board member of the International Civil Society Centre has more than 30 years of experience in international development and humanitarian work. Mari Simonen, chair of VSO’s International Board, said; “VSO is delighted to have secured the talents of an experienced development expert as Jim to lead the charity over the next few months while we continue our search for a permanent Chief Executive expected to be in post by the end of 2014.”
CFG's latest flagship publication Navigating the Pension Maze 2014 was launched today at their London Members’ meeting. CFG’s latest flagship publication The Pension Maze series is an exciting endeavour to guide charities' financial leaders through the complex world of pensions. Six years on from the last edition much has changed in charities’ pensions practice as the 2004 changes have fed through the system, auto-enrolment has taken its grip on employees large and small. Coupled with the announcements made in the Chancellor's 2014 Budget and the raft of other recent pension reforms, the publication is more important than ever.
The UK’s heritage assets remain largely untapped by local authorities and could play a much greater role in helping their area thrive and succeed as a place, according to the new report launched today by the RSA. Commissioned to inform the debate at Heritage Exchange, a new thought leadership event organised in partnership between the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the RSA, the report warns that many local leaders disregard the potential offered by local heritage when developing their local area’s economic, cultural or social strategies.
The Charity Commission has opened an investigation into St Paul’s School, a charitable independent school in London, registered charity number 1119619.The regulator’s statutory inquiry will investigate the charity trustees’ approach to safeguarding and handling of allegations of a sexual nature. The investigation follows the police’s arrest of four individuals with links to the school in connection with allegations of sexual abuse and the Commission’s engagement with the trustees since May 2014.
New research by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) reveals that 60% of heritage organisations still rely on grants from funders as their biggest source of income; 21% continue to receive government funding for their projects and 39% depend on grants from other organisations. Only 12% of heritage organisations are sourcing non grant-based financing. In a time of cuts and reductions, this leaves many heritage organisations in a vulnerable position.
The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has warned that the charity sector could lose millions under the new framework proposed by the second Pension Protection Fund (PPF) Levy Triennium consultation. Responding to the PPF’s consultation, the NAPF supports the creation of a specific not-for-profit scorecard, but acknowledges that the focus on financial data under the new model means that not-for-profit organisations - including charities, educational bodies, housing associations and government department1 - are likely to be hardest hit by increased levy payments.
The latest Annual Report and Accounts for the Charity Commission shows a steep increase in investigatory case work undertaken by the regulator. The report, which is published today, reveals that the Commission opened 64 statutory inquiries between April 2013 and March 2014, compared to 15 during the previous financial year. The regulator concluded 23 inquiries during that same period, compared to 5 during the previous year. Statutory inquiries are used by the Commission’s to investigate and deal with the most serious regulatory issues and allow it to make use of its full range of legal powers.
Parks trailblazers are set to shake up the way we use and fund our parks, after receiving backing from Rethinking Parks - a £1m programme to support the most innovative and promising new business models for public parks. Heritage Lottery Fund’s report, State of UK Public Parks, released last month showed that while parks have improved significantly over the last few decades, they are at serious risk of rapid decline unless future funding can be generated in new ways. Ideas trying to meet this challenge range from membership schemes and endowment models, to new horticultural approaches and pop-up meeting spaces.
The Human Dignity Trust and law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB) today welcomed the Charity Tribunal decision that establishes the Human Dignity Trust as a charity. The Charity Commission refused to register the Trust, an organisation aimed at protecting the human rights of LGBTI people around the world, in June 2012 and then again in October last year. The Commission argued that the purposes of Human Dignity Trust were not cast in an exclusively charitable form and that it cannot meet the public benefit requirement for a charity as its purpose is directed towards changing the law.
Richard Taylor, executive director of Fundraising and Marketing at Cancer Research UK (CRUK), has been confirmed as the new chair of the Institute of Fundraising. He replaces Mark Astarita who stood down at the end of his three year term at the Institute’s AGM at National Convention. Stephen George remains as vice-chair after being re-elected to the Board and Helen Elliot, of auditors Sayer Vincent takes on her third term as treasurer. Di Flatt, of Epilepsy Action and chair of IoF Yorkshire starts her second term as the Institute’s Honorary Secretary.
Christian Aid has expressed disappointment that singer Katie Melua, who was nominated for their Tax Superhero Award four years ago after she publicly stated that she paid "nearly half of what comes to me in taxes", had participated in an aggressive tax avoidance scheme. Joseph Stead, senior economic justice adviser at Christian Aid, said: "The news is very disappointing. Christian Aid believes it’s morally wrong for people to avoid paying their fair share of tax, because it undermines vital public services such as hospitals and schools and forces up taxes on people who are too poor or too honest to use such schemes.
For the 500,000 or so trustees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Court statistics published in June relating to the year 2013 will not make good reading. The vast majority of trustees are not professional people such as solicitors, accountants, but are volunteers appointed under the terms of a relative’s or friend’s Will, or perhaps volunteers in the Charity sector, or trustees of a company pension scheme. Action in the Courts against trustees can result in Personal Liability.
Sustainable development is impossible in the absence of peace and security, and these elements need to be addressed in the framework that will follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said Yves Rossier, state secretary of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, at the opening session of the Regional Review Conference on the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. The Conference, held in Geneva on 8 and 9 July, brought together representatives from across Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia to discuss how to effect measurable reductions in armed violence, and improve development, both in the region and globally.
With the 2015 deadline for achieving the landmark Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) less that 550 days away, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon today launched the final push towards the United Nations targets – many of which have been met or are within reach – and urged a strong, ambitious successor blueprint “that will leave no one behind.” Presenting to member states a major new report which he called the most up-to-date “global scorecard” on efforts to achieve the eight mostly anti-poverty Goals agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, Ban told the High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that the world is “at a historic juncture, with several milestones before us.”
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, introducing a new United Nations-backed report outlining pathways major industrial economies can use to cut their carbon emissions by mid-century, called today for broad cooperation and “bold” action or the world will face dangerous and irreversible climate disruption. “We know that we are not on track, and time is not on our side,” Ban warned during a Headquarters press conference to launch the Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project report, produced by leading research institutes in 15 countries, is the first global cooperative program to identify practical pathways to a low-carbon economy by 2050.
Lord Sebastian Coe, chair of International Inspiration and London 2012, has revealed that, two years on from the home Games, the UK’s pioneering International Inspiration Programme, a sporting and social legacy initiative that underpinned the British bid to host the Games, has exceeded all expectations in reaching over 25 million children and young people across 20 countries around the world.
The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has launched its Fundraising Manifesto calling on all political parties to create the best environment for fundraising. The manifesto, If you don’t ask, you don’t get, which has been endorsed by the Institute’s membership following a consultation in the spring, calls on the next government to commit to creating the best environment for fundraising, build the capacity of charities to fundraise, and develop the tax system to best encourage giving and support fundraising. On developing the tax system, the IoF is calling for...
Research published today by the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) reveals the views of 200 young black men about their experiences of finding work in the Capital. Young black men have a higher unemployment rate than any other group of young people and the research shows that they have mixed but mainly poor experiences of support from Jobcentre Plus and Work Programme providers. They also feel isolated from their peers and unsupported in their efforts to ‘do the right thing’.Young black men in London believe that racism and negative stereotyping are the main reasons for their high unemployment rate.
A new report Rough Justice: uncovering social policies that create homelessness brings to light public policies that are unnecessarily increasing homelessness and the simple steps that could stop these costly mistakes. Homelessness and the threat of becoming homeless is a much wider problem than government figures of 2,414 rough sleepers suggests. The affects are far reaching – with devastating consequences for individuals and families in temporary, unsuitable and unsustainable housing.
Big Lottery Fund continues its commitment to support charities and social enterprises in search of new sources of funding that can help them become more sustainable by launching a guide to social investment today. The Social Investment Explained guide, produced by Social Enterprise UK, is a multi-media resource for charities and social enterprises to help them better navigate the UK’s growing social investment market, as they provide their valued services to people and communities most in need. The free resource, including an introductory guide and case study films, is for both staff and trustees of charities and social enterprises who want an introduction to social investment, and are wondering what it can do for their organisation.
A new survey about Generation Next shows that children and young people born around the millennium are responsible and pragmatic, wanting stricter age restrictions on social vices such as gambling; believing that race and gender will not hold them back but that a lack of affluence will. They are also disengaged from mainstream political parties but not from the political issues that affect their lives, according to a new report by leading children’s charity the National Children’s Bureau and Ipsos MORI. The survey of nearly 3,000 children aged between 11 and 16 found more young people think the legal age at which you can buy alcohol (18) should be higher, than those who think it should be lower (21%, compared with 14).
As part of its long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future, the Government today is agreeing a series of Growth Deals with businesses and local authorities across England. The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will announce the first instalment of plans to invest at least £12 billion in local economies in a series of ‘Growth Deals’. The money will go towards providing support for local businesses to train young people, create thousands of new jobs, build thousands of new homes and start hundreds of infrastructure projects; including transport improvements and superfast broadband networks.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has published a report today on the Department for International Development’s contribution to improving nutrition. DFID spent £192.8m on nutrition in 2012 and this is expected to more than double by 2015. DFID has committed £3.3 billion to nutrition in 2013-20 and aims to contribute to a dramatic reduction in the high levels of global undernutrition. To achieve this, DFID has supported global action, invested in projects and generated evidence on new solutions.
Fundraisers from across the UK last night received the well-deserved plaudits of their peers at the annual Institute of Fundraising (IoF) National Awards 2014. The awards, now in their 22nd year, reward the fundraising successes of non-profit organisations, teams and individuals, as well as volunteers who have made outstanding contributions over the year. Award winners were applauded at a glittering ceremony in London last night, hosted by comedienne and charity supporter, Ruby Wax.
The Social Economy Alliance – the campaign group for social enterprises and cooperatives made up of 450 organisations – has today called on the sector to back a crowdfunding campaign, and be the first lobby group to blitz Westminster in the new political year. The Alliance is planning a takeover of billboards, posters and ticket barriers at Westminster Underground station, giving the sector exposure to the country’s political leaders, ahead of the General Election in 2015.
Rapidata Services has announced a dramatic fall in charity Direct Debit cancellations to the lowest annual average rate since 2006, before the global recession took hold. Rapidata’s Charity Direct Debit Tracking Report 2014, released today, compiles regular giving data from more than 500,000 monthly Direct Debit donation transactions. This news is hailed as the most positive indicator yet that donor retention is firmly on the rise post-recession.
CFG have identified through its work with DFID, BBA and others that due to the de-risking activities by banks in response to the anti-money laundering and counter terrorism regimes charities are finding it increasingly difficult to send vital funds to conflict and ‘at risk’ locations. However our evidence is mainly anecdotal and there is a real need to establish the extent of this problem and the impact that it is having. CFG have launched a survey open to affected charities.
The National Association of Local Councils today kicked off its campaign to get more people to stand for election as parish and town councillors in May 2015, urging a new generation of neighbourhood leaders to step forward and make a difference in their area. Tens of thousands of seats on England’s most local level of Government – parish and town councils – are up for grabs on the same day as the General Election next May, and NALC wants parishes to improve their democratic mandate with an increase in the number of contested elections.
Two thirds of people think that charities that spend money on rebrands or London offices are wasting donations, new research shows. The study, published by research consultancy nfpSynergy, also shows that over half of people feel confident that a charity spends well if they veto first class travel for staff. The nationally representative poll of 1,000 adults, published by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 69% of people feel London-based offices for charities are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ wasteful, with just 8% saying they were worthwhile.
Responding to the NAO report on government grants published today, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which represents charities, has noted that grants to charities are a tiny proportion of the total grant funding the NAO report examines. The NAO report covers £292bn of government grants, of which £61bn goes to recipients outside the public sector. NCVO’s analysis shows UK charities received £2.56bn in government grant income in 2011/12. NCVO says there are clear advantages to grant funding – grants to voluntary organisations are a simple and efficient way for government to meet its objectives and avoiding the bureaucracy and costs of contracting.
Reversing a six year trend beginning with the 2008 recession, charitable-spending by UK family foundations has risen to £1.63bn – the highest level recorded in the history of the Family Foundation Giving Trends series. This comes despite a 35% drop in donations being made into new and existing family foundations – a finding which raises some concern about the amount funds available to support charitable purposes in the future. The finding has emerged from the sixth edition of Family Foundation Giving Trends, led by professor Cathy Pharoah of the Centre for Giving and Philanthropy at the Cass Business School, published by the Association of Charitable Foundations, and substantially supported by the Pears Foundation.
The Big Lottery Fund is today announcing almost £1.4 million in funding to develop an innovative learning campaign that will inspire rural communities across the UK to set up social enterprises. Building on the success of the Village SOS programme the Fund’s new investment will see the launch of The Village SOS Learning, Outreach and Engagement Campaign, an innovative two-year learning programme led by rural network Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) working with a nationwide partnership of eight organisations.
Responding to the IPPR report published this week, No more baby steps: A strategy for revolutionising childcare, 4Children, the national charity for children and families, is calling for a new universal system of childcare which would guarantee for quality, affordable childcare for every child and parent of a 0-14-year-old who needs it. As all political parties consider their manifesto pledges in the run up to next year’s UK General Election, 4Children is highlighting that too many parents are still prevented from returning to work or working the hours they need to because childcare is too expensive and difficult to organise.
The first charity bond to be listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Order Book for Retail Bonds, launched today, will buy houses for people with a learning disability and allow investors to help create the accommodation needed by people with a learning disability. The proceeds of the Bond will enable learning disability charity Mencap’s housing arm, Golden Lane Housing (GLH), to invest in buying and adapting much needed housing for people with a learning disability in their local communities. These community based houses and bungalows will provide a lasting legacy for future generations of people with a learning disability.
A new welfare package should be offered to young people in an attempt to slash youth unemployment, according to a report published today from a leading think-tank. The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) wants politicians to make a commitment that tackling youth unemployment will be a 'moral mission' in the next Parliament and calls for a fresh relationship between young people and the State. The ambitious four-stage blueprint outlines plans which will help and support young people develop work skills and training from primary school through to adulthood.
The UK has attracted no more foreign direct investment (FDI) as a member of the European Single Market than it would have done outside the EU, a new study by the cross-party think tank Civitas shows today. In a close analysis of investment figures from the past 40 years, Michael Burrage finds no evidence that the Single Market has been a magnet for FDI. The UK's per capita FDI stock has grown at a comparatively mediocre rate since the Single Market was founded in 1993. That of non-members in Europe has increased much more quickly. Supporters of Britain's membership of the EU have frequently claimed it encourages investment in the UK.
Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt has been elected as the new chairman of a cross party parliamentary group aimed at promoting local democracy. Since 2010 the group had been led by Rory Stewart, the conservative MP for Penrith and the Border, who has stood down from the role due to his recent election as the chairman of the Defence Select Committee. Tessa Munt MP said: “It’s a real privilege to chair the all party group on local democracy and I want to say thank you to my parliamentary colleagues for their confidence. I’m particularly grateful to Rory Stewart MP for the brilliant job he has done in recent years to raise the profile of parish and town councils and promote a wide range of issues they face in Parliament.
Almost a third of young people (31%) give up their time for charity each month as a supporter or volunteer, according to new research from youth insights consultancy Voxburner into the relationship between 16-24s and charities or campaigns. 77% of 16-24s give less than £5 per month to charity - one third (33%) give nothing, whilst 44% give up to £5. There are more young people paying for a Netflix subscription than there are donating over £5 to charity - Voxburner’s Buying Digital Content report found that 34% of young people have used paid-for movie streaming service Netflix in the last month in contrast to 23% of donate over £5 to charity each month.
The Charity Commission has today published inquiry reports into four of the charities that were under investigation as part of the Commission’s class inquiry into double defaulting charities. 33 charities which have entered the class inquiry since September 2013 have now complied with their reporting obligations, and 4 of these are reported on today: Haringey Education Business Partnership, charity number: 1031725; First Asian Support Trust (FAST), 1095379
More than two-thirds of local authorities and housing associations say delivering social value has led to better service delivery and community relations according to a new report released today by Social Enterprise UK.
Communities Count: the Four Steps to Unlocking Social Value is the largest and most comprehensive survey since the introduction of the Social Value Act, examining the views of commissioners, their progress in delivering social value, and the role of social enterprise. It reveals wide-ranging benefits for local authorities and housing associations seeking to create social value in communities across the UK:
The UK will protect the sight of millions of people in Africa at risk of developing blindness caused by trachoma, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone has announced today. Trachoma starts with a bacterial eye infection which if left untreated can lead to blindness. Trachoma is responsible for 3% of global blindness, causing 1 adult to go blind every 15 minutes. Up to 230 million people are at risk of catching the disease with 70% of those affected women. The pain, low vision and blindness caused by the disease can trap people in a cycle of poverty by preventing them from going to work.
Trust in charities remains high according to independent research by Ipsos MORI conducted on behalf of the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. Charities received a trust score of 6.7 out of 10 overall, in line with previous research findings, showing that public trust and confidence in charities is resilient. Only the police (7) and doctors (7.6) are trusted more than charities. However, the research indicates a shift in public opinion in certain areas. People are now attaching greater importance to good financial management by charities. Almost half of people cite ‘ensuring a reasonable proportion of donations gets to the end cause’ as the most important factor affecting their trust in charities and the importance of this has risen since the last research in 2012.
Small Charity Week, which runs until Saturday, is the latest winner of a Big Society award Prime Minister David Cameron has announced. The award will be presented to organisers by minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd. Small charities including the Doorstep Library Network, RECLAIM and Leukaemia Care, are taking part in this week’s activities from accessing free 1:1 advice on Big Advice Day to being matched with a group of volunteers from a company on Volunteering Day. On behalf of the Prime Minister, Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd will present the Big Society Award to the Foundation of Social Improvement, during a reception for small charities to meet with MPs to the innovative work they are doing.
Charity Bank – the ethical bank that takes savings from individuals and institutions, and lends solely to social sector organisations – has issued the 2014 edition of its Portfolio Report of current borrowers, as part of its commitment to be transparent about what happens to the money that it lends and the social benefits it is supporting. This year, its Portfolio Report features case studies of one borrower in each of the sectors to which the Bank lends, and interviews with some of the people who benefit from the work of the Bank’s borrowers. The report identifies more than 250 organisations, categorised by sector: arts, community, regeneration, sport, education and youth, faith, housing, health and social care, and environment.
The Community Shares Underwriting Fund (CSUF), created and managed by social investment experts Resonance, has today received a £1 million investment from Big Society Capital. With further investments totalling half a million pounds from Barrow Cadbury Trust, Panahpur, Friends Provident Foundation and the Golden Bottle Trust, together with an initial investment of half a million pounds from Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, this expands the Fund’s total value to £2 million, making it the largest of its kind in the UK.
According to new research published by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), some of the poorest developing countries such as Afghanistan, Burundi and Liberia are making significant progress in their commitment to reducing hunger and undernutrition witnessed through increased action on these issues. Launched today, the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) 2013 measures political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition in 45 developing countries. It is an index comprising countries which have severe or extremely alarming ‘hunger’ statuses, showing levels of political commitment to tackle hunger and undernutrition in terms of policies, laws and spending.
A coalition of organisations has teamed up to launch new online technology, which will be available for free to all charities in the UK. Think-tank NPC has joined with Charities Evaluation Services and leading social research collective Substance to design two innovative tools, which will help charities focus on measuring what they do and think more about their overall impact on the people they support. Speaking at the launch event today, minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd welcomed the new tool and the potential to free up charities so that they can concentrate on what they do best, reaching out to assist people in need.
With changes afoot throughout the pensions industry, there is a need for better education for employers and members of pension schemes, according to The Pensions Trust, one of the leading workplace pension funds in the UK for the third sector. The Pensions Trust questioned 500 members and employers on their key pension concerns, with confusion around options in the lead up to retirement as well as options in retirement prevailing as a main theme. The poll found many members were unclear as to whether they could stop working before they reach 65, and still draw their pension, as well as confusion around their options if they decide to continue working past 65 years of age.
The public’s trust in charities has fallen by 10 percentage points in the last year, new research suggests. They now appear seventh in a newly published list of the most trusted institutions, coming behind the Royal Family and small businesses for the first time. The research also reveals what people say charities can do to reassure them, including reviewing costs annually and regulation by the Charity Commission. The poll of 1000 people, carried out by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 56% of people now trust charities ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a great deal, a significant fall from last year and the sector’s second lowest figure since 2007.
The postcode lottery of diabetes healthcare is now so great that people with the condition are four times more likely to get vital annual checks if they live in the best performing area in England than if they live in the worst, according to a new online tool. The data on Diabetes UK’s Diabetes Watch, which enables people with diabetes to compare care in their area with care around the country, shows that just 18.5 per cent of people with the condition in Mid-Essex get the eight annual checks recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. It is one of 27 areas in England where less than half of people with diabetes receive these checks.
To mark National School Sport Week which gets underway today, the Youth Sport Trust is to launch a new survey to investigate the quality and provision of PE and school sport, over concerns of a ‘postcode lottery‘ of participation. The survey, which has been developed with the support of headteachers, will aim to identify the varying levels of provision across the country and give schools the opportunity to assess their own performance against others locally and nationally. Since 2010 there has been no national survey resulting in a lack of current intelligence around provision, the activity levels of pupils, and emerging trends across physical education, physical activity and school sport.
The Institute of Fundraising has announced that Richard Taylor, executive director of Fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK (CRUK), has been nominated as its chair elect. Taylor will replace Mark Astarita when he stands down at the end of his three year term at the Institute’s AGM in July. Welcoming the nomination of his successor, Mark Astarita said: “I am delighted that I will be succeeded by one of the most successful Directors of Fundraising from the largest fundraising charity in the UK. Richard has already contributed a huge amount to the Institute over the last 3 years as a trustee, a member of Standards Committee and as our nominee on the Fundraising Standards Board.
With talk about an upturn in the economy being a little premature for the social business sector in Yorkshire and Humberside, Charity Bank and Yorkshire-based The Key Fund have set up Early Days and Changing Ways, a programme that recognises the need to provide crucial support to start-up enterprises and organisations in the region going through change or looking for new sources of income. To kick off the programme, the two organisations are delivering a roadshow at seven venues across Yorkshire and Humber starting in York on 24July and ending in Hull in September.
The Government has today announced a multi-million pound package of finance to boost the social investment market as it sets outs its strategy to grow the sector. In its 2014 progress report, the Cabinet Office reflects on the huge strides made in the market over the past 3 years, including: the introduction of the world’s first tax relief for social investment; the creation of Big Society Capital (the £600 million social investment bank) and significant growth in the number of social enterprises, which now employ more than 2 million people in the UK.
On the day that Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit online donation service from Virgin Money, announced that it has helped fundraisers to raise over £250 million (including Gift Aid) since its launch in late 2009, it also confirmed some interesting observations drawn from its own fundraising data. Virgin Money Giving recently announced that donations had grown by over 11% year-on-year despite continuing pressure on overall levels of giving in the UK, illustrating the increasing popularity of Virgin Money Giving and online giving in general. Over 9,000 charities are now registered with Virgin Money Giving, including all of the top 10 charity brands.
Government figures published today show that homelessness in London has risen for the fourth year running, with 29,152 households approaching their local authority as homeless – a 10% increase on figures published last year.
The ending of a private tenancy is now the leading cause of homelessness in London – up 29% on last year. The annual figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that in London in 2013/14: 15,187 households were accepted as homeless and a priority for housing in 2013/14 – an increase of 3% compared to the previous year. 11,540 homeless households were accommodated outside of their borough – a rise of 36%.
The Charity Commission has announced that it has opened a statutory inquiry into Life Foundation Trust, registered charity number 1147572. The charity, which was registered in 2012, has objects that include the promotion of education, the advancement of health and the saving of lives. Its registered address is in Manchester. The regulator is investigating concerns about the trustees’ decisions to enter into agreements by the charity to occupy vacant commercial premises, resulting in the charity becoming potentially liable for the payment of significant business rates.
Charities are in a unique position to influence the way Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are developed and used in the future, according to a new paper published today by charity think tank NPC. NPC argues that providers remain positive about the potential of SIBs to deliver strong outcomes for beneficiaries, even after recent poor publicity. The paper, Opportunities and lessons, draws on a recent roundtable meeting with experts in the field, convened by NPC and including several charities currently delivering services within SIB contracts. Opportunities and lessons argues that charities are well placed to exploit specialist knowledge in some areas of service delivery.
The Work Programme is failing those who need the most help to find work, according to a new report published today by the think-tank IPPR North.The report says the Work Programme is generally working for mainstream jobseekers, but is not working for people with health conditions. The report shows that over a quarter of a million people with health conditions have joined the Work Programme, but only 1 in 20 of them have found work, compared to 1 in 5 mainstream jobhunters. Only 1 in 25 people with a mental and behavioural disorder have gone on to find work, despite this being the most common health condition for people on the programme.
Sir John Elvidge, former Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, and Fellow of the Carnegie UK Trust, has argued that improving the wellbeing of UK citizens depends on a new and more ‘Enabling’ State approach being adopted by our Government. To do that, government needs to stop being a barrier to the empowerment of people. The finding is one of several key actions outlined in a new report A route map to an Enabling State, produced by Sir John on behalf of philanthropic organisation, the Carnegie UK Trust.
The Financial Promotion Regime - the legislative and regulatory framework which regulates the marketing of smaller-scale investments to investors based in the UK – presents a number of ‘barriers both for investors and investees which risk stifling the growth of the social investment marketplace’, according to a new report published today by the Social Investment Research Council. Marketing Social Investments – An Outline of the UK Financial Promotion Regime, finds that at present the Regime largely fails to appreciate the distinctive features of social investment, where investments are often small-scale, localised, involve personal associations and financial return is often a secondary consideration.
Charity Bank last night recognised three of its borrowers in its annual Impact Awards. The awards were open to all current Charity Bank borrowers and comprised three categories: greatest impact, most innovative use of loan finance, and best community initiative. The award winners are: Emmaus Brighton and Hove, winner of the award for Greatest Impact. For the organisation most able to demonstrate that it is achieving profound, life-enhancing and enduring change for those with whom they work...
A new survey reveals that while 80% of senior executives got involved with charities to ‘give something back’, over two-thirds (68%) said it was a desire to develop their skills in a different environment that was a key factor. The report, Philanthropic Journeys, commissioned by the charity Pilotlight and carried out by Dr Beth Breeze from the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, includes a survey of over 225 business leaders and philanthropists across England and Scotland.
Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO, the charity leaders’ network, has today criticised ministers and MPs who have sought to gag the campaigning activity of charities such as Oxfam and the Trussell Trust. His comments emerge in the wake of complaints by a Conservative MP about a recent Oxfam campaign entitled The Perfect Storm which claims to highlight the contemporary causes of UK poverty. In a letter to William Shawcross, chair of Charity regulator the Charity Commission Sir Stephen argues that such campaigns are a crucial part of our democracy and the regulator must protect those historic rights.
Britons fear the country is becoming ever more materialistic as the economic recovery takes hold, according to new research published today. And most (59%) people think Britons are often too focussed on their own lives to help others, according to the study by the Charities Aid Foundation, which comes as the British founder of a new global giving campaign - #GivingTuesday - comes to the UK to officially launch the day of generosity in this country. Half of British adults (48%) believe that the economic situation will improve in the next year, and half (48%) say that if the economy does improve, and wages increase, people should spend more money on charities as well as themselves, according to the survey by ComRes.
Big Lottery Fund is in advanced talks to match over £260 million of Lottery funding with money from Europe in a move that will open up new funding opportunities for the sector, Big Lottery Fund chief executive, Dawn Austwick, told delegates today at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ conference, Evolve. The move follows months of work from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), government departments and Big Lottery Fund, looking at how to increase sector involvement in European funding, which historically has been limited.
The government must do more to “widen ladders of opportunity, smash glass ceilings and back the British underdog” says Conservative MP Dominic Raab in his new pamphlet The Meritocrat’s Manifesto, to be published by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank on Wednesday.
The Brazilian authorities’ promises that the opening of the World Cup would be a global celebration ring hollow, warned Amnesty International, as the human rights charity accused Brazilian police of brutally repressing peaceful protesters in Sao Paulo earlier yesterday, injuring at least two journalists. According to eye witnesses Amnesty International spoke to, military police fired tear gas and stun grenades against peaceful demonstrators in Sao Paulo - around six miles from the stadium where the opening match of the tournament took place yesterday evening.
The setting up of a Government-backed financial regulator could lead to ‘potentially expensive and risky’ red tape according to a stark warning from a financial think-tank report. Next April will see a new regulator being introduced to oversee the UK payments system, which is responsible for every card purchase, payment or bank transaction. Last year the system processed approximately 7 billion transactions, worth over £75 trillion. The Treasury has tasked the regulator with promoting greater competition in the retail banking sector, as well as ensuring that payment systems operate in the interests of its users.
The Office of the Scottish Regulator (OSCR), the Scottish charity regulator, is investigating The Dignity Project, registered charity SC027546, for an abusive tweet which appeared on its twitter page yesterday. In reference to author JK Rowling’s £1m donation to the pro-UK campaign, the tweet read: “What a #bitch after we gave her shelter in our city when she was a single mum.”
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations today announced the launch of a major review into the future of the voluntary sector’s finances. The review will cover issues including: changes in voluntary income; future funding relationships between government and the voluntary sector; the growing role of trading; the role of social investment; changes in corporate giving; pensions deficits. Led by NCVO, the review will be directed by a steering group comprised of the chief executives of Charity Finance Group, the Institute of Fundraising, and Navca, as well as a representative of the Small Charities Coalition.
Poor planning and a lack of attention to maintenance means that traditional work to address problems with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) often wastes substantial amounts of capital, according to a new paper published today by the Stone Family Foundation in collaboration with consultancy and think tank NPC. This poor planning results from funding approaches — such as giving toilets and water away for free — which mean that access to WASH cannot be sustained in the long-term. How to spend a penny argues that funding more innovative, entrepreneurial initiatives can offer more effective, enduring solutions.
More than half of people think charities should be out spending their money rather than saving it, according to research out today. The poll, carried out by research consultancy nfpSynergy, reveals that over a third of think charities should have less than six months’ worth of expenditure in reserves. It also shows that people are more likely to agree charities need larger reserves when talking in months, rather than actual money. The nationally representative study saw 1,000 British adults asked what they thought was the lowest amount of expenditure it would be wise for a charity to keep in reserves in case income dropped.
Food banks and food aid charities gave more than 20 million meals last year to people in the UK who could not afford to feed themselves - a 54 per cent increase on the previous 12 months, according to a report published by Oxfam, Church Action on Poverty and The Trussell Trust. Below the Breadline warns that there has been a rise in people turning to food banks in affluent areas. Cheltenham, Welwyn Garden City and North Lakes have seen numbers of users double and in some cases treble. The massive rise in meals handed out by food banks and food aid charities is a damning indictment of an increasingly unequal Britain where five families have the same wealth as the poorest 20 per cent of the population.
Charity fundraising regulator, the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) today released the UK’s annual charity fundraising complaint figures, reporting 48,432 complaints in 2013. The FRSB Complaints Report 2014, with data analysis by MetaMetrics, presents an overview of the complaints incurred by 1,203 charities with fundraising programmes that deliver £4.6 billion in voluntary income annually.
Charities made almost 20 billion donor contacts during the year when appealing for funds across a variety of channels: including advertising, direct marketing, public collections, events and more.
In light of the massacre of upwards of 500 people by Boko Haram in Borno State, Nigeria on 3 June 2014, following the kidnapping of 329 girls in Chibok, Nigeria on 14 April 2014, the latest strategic briefing from think-tank The Henry Jackson Society - Terrorism in Nigeria: The Threat from Boko Haram and Ansaru - provides a most relevant assessment of the mortal danger the terrorist group Boko Haram and its splinter group, Ansaru, pose to Nigeria, the region and the West. Surveying the diplomatic, military and intelligence landscape, Terrorism in Nigeria reveals the implications of the current, inadequate regional efforts towards defeating Boko Haram and Ansaru.
Victim Support has been commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to provide the homicide service for England and Wales for a further two and a half years.The independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime will continue to provide specialist support for families bereaved by murder or manslaughter until 2017. Since the creation of a national homicide service in 2010, Victim Support has helped more than 4,800 people after the violent death of a loved one. All the help provided by the homicide service is confidential and free. The charity has specially trained 40 staff and 70 volunteers who provide emotional and practical support to bereaved families.
The Charity Commission today published two new audio podcasts, designed to help charity trustees understand their duties under charity law. Over two podcasts, trustees can hear from experienced Commission staff about the principles of some of the regulators guidance. The new episodes published today include: Beneficiaries as trustees: Neal Green, Policy Adviser at the Charity Commission is joined by Dominic Cookson, from a charity that supports children, teenagers, adults and families living with and affected by HIV to discuss the benefits of ‘user trusteeship” and how the regulator’s guidance can help charities foresee and avoid some problems that might occur.
Local government and local health commissioners are under growing pressure to solve social problems and arts and culture organisations can play a much more central role in helping to address these problems, according to a new report published today. The NPC-authored report, produced as part of the Cultural Commissioning Programme, argues that commissioners and cultural organisations alike must be bold in seizing this opportunity. The Cultural Commissioning Programme is a partnership programme led by NCVO with NPC and nef. It is a collaboration to boost commissioning from arts and cultural organisations to deliver effective public service outcomes.
The Charity Commission has announced that Nazo Moosa has tendered her resignation as a Board member and chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, with effect from 18 September. William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission, said: “Nazo has made a very important contribution as a member of the Charity Commission Board over the last year. Her experience in change management and her business expertise has been invaluable to the Commission during the last year as we have embarked on a wide ranging programme of change and improvement. I am so grateful to her for all she has done.”
The Charity Commission has named further charities subject to statutory inquiry, following a development in its policy on announcing the opening of investigations. The regulator now publishes a statement about the opening of an investigation as a matter of course, on the basis that it is in the public interest to do so, unless there are special circumstances. The move comes in response to increased public interest in information about charities under investigation and in a move to increase transparency. In the past, the Commission’s default position was not to make public an inquiry, unless there were specific public interest arguments for doing so.
Successful applicants to the Lloyds Bank Foundation’s funding programmes view the grant maker very positively, according to new research into stakeholders’ experiences. Nine out of ten grantees found them to be very helpful and thought the process was very good, although their unsuccessful applicants were less positive about the experience. The Foundation commissioned nfpSynergy to find out their stakeholders’ understanding, perceptions and perspective and have now made these results available to the public. Nine out of ten grantees rated the application process ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, while the same number found the Foundation very helpful.
A global Red Cross leader has warned of "dire humanitarian consequences" if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically and soon. Tadateru Konoe, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, called for vulnerable communities to be given more information to help them prepare for the effects of climate change. He was writing in response to the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published on 31 March. President Konoe said: “If we continue emitting greenhouse gases as we do today, we will be reaching the limits of adaptation in more and more places, and the humanitarian consequences will be dire.”
The opposition of nearly 350 charities to the government’s new ‘workfare’ programme has ‘holed the scheme below the waterline’, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today. Unite has welcomed the news that 345 voluntary sector organisations, including household names such as Shelter, Crisis, Scope and Oxfam, have pledged not to take part in the Community Work Placements (CWP) programme. The indications are that the flagship scheme has been delayed. This week was meant to be the deadline for organisations to start the new mandatory CWPs which require that jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimants do six months work placement – or risk losing their benefits.
The Human Dignity Trust, an organisation of international lawyers supporting local partners to decriminalise homosexuality by upholding human rights and constitutional law, has a hearing before the Charity Tribunal today in its battle to be formally recognised as a charity. The Charity Commission has denied the organisation charitable status, interpreting its focus as too 'political' and not matching the regulators definition of 'public benefit'. In a statement The Human Dignity Trust, said: "The decriminalisation of homosexuality is not a political issue, it is about fundamental human rights; criminalising homosexuality is a violation of domestic and international human rights law.
The Charity Commission has today published revised guidance on setting up and registering a charity. The core guidance on How to set up a charity (CC21a) is designed as a practical and concise “how-to” guide, broken down into seven steps, see below. The core document is accompanied by more detailed guidance on writing charitable purposes, choosing a charity name, recruiting trustees and applying to register.
The Social Economy Alliance, a growing collaboration of more than 400 socially-driven organisations, today called for a French-style ’90-10’ rule to be included in the forthcoming pensions bill, announced today in the Queen’s Speech. Under such a rule, pension fund managers would have to offer savers a choice of at least one social investment fund. The Alliance is calling for a series of measures to allow the UK economy to deliver more for communities and society. These include an urgent extension of social value laws which currently apply to spending on public services.
A new online directory of social enterprises designed to encourage the private and public sectors to ‘Buy Social’ will be launched today. The Buy Social Directory: www.buysocialdirectory.org.uk, is a free resource that offers an easily accessible central hub for the products and services available from over 10,000 UK based social enterprise suppliers. Social enterprises are businesses with a social or environmental mission that reinvest their profits. Buying from social enterprises therefore increases the impact that we can have on communities.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is calling on charities across the capital to apply for new funding as part of his drive to boost volunteering. Team London, the Mayor’s citywide volunteering initiative, today launched its small grants 2014 programme to coincide with Volunteering Week: this week, 1– 7 June. At least 10 charities will benefit from the grants, which are worth up to £10,000 each. This year, applications are open to those that help place young people and those from hard-to-reach groups in volunteering positions, as well as charities that provide local volunteering opportunities for the wider community.
Charity think-tank NPC today publishes a new paper, Four pillars, which maps-out its unique approach to measuring how charities demonstrate the value of their work. The paper is released to coincide with today’s conference convened by NPC, to discuss how charities analyse the impact they have on their beneficiaries. Four Pillars argues that impact measurement is crucial if charities are to learn from their activities, develop their strongest work, and provide effective help to the people who rely on them. This process needs the support of senior staff and trustees, as well as the allocation of time and resources–but with this in place NPC describes the four key requirements charities should meet.
Rathbone Investment Management has been shortlisted for the Echo Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2014, part of the Echo Regional Business Awards to be held on 3 July at St George’s Hall, Liverpool. The awards recognise those companies, business leaders and teams which have demonstrated excellence in all fields of commerce and industry. The Corporate Social Responsibility Award specifically acknowledges firms that are putting time or money back into the community. The awards dinner will be hosted by former BBC broadcaster Peter Sissons and will be attended by top business professionals from the Liverpool area.
The world renowned emergency medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has a new UK executive director, Vickie Hawkins. The first British person to hold the position, Hawkins has been working for MSF since 1998. Hawkins brings extensive field experience to the role, having worked for MSF in China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. Most recently Hawkins has spent three years in Myanmar (Burma), where she oversaw the charity’s work in the troubled Rakhine province.
A homelessness charity that works collaboratively with the construction and property industry has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Big Society Award. Since 1996 CRASH has developed bespoke partnerships across the construction and property industry to build and refurbish emergency night shelters, hostels and day centres, empowering companies to provide more than money to charities on the frontline of the fight against homelessness. Last year, CRASH supported 68 homelessness projects, leveraging £188,974 of pro-bono professional expertise, £190,391 of donated and discounted materials and cash grants totalling £155,586 to help improve buildings and services.
On May 25th 2014, an American citizen, going by the nom de guerre Abu Huraira al-Amriki, carried out a suicide attack in Syria’s northern province of Idlib. The attack is believed to have been conducted against a government facility on behalf of the al-Qaeda franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra. US intelligence now believes that over 100 Americans have fought in Syria. Abu Huraira al-Amriki is the first US citizen to carry out a suicide attack in Syria’s ongoing conflict, but he is not the first US citizen or resident to have carried out attacks abroad in jihadist causes.
The Big Lottery Fund’s support contract, to inspire and support community-led enterprise ahead of the launch of its planned £150m ‘Power to Change’ fund in autumn 2014, has been awarded to a consortium led by Locality, the Plunkett Foundation and UnLtd. Over the next seven months, Locality and partners will help develop existing community enterprises and encourage other entrepreneurs to get involved. Power to Change will see the establishment of the largest independent grant-making trust in recent years. Backed by Trinity Mirror and the National Lottery, Power to Change will award £150 million of grants to support community enterprise across England.
The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) has been awarded £4.5m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), putting delivery of a subterranean ride on Mail Rail – the old Post Office Underground Railway – on track. HLF’s grant is a major vote of confidence in the BPMA’s plans for a new, national museum and paves the way for its success. Approximately 95% funded, BPMA is now focusing on raising the remaining capital necessary to enter the build phase, with construction expected to begin later this year. The Postal Museum will chart almost 400 years of Britain’s social, communications and design history through the iconic postal service, bringing to light the extraordinary stories of one organisation’s constant struggle to keep the world in touch.
The Big Lottery Fund has been helping organisations across the UK since June 2004 to get the most out of Lottery funding. £6 billion has now been awarded to make a real difference to community groups and projects. In England, the Fund’s Reaching Communities award programme has also reached a milestone this month with awards now over £1 billion. Almost 4,000 projects have been supported over the past decade. Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund chair, said: “At the very core of our funding has been the passion and commitment by organisations of all sizes to use Lottery funding effectively and creatively to make a real difference to people and communities most in need.
UK Community Foundations’ (UKCF) Enrich List has calculated that £49 billion annually could be given to support communities across the UK, if all businesses gave the average corporate donation of £10,000. Community foundations could then grow this pot by at least ten per cent, to £55 billion every year, through their economies of scale. If this was distributed through the UKCF network it would mean that: Every NEET could be trained and employed by social enterprises set up with donations from businesses; every young carer in the UK could be given a week’s break, including activities
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Augustine Housing Trust: registered charity number 1100151. The Commission raised concerns with the trustees of the charity regarding agreements entered into by the charity to occupy commercial premises, some of which have resulted or may result in the charity becoming liable for the payment of business rates. Additional concerns about the trustees’ failure to comply with their legal obligations to produce independently examined accounts were also raised.
Volunteering boosts employability, self-esteem and health, according to a new report published today by Citizens Advice to mark Volunteers’ Week. The new report ‘CAB volunteering – how everyone benefits’ also reveals that 6 in 10 people who give their time to the Citizens Advice service feel less stressed as a result. The research also found volunteering can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer with mental health problems. Three-quarters of individuals identified with mental health issues said that “volunteering helped them feel more able to manage their condition.”
The latest figures from the Charity Commission showed that the number of charity workers rose by 35,000 in the year to March 2014, with 897,000 people in total employed in the sector. However, the number of trustees in Britain remained almost static at 947,000. Trustees Unlimited wants this to change. It is marking Volunteers’ Week 2014 by calling for more young professionals across Britain to become charity trustees. Ian Joseph, CEO, Trustees Unlimited commented: “There are just over 180,000 charities in England and Wales registered with the Charity Commission, and it’s estimated that around half have at least one vacancy on their board.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recently approved the new Charities Statements of Recommended Practice (SORP) for publication. The FRC are required to review the Charities SORPs to ensure that: They have been prepared in accordance with the FRC’s Policy and Code of Practice on SORPs. They do not appear to contain fundamental points of principle that are unacceptable in the context of current practice or to conflict with an accounting standard.
The outgoing chief executive of the Charity Commission is urging people to consider carefully how setting up a new charity will make a difference to their chosen cause. Speaking at the Ascension Trust Practitioners Conference in Manchester, Sam Younger said that too many people set up a new charity before considering other ways of making an impact, and that this often leads to poorly managed charities. Younger said: “One of the great strengths of our society is the charitable instinct of its people. People identify a new need or a new way of addressing an existing need, and they use the vehicle of charity do to something about it.
The Charity Commission has today published a report of its inquiry into the charitable company, The Egyptian Community Association in the UK. The inquiry was opened in November 2011 after the regulator obtained evidence that charitable funds had been transferred into the personal bank accounts of one of the charity’s trustees, Nehad Gamal-Eldin. During the investigation the Commission established misconduct and mismanagement by the trustee in relation to the charitable company and charitable funds he held in his bank account.
This year's Tax Freedom Day, the day when Britons stop working for the government and start working for themselves, falls today, according to Adam Smith Institute calculations. This means that Britons work 148 days of the year solely to pay their taxes, including direct taxes like income tax and national insurance, and indirect taxes like VAT and corporation tax. This is three days earlier than 2013's Tax Freedom Day, which is not statistically significant. Tax Freedom Day is designed to illustrate to the public what real level of tax is, which the lengthy, complex nature of Britain’s tax code can often obscure.
The Governor of the Bank Of England has warned that capitalism is at risk of destroying itself unless bankers and the banking system realise they have an obligation to create a fairer society. In a wide-ragning speech Mark Carney warned that bankers had operated a "heads-I-win-tails-you-lose" system and questioned whether traders met ethical standards. He warned those that failed to meet high professional standards going forward should face ostracism.
The first steps towards a national network of churches, communities and credit unions will be unveiled today at a launch, supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury's Task Group on Responsible Lending. The Church Credit Champions Network (CCCN) aims to create a network of people who will bring together churches, communities and responsible lenders. The scheme is being piloted in three Church of England Dioceses - Southwark, Liverpool and London. The members will act as advocates for the community finance providers.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Insaan Relief, registered charity number 1139690. The charity is based in Nottingham and its objects include “to relieve poverty, distress and suffering amongst people in any part of the world.” Concerns of how the charity applied its charitable funds and unmanaged conflicts of interest were raised with the Commission in December 2012.
The independence of not-for-profit organisations is at risk due to the hostile rhetoric and regressive policies of governments around the world. This is stopping these non-governmental organisations (NGOs) speaking out and is limiting the freedom of them to manage their own finances, claims a report released today. These governments risk alienating donors and damaging civil society. In many countries NGOs are being prevented from performing their crucial role in holding governments to account and helping to drive improvements.
The Charity Commission has welcomed today’s sentencing of Syed Hajnajafi to five years and Akila Kassam to three years imprisonment for defrauding the charity Afghan Poverty Relief, charity registration number 1103876, out of £350,000. The Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the charity in February 2012 to investigate concerns relating to the alleged misappropriation of charity funds and concerns about the charity’s administration, governance and overall management. At the same time, the regulator took action to prevent the same two trustees from entering into certain transactions in the administration of the charity.
For the second year running, ACEVO has partnered with Google and NESTA for the 2014 Google Impact Challenge, which launches today. ACEVO will provide support and mentorship to applicants to the challenge. In the largest competition of its kind, the top four submissions selected by both a panel of judges and the public will each receive a £500,000 grant, as well as technical assistance and mentoring from Google and NESTA, to help make their project a reality. Six runners up will each receive £200,000.
Former deputy chief executive of the NCVO, Ben Kernighan, has left his post as the chief executive of the National Union of Students (NUS) after ten months in charge. Kernighan, who was at the NCVO for 15 years, joined the NUS in July of last year. Peter Robertson, managing director of NUS Services, the commercial arm of the NUS, will lead the organisation until a replacement for Kernighan is found. In a statement the NUS said: "After careful consideration Ben Kernighan has decided that he does not wish to continue in his position as chief executive of NUS and has now left the organisation.
On the eve of the 22-25 May 2014 elections, a new report provides a timely insight into the swell of traditionally fringe parties in Europe. The Rise of Outsider Parties in the 2014 EU Elections by the think-tank The Henry Jackson Society, forecasts a momentous gain in the political representation for fringe parties in this week’s EU Elections, with four parties polling over a quarter of their respective national vote.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into My Community UK, registered charity number 1137137. The charity is based in Manchester and its objects include “to relieve poverty, advance education and promote good health of individuals in need”. Concerns were raised with the Commission in December 2012 that the trustees were failing to properly managed conflicts of interest and that people closely connected to the trustees were obtaining unauthorised private benefits.
School coursework should be revamped to encourage learning out of the classroom and let pupils gain valuable character skills to prepare them for later life. The idea is being championed by the think-tank Demos, who suggests traditional desk-based projects could be replaced with volunteering-style tasks, or what educational experts call 'service learning'. The idea could see pupils researching and giving guided tours of local historical monuments, teaching pensioners IT skills, or coaching younger pupils to play new sports.
Gloucestershire Young Carers has been named the overall winner of this year’s GSK IMPACT Awards at a ceremony held at London’s Science Museum last night. The charity was selected for special recognition from over four hundred charities nationwide who applied for funding from GSK’s flagship UK community investment programme. Gloucestershire Young Carers stood out for their support for young people, up to the age of 25, with caring responsibilities for a family member with physical disabilities, mental health issues, or substance misuse. The GSK IMPACT Awards, run in partnership with The King’s Fund and now in their seventeenth year, are seen as a mark of achievement in the not-for-profit sector.
The next government must prioritise preventative spending in order to address social problems and save money in the long term, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said today. The charity representative body said that a short-term approach to spending is failing communities and limiting the potential for real financial savings for the exchequer. Launching its 2015 manifesto, NCVO said future governments should adopt a 'ten-year test' by which spending decisions would be measured to assess their social and economic benefits over a longer period.
Street Child United, Motivation and Saferworld have been named winners of Bond International Development Awards, the UK’s first international development awards. Justine Greening, secretary of State for International Development, announced the winners at a ceremony in Saddlers Wells, London, last night. The awards celebrate the innovative and exciting work by British international development organisations. They are an initiative of Bond, the UK membership body that unites over 400 development organisations working for the world’s most vulnerable people.
ACEVO has launched a dedicated Commission to advise charities and social enterprises on investing responsibly. The ACEVO Commission begins as the charity sector still grapples with the issues raised in December 2013 by a BBC Panorama programme on charity investments, which highlighted the ethical issues charities face when navigating the investment market. It is launched just as Comic Relief, a charity featured the Panorama programme, announced its own measures to improve its practices.
After the release of the Charity Commission’s Pension Deficit Report, Caron Bradshaw, chief Executive of the Charity Finance Group, gave the CFG view on the situation. Bradshaw said: “For some time CFG has been hearing from our members that they are concerned with challenges arising from pension scheme deficits. The findings revealed by the Charity Commission yesterday underscore the tensions in this area and the struggle charities face in responding to the serious risks posed.
The Charity Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry in to the charity Islamic Education and Research Academy – IERA, registered charity number 1108821. IERA’s objects are to advance the Islamic religion and, to educate the public in the ways of Islam and to promote and disseminate research into the Islamic faith. The charity is based in London.The regulator said its inquiry is investigating concerns about the charity’s governance. The inquiry was opened following a records inspection at the charity’s premises in January 2014.
The Charity Commission is reminding charities that they should use their Trustees’ Annual Report to explain how they are tackling the potentially serious risk of a pension scheme deficit. The message follows a review conducted by the regulator of the accounts of charities whose pension schemes are in deficit. The Commission identified 740 charities with an income of over £500,000 whose accounts showed a deficit; it randomly selected 97 of these for a more detailed review. The review is part of the Commission’s programme of thematic reviews of charities’ accounts, aimed at checking charities’ compliance with the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice, identifying risks facing charities and identifying regulatory concerns in individual charities.
A new report by the think-tank Henry Jackson Society provides the first statistical analysis of its kind on the evolution of the terrorist threat in the Sinai since the Egyptian revolution three years ago. Terror in the Sinai, launched today by the Henry Jackson Society, examines the terrorist threat coming from the Sinai Peninsula. The report assesses the presence of al-Qaeda and its ideology in the Sinai, emerging ties between Salafi-jihadist groups and local Bedouins, and the successes and failures of the Egyptian army’s recent military efforts in confronting the threat.
Senior MPs from Labour and the Conservatives yesterday made their first pre-election pitches to the charity and social enterprise sector. ACEVO’s Gathering of Social Leaders, the leading political event for the charity and social enterprise sector, brought together policymakers and sector leaders: and took place exactly one year before the General Election on 7 May 2015. Nick Hurd MP, minister for Civil Society, emphasised that the Government has championed charities and social enterprises, and will set out the Cabinet Office’s plans for the year before the election.
At an address to the RSA tonight, NPC’s CEO Dan Corry will warn that precious little is known about how charities use the money entrusted to them, and almost nothing about how effective it is improving the lives of people who rely on charities for help. He will highlight that the UK’s charity sector is worth £60bn a year, equivalent to the government’s total budget for transport and defence spending each year. Yet he will add that we know precious little about how charities use the money entrusted to them, and almost nothing about how effective it is improving the lives of people who rely on charities for help.
Britain's membership of the European Union is shown to have had no positive impact on trade with other members in a detailed analysis of UK exports published today by the cross-party think tank Civitas. A study of British export figures since 1960 exposes the "empty rhetoric" behind oft-repeated claims that the EU gives the UK an essential trade advantage. Britain's trade with other EU nations accounts for no more of its trade with all leading economies than it did on joining the European Economic Community in 1973, the report shows.
Foundation grant-making has risen by 10% in real terms, despite a drop in income of around the same amount – demonstrating the adaptability, resilience and vitality of the UK’s charitable foundation sector in the face of falling donations. The finding has emerged from the first of a new series of annual research reports, Foundation Giving Trends, led by Professor Cathy Pharoah of the Centre for Giving and Philanthropy at the Cass Business School, published by the Association of Charitable Foundations, and substantially supported by the Pears Foundation.
Britain is to join the global movement to create a new national day for giving this year, it was announced today. #GivingTuesday – a global campaign encouraging people to give their time, money or voice to charity on one day – will take place on December 2nd 2014. The UK campaign will be led by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), working closely with Blackbaud, the Cabinet Office, and a wide range of charities, companies and sector bodies, building on the enormous success of the campaign in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, Israel and across Latin America.
Over 400 local organisations from across England have taken the first step towards ensuring that buildings like the local pub are not sold off and lost to the community or are running an improved community-led service in their area with help from the Community Assets and Services Grants. The Community Assets and Services Grants managed on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government by the Social Investment Business in partnership with Locality and ACEVO has already committed over £12.8m in grants to early stage community ventures looking to buy or manage steva building for the community or deliver a local service.
CoVi (Common Vision) an independent, London-based think tank, today announces a new crowdfunding and crowdsourcing initiative that will see the organisation become the first of its kind in the policy and research sector. The crowdfunding initiative, hosted on popular web platform Indiegogo, will fundraise from individuals and organisations who support CoVi's mission to promote civic engagement beyond conventional left-wing and right-wing partisan political debates.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Children in Deen, charity registration number 1101600, to investigate serious concerns about the governance and financial management of the charity. The Commission initially engaged with the charity in February 2014 over concerns related to organising and participating in humanitarian aid convoys to Syria. This engagement included a monitoring visit and an inspection of the charity’s financial records, which raised serious regulatory concerns about the trustees’ management and administration of the charity.
Sparks, the children’s medical research charity, has appointed Zillah Bingley as its new chief executive. Bingley trained as a lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and worked for them for 14 years following which she worked in Management Consultancy. The appointment follows her most recent roles as Head of Workforce Communication and Change at Mercer and as an independent strategy consultant. While working in the legal sector, Bingley has been involved with a number of charities and arts organisations.
New analysis by Citizens Advice Scotland has shone light onto the deeply uncomfortable reality lived by thousands of people in Scotland. Between January and March this year, the issue of not having enough money to buy food was raised 1,311 times by clients. That equates to one in every 50 Citizens Advice Bureau clients. Ahead of appearing in front of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee to talk about this issue, Keith Dryburgh, CAS Policy Manager and author of the new Voices from the Frontline report on food parcels and the benefits system said: “Citizens Advice Bureaux are used to being a port of call in crisis, but this issue is a new and growing one.
Big Society Capital, the world's first social investment bank, today published its 2013 annual report, outlining performance to date and setting out a new three-year strategy. As of December 2013, Big Society Capital had received £225.4 million of funding from the Reclaim Fund and four UK high street banks, making total cumulative commitments of £149.1 million, with matching funding of 116% from third party investors alongside Big Society Capital’s own signed investments.
Charities have been told they should publish full details of the pay of their senior executives, in order to maintain public trust. The recommendation comes in the report today of an inquiry into executive pay set up by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Charities are legally required to provide an indication of the number of staff in pay bands over £60,000 in their annual report. But today’s report says they must go further and publish the exact salaries of named senior staff members in an accessible place on their websites, giving donors ‘two clicks to clarity’.
The Charity Commission has today published inquiry reports into four of the charities that were under investigation as a result of double defaulting on their annual accounts and returns. The first phase of the inquiry focussing on ‘double defaulting’ charities with an income over £500,000 began on 20 September 2013, when the class inquiry opened. The Commission started the second phase on 11 November 2013, turning to charities with a last known income of between £250,000 and £500,000.
Vinay Nair joins Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) and the Social Investment Business (SIB) today to focus on raising new funds and increase the supply of simple finance to charities and social enterprises. Nair joins from Acumen, a global social impact investor, where he was head of international business development for three years and built the organisation’s presence across Europe. Nair’s experience covers a wide range of philanthropic and commercial fundraising.
A key government mechanism to boost innovation in public services could be preventing rather than promoting new ways of working, a report today warns. Payment by Results (PbR), where a contractor is paid for a successful outcome rather than for undertaking specified activity, has been seen as an important tool for public service reform. It is intended to give providers the freedom to decide how to achieve results rather than requiring them to follow directions from government. But the National Council for Voluntary Organisations has warned that the instability created for providers by PbR is in danger of making them more risk-averse and less inclined to experiment with new ways to achieve results.
A new £2m Office for Civil Society fund will help community and volunteer-led projects provide extra support to older people next winter.The fund will support volunteer-led projects to play a vital role in helping older people stay healthy or recover quicker from illness. These projects can in turn help avoid unnecessary pressure on A&E services or delayed discharges from hospital.There are already a number of volunteer-led programmes providing support in this way.
Britain faces a North-South divide in charitable giving, reflecting the broader regional divide in the economic recovery, according to research released today by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). In a poll, people in the South East were nearly twice as likely (11%) to be increasing their charitable support over the next 12 months than Northerners (6%). When asked about their spending plans in other areas, such as how much they plan to spend on their holidays or on leisure activities, a higher percentage of adults in the South East say that they are likely to increase their spending than those in the North.
Trust, a giving culture and a good uptake of technology are essential if digital fundraising is to work for charities, a new report has found. Digital fundraising – a world of opportunity, published by nfpSynergy in partnership with the Resource Alliance, assessed the factors influencing online giving trends and identified three principles which are central to success: Trust – a lack of confidence in a non-profit’s operations and its effective use of donations will deter people from donating. Among several recommendations, the report suggests that organisations situated in unstable political climates can become more effective fundraisers by first cultivating a trustworthy reputation over a number of years in advance of launching their first campaigns.
Paula Sussex has been appointed the new chief executive of the Charity Commission. She will take up the appointment from 30 June 2014. Sussex joins the Commission from CGI, where she is senior vice president, Public Sector and a member of the CGI UK board. William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission, said: “I am delighted to announce Paula’s appointment and so looking forward to working with her.
Over 900,000 adults and children have received three days emergency food and support from Trussell Trust foodbanks in the last 12 months, a 163% rise on numbers helped in the previous financial year. Despite signs of economic recovery, the poorest have seen incomes squeezed even more than last year reports The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest foodbank network.More people are being referred to Trussell Trust foodbanks than ever before.
Whalley Community Hydro – a community renewable energy scheme in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley – is the first organisation to be awarded a loan by Charity Bank following Big Society Capital’s investment in the Bank last month. Big Society Capital agreed to make its largest ever single investment – up to £14.5m of ordinary shares in Charity Bank in three successive tranches between 2014 and 2016 – on 28 March 2014. As Charity Bank, which attracts deposits from socially-conscious individuals and lends solely to charities and other organisations with charitable purposes, said at the time, this investment represents a significant step towards the Bank’s goal to increase the amount it lends to charities from its current level of around £55m to around £250m by December 2018.
MPs have a moral duty to declare the Supreme Court the highest authority in the UK, unpick unwanted EU laws one by one and challenge Brussels to "do its worst", the head of the Civitas think-tank argues in a new report. Dr David Green calls for an amendment to the 1972 European Communities Act to enshrine in law the superiority of the Supreme Court over the EU Court of Justice. The move would amount to a "unilateral declaration of independence" without tearing up all EU laws and regulations in one go, he says. The proposal comes in a scathing denunciation of the damage the EU has wreaked upon Britain's proud traditions of liberty and democracy since 1973.
A survey has revealed people in England want more local decision making.The survey by the Institute for Public Policy Research North think-tank found 39% of people living in England believed local authorities should have more powers. It also found trust in local councils (64%) was almost twice as high as trust in Parliament (36%). The report also found that more people felt very or fairly closely attached to their local area (80%) than to England as a whole (75%), Britain (66%) or Europe (26%).
The shortlist has been announced for the third Insight in Fundraising Awards, an initiative of the Institute of Fundraising’s Special Interest Group for Insight in Fundraising (IoF Insight SIG). This year’s event attracted the highest number of entries to date, more than 50% up on last year, a testament to how the fundraising insight community has embraced the event. Winners will be presented at the awards ceremony and gala dinner being held at the prestigious Grand Connaught Rooms in Holburn, London, on Tuesday 3 June.
Nearly seven million Britons have raised money for charity through running in the last 12 months, according to a survey released today. This is a 36% rise since the previous year, as two million more people join the continuing boom for fun runs. Each runner is also raising £78 more than in 2012/13, the average increasing to £358. The figures, from a survey conducted for the Charities Aid Foundation, which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector, also found that men are moving ahead when it comes to running for charity, a trend which could account for the overall rise.
Today the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) announced an ambitious set of plans for the future, including a new name to reflect its commitment to tackle poverty. From today, it will be known as All We Can, the Methodist relief and development partner. The charity’s new strategy and strengthened identity are the result of a wide-ranging strategic review, carried out over the last year, involving supporters, staff, volunteers and overseas partners.
The chairman of the Charity Commission says the Commission needs adequate funding and stronger legal powers if it is to meet Parliament’s expectations. William Shawcross’ comments come as the Commission issues its formal response to a critical Public Accounts Committee report. In its response, the Commission says the regulator has already implemented many of the recommendations in the report. The Commission also notes that it has responded both to severe funding reductions and to Parliament’s expectation that the charity regulator perform a wide range of functions.
The sixth annual Coutts Million Pound Donors Report, in association with the University of Kent launched today, finding UK philanthropy is buoyant with the highest level of £1m-plus donations in the UK in 2012 since the financial crisis in 2009, rising 9% from 2010/11 to £1.35bn in 2012. Not only did the value of donations increase but so did the average donation size as more than half (56%) of all million pound gifts worth £2m or more.
CALM, the mental health charity focused on men, has commissioned public and third sector research specialists Public Knowledge to carry out the Year of the Male's Audit of Modern Masculinity. The audit will explore areas of life where men feel pressure to live up to unrealistic ideals in a bid to understand more about the root causes of male suicide. Jane Powell, CALM's Director, explains the hypothesis behind the study: "There are no studies to evidence why being a man should be the single biggest risk factor for suicide and our hypothesis is that the cause must, in part, be cultural and social.
Since May 2012 94 social ventures with high potential for growth have received grants worth £8.9 million to purchase specialist support such as legal advice, financial management and public service commissioning, thanks to a business support fund managed by the Social Investment Business and funded by the Cabinet Office, reveals a report released today. Some 74 are still actively carrying out their business support programmes.
Scotland’s leading funder for the third sector, Social Investment Scotland, has secured a £16M in principle matched investment commitment from Big Society Capital and the Scottish Government to create a Social Growth Fund for Scotland. Headquartered in Edinburgh, Social Investment Scotland has successfully bid for £8M in funding from Big Society Capital, the independent financial institution set up to develop and shape a sustainable social investment market in the UK. The investment has been matched with £8M from the Scottish Government. The Social Growth Fund will facilitate continued development of Scotland’s third sector focusing on funding and delivering projects which create measurable social impacts.
Five volunteers who stepped up during the recent devastating floods have been named as the first winners of a new UK Points of Light award for volunteering by Prime Minister David Cameron. The new award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. It has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in America, which was established by President George H W Bush, and has since recognised over 5,000 individuals and has the support of President Barack Obama.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the dissolved charity, the Khodam Al Mahdi Organisation and charitable funds purportedly raised in its name. The charity’s objects were “to advance in life and help young people through the provision of recreational and leisure time activities”. In August 2013, the regulator became aware that the charitable company had been dissolved at Companies House since 2012 but the charity had not informed the Commission that it no longer existed, or updated its details on the Register as it was required to do.
Seventeen local authorities are refusing to pass on £4.8m of Government funding to parish and town councils, defying advice from local government minister Brandon Lewis MP, according to the national body for England’s most local councils (National Association of Local Councils). The National Association of Local Councils has gathered information on those authorities withholding Government funding from its network of county associations and has today urged the 17 authorities to rethink their “short-sighted decision”, demanding further action by Government.
Nine UK charities are in the running for a Institute of Fundraising (IoF) National Award 2014 specifically recognising their commitment to learning, development and being a great team to work for. The announcement is the second of three shortlists being released for the Awards, with today’s shortlisted organisations up to receive accolades rewarding their prowess in organisational culture and development including, ‘Most Committed to Learning and Development,’ and ‘Best Fundraising Organisation to Work For.’
A London-based charity has been awarded £486,296 from the Big Lottery Fund to tackle the illegal practice of bonded labour in Indian brick kilns. Anti-Slavery International, which made the 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen a patron in February, receives the grant for work towards eradicating bonded labour within 250 brick kilns in the Punjab and bordering states. The project aims to help 50,000 people – mainly members of the Dalit (‘untouchable’) caste who are migrant workers from poor rural communities who have been tricked or trapped into work to pay off loans.
Today, early stage social businesses across England are being challenged to apply for investment capital and business mentoring support that will potentially propel their ventures to the next level. Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of the Big Issue, has opened a second round of its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) programme. The programme uses corporate partners to invest in, support and nurture a new generation of high potential social businesses to grow and deliver sustainable social and financial returns. Now open, the CSV Challenge is seeking up to 20 teams for an intensive mentoring programme.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office today hosted the first meeting of a new Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, chaired by Senior Minister of State, Baroness Warsi. The new group, which is a sub-group of the Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Group, is made up of experts in the field and is intended to advise FCO Ministers and staff on how to build on the active approach they already take to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has today appointed inspectors to look into allegations of governance failure, poor financial management and fraud at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Serious concerns have been raised following the receipt of certain documents. Using new laws that came into effect today the Secretary of State, acting in the public interest, has exercised his legal power today to appoint. PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out an inspection of the council.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Al-Fatiha Global. The inquiry is investigating serious concerns about the governance and financial management of the charity. The Commission had been monitoring the charity since 2013, and the inquiry, which is the most serious level of the regulator’s investigatory work, opened on 21 March 2014. The charity’s objects are to relieve sickness by providing free clinics for the people of northern Pakistan and to provide humanitarian aid globally in areas disrupted by conflict and natural disaster. Its activities include organising and participating in convoys to Syria.
ACEVO has welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that it will repeal the Lobbying Act if it wins powe. The act, which was strongly opposed by a united sector, and called the "gagging law" for the restrictions it places on the ability of charities to campaign in election periods. The shadow leader of the Commons, Angela Eagle, said today that if Labour won the next election it would protect freedom of speech for charities in elections, as well as regulate the lobbying industry and get rid of big money from politics.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has published today a report on How the Department for International Development (DFID) Learns. Building on learning and applying what works in practice is essential if UK aid is to achieve maximum impact and value for money. In producing the report ICAI has been able to draw on the body of its 31 reports to date. DFID has allocated at least £1.2 billion for research, evaluation and personnel development between 2011and 2015. It generates considerable volumes of information, much of which, such as funded research, is publicly available.
UK charities lost over £1.3billion in income from government as spending cuts kicked in, new figures published today in The UK Civil Society Almanac 2014 show. The data, drawn from charities’ annual accounts, show that income from government to the UK’s charities fell by nearly 9%, or £1.3bn, in real terms, between 2010/11 and 2011/12, the latest data available. The figures show that government cut spending with charities at a faster rate than overall spending cuts. The vast majority of government income to charities is in return for running public services.
The Macular Society, one of the biggest charities in the sight loss sector, has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer. Tony Rucinski a former director of Scope and trustee of the RNIB will take over from Helen Jackman in May. Rucinski's career spans the financial, higher education and third sectors with award winning, board level responsibility for strategy and service delivery on a national scale. He has held several government advisory positions and has significant experience in the sight loss sector, including serving as a Trustee on the RNIB Group Board.
The Charity Commission has updated the Annual Return form for 2014 which is now available to complete online via the Commission’s website. This is accompanied by new guidance to help those completing the form. The Annual Return must be completed by all registered charities with an income over £10,000 within 10 months of their financial year end and the information is used to update the profile that appears on the online Register of Charities, where details were viewed 6 million times last year.
The Locality board of trustees has announced the appointment of Tony Armstrong as the new chief executive of Locality. Armstrong has a background as both a campaigner and a policy adviser, and has held a number of Government policy roles. He joins Locality from his current post as chief executive at Living Streets. He starts as Locality’s CEO on 21 July, taking the organisation into an exciting new phase. As chief executive of Living Streets since 2008, the national charity for pedestrians, he has motivated people around the UK to take action to improve their local environments and local economies, campaigning for better quality streets, and has influenced policy to make walking safer and easier.
Physical inactivity among today’s 11-25 year olds will cost the UK economy £53.3 billion over their lifetimes, according to a new StreetGames/Cebr report published today. £8.1 billion of these costs are directly related to spending on healthcare that will be needed to deal with the burden of Type II diabetes, chronic heart disease, stroke and colon cancer among this cohort as they age. This equates to £1,800 in additional healthcare costs for each child and young person who is currently inactive, and is equivalent to more than half the total budget of NHS England in 2013-14.
Today the analysis of the consultation on the draft new Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) has been published by the Charity Commission, independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) as the joint charities SORP-making body.The SORP provides a comprehensive framework for charity accounting and reporting that enables charities to adopt a consistent interpretation of financial reporting standards and to account for those transactions that arise when undertaking charitable activities. All charities that prepare their accounts on a ‘true and fair’ basis (also known as accruals accounts) must follow the SORP.
The Trustees of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) today welcomed Big Society Capital’s major investment in Charity Bank. From early in the 1990s, CAF incubated lending for social purposes. This work started through Investors in Society which then transformed into Charity Bank, the remarkable pioneer of personal deposits used for social lending, combining regulated banking with charitable objects. CAF provided the core capital to establish Charity Bank, and now gladly steps back to become a minority shareholder to facilitate this major investment by Big Society Capital which will power rapid growth and transform the Bank’s social impact.
Big Society Capital has made its largest ever single investment – up to £14.5m of ordinary shares in Charity Bank in three successive tranches between 2014 and 2016. The first tranche of £4.5m has been invested following receipt of all requisite regulatory and shareholder approvals. The Big Society Capital investment represents a significant step towards Charity Bank’s goal to increase the amount it lends to charities from its current level of around £55m to around £250m by December 2018. Charity Bank, which seeks deposits from socially-conscious individuals and lends solely to charities, social enterprises and other social sector organisations, took the decision in 2013 to grow substantially because of the unmet borrowing needs in the social sector.
The Egyptian government has sentenced 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges of murder, in the largest mass death sentence handed out in Egyptian history. An additional 700 Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been called to court tomorrow.
The High Court has ruled that charities and good causes owed money by the online giving website CharityGiving, run by the Dove Trust, will be able to have their say as part of a court case to decide how available funds should be distributed. At a directions hearing last week, the Court confirmed that any charity or good cause that considers they wish to be heard on this matter have until 23 April to serve evidence and anyone wishing to be heard at court has until 1 May to serve notice to be joined to the proceedings. Evidence should be shared with the Charity Commission, which will present it to court.
More needs to be done to offer charities small scale risk capital and loans to help them meet increased demands for services, according to a new report released today. The report, commissioned by CAF Venturesome, the social investment arm of the Charities Aid Foundation, also urges loan providers to offer more affordable finance for charities. CAF Venturesome is one of Britain’s pioneering providers of social finance to charities and social enterprises and has lent £33million to more than 400 to organisations over the past 12 years. It is calling on other organisations to follow their lead in offering affordable finance to charities.
Waverton Investment Management has announced the appointment of Ian Enslin to its charities team. Enslin will be actively involved in contributing to Waverton’s investment process as well as take-on and management of new mandates. He will also be instrumental in further developing the service offered to charities. As an experienced hire, Waverton said Enslin complements the core charities team, comprising directors with an average of 21 years in the industry. As part of this team, Enslin will focus on managing segregated, multi and single asset class investment mandates.
More than half of national fundraising associations in Europe predict a rise in income during 2014, according to a new survey report Fundraising in Europe 2013/14 released today by the European Fundraising Association (EFA). The survey collates the views of national fundraising associations across 17 European countries, reviewing fundraising trends and developments from the past year and identifying the sector’s predictions for 2014. Despite the growth of many new forms of fundraising, the report affirms that most money is donated through public collections and in response to direct mail.
Rathbone Investment Management has today confirmed the appointment of Andrew Pitt as head of charities, London. Pitt joins on 11 June 2014 and will report to Ivo Clifton, head of specialist and charity business. Based in London, he will be part of Rathbones’ 13-strong team which manages assets in excess of £2.6bn on behalf of over 960 charities. Pitt has some 20 years’ charity investment experience and was most recently head of charities at Newton Investment Management, responsible for growing and managing Newton’s UK charity business. Prior to this, he held a similar role at UBS Wealth Management where he oversaw the management of some £1bn of charity assets.
Defending the rights of voluntary organisations to campaign and safeguarding public trust and confidence in charities are among the priorities outlined in NCVO’s new strategic plan, launched today. The five-year strategy follows a consultation with NCVO members last year, and will take NCVO to its centenary year, 2019. NCVO is ‘stronger than ever’, NCVO chair, Martyn Lewis CBE, and chief executive, Sir Stuart Etherington, say in their introduction to the new strategy, with its merger with Volunteering England last year giving it ‘an even more powerful voice’.
Following an appeal against the Charity Commission Scheme for Bath Recreation Ground Trust the Tribunal has ruled in favour of the scheme, subject to some revisions. On 12 June 2013 the Commission formally made a Scheme for the charity which, among other things, replaced the local authority (Bath and North East Somerset Council) with a new independent body of trustees who could take the charity forward, including being able to take un-conflicted decisions about future lease arrangements. This Scheme was first appealed on 20 July 2013 and the hearing was held in the week of 13 January 2014.
Loan companies who cause significant harm, such as stress and mental anguish, should face greater financial penalties according to a new report by the think tank Demos. The change to the levy system is one of a number of proposals put forward as part of a ground-breaking analysis of Britain’s household debt crisis. It comes just days before the FCA takes over as regulator for the consumer credit industry from April 1 – overseeing credit cards, payday loans and debt collection firms. Under current FCA regulations mortgage providers pay the highest levy, used to fund financial education and debt advice for struggling borrowers, due to their lending the most amount of money.
The Charity Commission says it welcomes a Supreme Court Judgment, which dismisses on all grounds the appeal brought by a newspaper journalist, Dominic Kennedy. Kennedy had requested information about concluded statutory inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Commission withheld the information, relying on an exemption in FOIA that applies to any information held by the regulator in connection with a statutory inquiry. In his appeal, Kennedy argued that the exemption should not apply to information held in connection with inquiries once they had concluded.
Workers who have been on a zero-hours contract for at least 12 months should be given the legal right to switch to a fixed hours contract if they’ve worked regular shifts during that time, recommends a new report into the controversial employment practice. The report from independent think tank the Resolution Foundation is the first to propose a comprehensive and balanced set of recommendations for the reform of zero-hours contracts - those which do not guarantee any hours of work. The government is expected to announce the outcome of its review of zero-hours later this Spring.
In a keynote speech this afternoon to the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham announced that Labour would merge health, social and mental health care into a single budget, if elected in 2015. Speaking to an audience of charity and social enterprise chiefs, Burnham also committed Labour to no further systemic reorganisation of the NHS, and to enshrining in law citizen’s rights to choice of care. Burnham announced that a future Labour government would merge health, mental and social care into “a single service that can see all of one person’s needs”.
NAVCA has published three research briefings that explore local charities and voluntary organisations attitudes and experiences of local health organisations. The three reports explore the extent to which they feel able to influence Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) and the nature of their relationship with local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local Healthwatch. The reports draw on the findings of a NAVCA survey of its members and the wider voluntary and community sector. The survey received 122 responses, from organisations working with a range of beneficiaries, incomes and geographical areas.
In a keynote speech to the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham MP will today outline a new role for charities and social enterprises in any future Labour-run NHS. Burnham will criticise the Government for neglecting the voluntary sector and citizens’ needs. He will say "the time has come to re-set the NHS for the 21st Century as a service for the whole person."
More than half of the giving public find it ‘very annoying’ to be asked for money on their doorstep or the telephone, new research shows. People also object to being approached face-to-face on the street, with adverts their preferred way to be asked to donate. The research, published by consultancy nfpSynergy, revealed that 54% of people find doorstep fundraising very annoying, while 51% feel the same about being asked on the telephone. A third of people (36%) get very annoyed when they’re approached by a fundraiser on the street.
ACEVO chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb has today written to Justice Minister Simon Hughes MP, urging Ministers not to place undue and unfair burdens on charities with reforms to Freedom of Information (FOI). Bubb was commenting on a statement made by the Justice Minister in the House last night, which said that the FOI code of practice would be changed to bring contractors with the public sector under freedom of information regulations. While welcoming greater transparency in public service contracting Sir Stephen argued that charities operating in the public interest are already subjected to greater public scrutiny than private firms through the Charity Commission.
Sport Relief 2014 came to its finale this weekend as more than a million men, women and children all over the country took part in the first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games. The British fundraising public was joined by famous faces from Victoria Pendleton to Prime Minister David Cameron, hitting the streets, swimming pools and school grounds of the UK throughout the weekend to raise money for people living difficult lives here at home, and across the world. The Sport Relief fundraising total stands at a massive £53,370,743.
The 2014 Budget drew mixed responses from the sector: ACEVO said there was little good news in it, CFG noted there was some bad but also good in the Chancellor's statement, CAF noted it was pleased and positive on a number of initiatives, NCVO noted there was still much to do in civil society after the Budget, DSC criticised the dearth of initiatives to support the sector, NAVCA warned of the lack of money and CTG welcomed a number of positive measures.
Thousands of British girls and young women are entangled in a brutal gang culture where sexual exploitation, guns and drug running are a daily reality, a new report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) reveals. The investigation, which looks at how gang life can impact girls and young women, builds on previous CSJ work which shows how some communities have been devastated by gang activity. Researchers heard how female gang mem bers in their teens are being pressured to have sex with young boys – some as young as 10 – to initiate males into gangs.
Westminster City Council is joining forces with more than nineteen other London boroughs and the Metropolitan Police Service to deliver a London-wide initiative raising awareness of bogus charity collections and appeals. The 'Support Charity Not Crime' campaign aims to prevent charitable donations ending up in the pockets of organised criminals or terrorists. The campaign has been co-ordinated by the Tri-Borough Prevent Team and starts with a day of action today and involves police and Council officers from across London.
In a letter to Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO, the Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the government “are opening up new opportunities for charities and social enterprises across the public sector”, to allow them to deliver more public services.The Prime Minister was responding to a letter from Sir Stephen, dated 13 February, which argued that public services reform isn’t working for citizens or for the voluntary sector. The letter urged the Prime Minister to take a personal lead on enshrining in law citizens’ rights to a choice and voice about the public services they use, so that voluntary and community sector approaches can play the greatest possible role in public life.
Sector organisations have welcomed the pledge by the Chancellor George Osborne in his budget to set the rate of social investment tax relief at 30%. The relief, which follows the structure of the existing Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), will now be much more attractive to High Net Worth individuals who are already making venture capital investments, bringing much needed new finance to charities and social enterprises. The relief will apply to investments made after 6 April.
Charity Finance Group today launched an important survey on defined benefit pension provision by charities. The survey will provide vital evidence on the defined benefit landscape, be used to provide best practice guidance and inform conversations with policy-makers to improve charities’ pension positioning. CFG urge all charities with defined benefit provision to complete the survey, which can be found here. John Tranter, chair of CFG’s Pension Maze project, said: “With liabilities growing for many charities, pensions are preoccupying more and more of their resources and management time.
Leading UK charities will hit a ‘digital brick wall’ which will reduce fundraising capability, undermine service delivery and limit their ability to operate efficiently due to a widespread lack of investment and digital literacy, according to new research from Eduserv, a provider of IT services for the charity sector. The research conducted among 76 digital and IT leaders from leading UK charities with an income of more then £1million, is published in a new report: Delivering Digital Transformation in UK Charities.
An influential think-tank Commission has stressed the need for more care homes to cater for working-age people, after the plight of a British war veteran left him isolated and without support. Alan Murray, a former RAF reservist, suffered a heart attack a decade ago aged 50, suffering from a brain injury, resulting from a delayed ambulance, meant he required round-the-clock residential care. However, his first care home couldn't cope with Mr Murray’s specific needs as the other residents were mainly older people.
Friends of the Elderly has announced the appointment of Steve Allen as chief executive. Allen founded his own care business, based on the south coast, delivering award-winning social care services to older people in partnership with local authorities and NHS trusts in England. He started his career as a police officer and then spent 10 years directing Europe’s leading risk management consultancy where he resolved sensitive operational situations around the world for multi-national companies, government departments and NGOs.
The Charity Commission has today published inquiry reports into four of the charities that were under investigation as a result of double defaulting on their accounts. The first phase of the inquiry, targeting ‘double defaulting’ charities with an income over £500,000, began on 20 September 2013, when the class inquiry opened. The Commission started the second phase on 11 November 2013, focusing on charities with a last known income of between £250,000 and £500,000.
New research from ACEVO today warns that communities face a crisis point in the ability of local services to keep pace with rising levels of need in society. The findings emerge in the first survey from ACEVO’s 2014 Social Sector Tracker, the charity sector’s annual flagship surveys of senior social leaders and charity chief executives. 88% of charities surveyed experienced a rise in demand for their services in the last year, and 89% envisaged that demand rising again next year. But less than a third – only 32% – felt that they would be able to meet this demand.
Nearly one year after its launch the DEC Syria Crisis Appeal has funded help to over 300,000 people, mostly inside Syria. Aid has been provided inside Syria by DEC member agencies working across lines and across borders, mostly through partner organisations. Those helped have come from all communities and across the country. Of the appeal funds spent so far, over half has paid for the most basic support imaginable - food, water and sanitation. While more than a quarter of the rest paid for emergency shelter and healthcare.
There has been a huge increase in the numbers of people with council tax arrears seeking help from StepChange Debt Charity, according to new figures released today. Last year the charity helped 45,561 people in arrears on council tax, up from 25,500 in 2012, an increase of 77 percent. The figures highlight how the squeeze on household budgets is leaving more people struggling to pay essential living costs: clients falling behind on council tax were on average £102 short of what they needed to cover essential household bills every month.
A new and the first "visual" think-tank, CoVi (Common Vision), has been launched today, aiming to engage audiences who do not participate in traditional forms of civic life by using creative and interactive media to share ideas that transcend conventional ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ partisan debates. The think-tank has been founded by Caroline Macfarland, who was formerly the managing director of ResPublica, the think-tank set-up by Phillip Blond, author of Red Tory, the influential book that combined economic egalitarianism with social conservatism and contributed to David Cameron's Big Society idea.
The volume of loan enquiries made by charities to Charity Bank has increased year-on-year for the past six consecutive months. In addition, for the first two months of 2014, the potential value of loan enquiries to the Bank - which lends solely to charities, social enterprises and other social purpose organisations and seeks deposits from individuals to support this mission – was more than double that of the same period last year. In January and February, there were enquiries for £56m of borrowing, compared with £23m for the same two months in 2013. Charity Bank’s Head of Banking, Carolyn Sims, said: “I believe that what these figures are telling us is charities and other social purpose organisations are re-gaining the confidence to borrow.
A raft of private sector partners are strengthening their involvement in the UK’s rising social investment market as the Government’s work to grow the social economy continues to make giant strides. Barclays, UBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Janssen Healthcare Innovation, are just some of the businesses match-funding investment to support six new start-up incubators as part of the £10m Social Incubator Fund (SIF), which is delivered by Big Lottery Fund on behalf of Cabinet Office, and today releases its next wave of capital.
Business leaders, international charities and development agencies will be urged tomorrow at the launch of a new Business and Development research centre to explore new ways to work together to fight global poverty. Analysis from the Institute of Development Studies suggests that existing approaches are piecemeal and small-scale, and there is little understanding around what is effective and what will have a genuine and positive impact on the world’s poorest communities.
The Budget has moved far beyond its original purpose, creating uncertainty for both business and households across the UK, says a leading think-tank. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) says measures announced are often outside of the Treasury’s, poorly scrutinised and politically charged and for too long we have seen the desire for politicians to claim good headlines trump potentially important yet unpopular policies. The IEAs Budget Submission calls for the Chancellor to pursue policies which meet declared government aims: to reduce the budget deficit, to make the tax system more coherent, to reduce the burden of regulation, and to improve the framework of government for long-term fiscal responsibility.
Labour Co-operative MP Jim Dobbin today called for a significant overhaul of the support given to community co-ops and social enterprises, highlighting their potential to play a key role in the regional economic recovery. Dobbin is introducing the ‘Co-operative and Social Enterprise (Development) Bill’ into Parliament on Tuesday. The private member’s bill will require local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), responsible for supporting regional economic growth, to have at least one board member who is a social enterprise business specialist, and for them to make specific reference to the development of community co-ops and social enterprises in their plans.
The economy in 2014 may be recovering, but struggling families are increasingly relying on charity handouts for everyday essentials. A new survey conducted by In Kind Direct, a charity founded by The Prince of Wales, shows that over half of charity respondents are giving out essential supplies to those struggling to afford them. This is often before the charity is able to fulfil its specific charitable purpose, so great is the need for basic essentials in the poorest communities.
CAF and NCVO have today announced their plans for future research into giving trends in the UK. The plans will see the two organisations building on their respective strengths and developing complementary programmes of research. CAF will take forward an updated donor tracker survey aimed at building on the long-running UK Giving research, updated to take better account of changing patterns of giving such as mobile and online giving.
The government has published the progress on its report Making it easier for civil society to work with the state first announced in December 2012. The government made a commitment in the coalition government agreement to “… support the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises, and enable these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of public services”.
Today, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee led by Joan Walley MP published its “Green Finance” report advising the Government on how to boost investment into the low-carbon economy. The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), quoted in the high-profile report, welcomed the Committee’s response and noted that it had clearly listened to many of the investor community’s concerns. Caroline Escott, UKSIF Head of Government Relations, said: “It’s great news that the Committee seems to have taken on board concerns from UKSIF, its members and other investor representatives, about the necessity of having a stable and coherent policy framework in order to boost investment in the ‘green’ economy.
Benefit claimants who breach their job search requirements for the first time will be given “top-up” benefit cards and be asked to sign on daily as part of a new proposal to create a more compassionate but stricter sanctions regime, says a leading think-tank. A new Policy Exchange report, Smarter Sanctions, reveals that each year as many as 68,000 people on Jobseekers Allowance have their benefits taken away by mistake and face unnecessary hardship as a result.
NCVO has set out its vision for reform and renewal in Europe through its manifesto, Towards a More Open Europe. It sets out major areas for the EU elections including: renewal of funding priorities, smarter more flexible regulation and reform of EU institutions. Following extensive engagement with members and partners through the European Funding Network, NCVO set out the range of practical recommendations that would allow for a more open and accountable European Union.
Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s dementia research charity, has announced its highest annual income in its 21-year history, and for the first time donations have passed the £11m landmark. The landmark figure has been released in the charity’s Annual Review. The national charity, which is based in Great Abington, relies on public donations and has increased its income in the past 12 months by 21% to £11,037,304. As one of the UK’s top 10 medical research charities, and the Charity Times’ Awards Charity of the Year, Alzheimer’s Research UK funds science from unique pilot studies to major project grants.
The quality of life of the18,000 disabled people currently enjoy will be eroded by today’s announcement that the Independent Living Fund will be axed in June 2015, warns Unite, the country’s largest union. Unite described the government’s decision as ‘catastrophic’ and said it had no confidence that local government, already suffering swingeing funding cuts, could provide the same standard of care to the disabled as the ILF presently allows. Unite feared that ‘a postcode lottery’ would be created and hit out at the government’s sidestepping a judicial review in November which ruled in favour of preventing the closure of the ILF.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has published a report today on the Department for International Development’s Bilateral Support to Growth and Livelihoods in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is one of the most difficult places to deliver aid and DFID’s staff work hard under demanding conditions. Although the projects that we reviewed were, on the whole, well delivered, we found mixed results.The more ambitious and multi-faceted projects were less successful than those with more limited scope.
Ten health and wellbeing charities from across the UK have been named as this year’s winners of a GSK IMPACT Award - seen as a mark of achievement in the health care charity sector. The winning organisations were selected from more than four hundred charities who applied to be part of GSK’s flagship UK community investment programme, which is run in partnership with The King’s Fund. Each winning charity receives £30,000 of unrestricted funding, access to a unique training programme, and can join the GSK IMPACT Award Network, which is a professional development group.
A fundamental shift is urgently needed in the delivery of health and care to meet the challenges of a rapidly ageing society, say the authors of a new report from The King’s Fund. The report, Making our health and care systems fit for an ageing population, argues that health and care services have failed to keep up with dramatic demographic changes, which will see one in five people in England over the age of 65 by 2030.
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced he has commissioned the Royal United Services Institute, a security think tank, to carry out an independent expert review of ‘big data’ and privacy issues, with a report due after the next election. Announcing the launch, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "I would like the next government to draw on an independent assessment of the issues at stake. The Intelligence and Security Committee is conducting a review into privacy and security, which, I expect, will provide a valuable contribution to a wider discussion.
The detention of hundreds of anti-war protesters in Russia over the weekend is another manifestation of an increasing crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly in the country, Amnesty International said today. Hundreds of demonstrators protesting against Russian military intervention in Ukraine were detained in front of the Ministry of Defence on Manezhnaya square. Dozens were kept at police stations overnight. It is also reported that several dozen people were detained in St Petersburg.
Claims management companies have pocketed up to five billion pounds of UK consumers’ compensation for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance – according to new analysis from the Citizens Advice service. Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice (England & Wales) published new research today showing how banks’ slow reaction to the mis-selling of PPI created a chance for claims firms to swoop in and take an estimated £5 billion of consumers’ compensation. The new evidences highlights how some consumers are experiencing a range of poor practices by claims management companies including a lack of transparency around fees and problems cancelling agreements.
Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit online donation service from Virgin Money, has announced its annual results for 2013 and confirmed that following a 27% growth in the number of charities registered to use the service, it is now supporting over 8,300 UK charity partners. Donations to charities in 2013 made through Virgin Money Giving grew by over 11% year-on-year to over £80.5 million (including Gift Aid). This was achieved despite continuing pressure on overall levels of giving in the UK, illustrating the increasing popularity of Virgin Money Giving and online giving in general.
British people need to be more vocal about charity and are too cynical about giving, say some of the UK's most generous people, according to new research released today. Nearly two thirds (61%) of those questioned in the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) poll of some of their most generous customers believe the wealthy need to talk about their giving more and nearly half (49%) think society is too cynical about those who give. The donors also feel that the wealthy should give away at least 10% of their wealth in their lifetime and just under half (47%) also called for a UK version of the Giving Pledge.
Three-quarters (75%) of the public believe big money has too much influence on political parties, according to new research by the Electoral Reform Society. The ERS’s research shows strong public support for reforming party funding. The survey of 1,402 respondents, conducted between 24 and 27 February by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, also found that: 65% believe party donors can effectively buy knighthoods and other honours, and..
New research has revealed that a third of the public say their views towards charities have become more positive in the last three years, compared with a quarter who are now more negative. This is despite recent high profile negative press coverage about the charity sector. However, the authors of a briefing paper on the research, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), have warned charities not to be complacent and to find ways to address concerns held by the public.
Increasing the number of apprentices in England to catch up with similar economies would boost Britain's GDP by £4bn a year, according to the think-tank Demos. A new report coming ahead of National Apprenticeship Week argues that raising apprentice levels by up to 300,000 required to match other G20 countries would help bridge the productivity gap between Britain and competing nations. It would also reduce youth unemployment, currently running at 20%. The Up to the Job report, supported by British Gas, cites CEBR figures that show, on average, that an apprenticeship typically raises an employee’s productivity by £214 per week, leading to both increased wages and company profits.
The Ethical Property Foundation, with help from the Charity Commission, has launched two new sections to its online Property Advice Service, covering Disposal of Property and Good Practice. The Foundation helps charities save time, money and worry by making the most of their properties, so they can focus on their frontline work. Its online property resources offer jargon-free advice covering buying, renting, leasing and managing property, and are free to use for registered charities. The new Disposal of Property section is designed to help charities who may be planning the sale of a property’s freehold, or assigning or granting a lease, quickly find the information they need ensuring the process goes as smoothly as possible.
All those responsible for the deaths of more than 100 people killed during the anti-government protests in Ukraine must be brought to justice, Amnesty International said today. The call comes as plans were announced to disband the riot police unit that were allegedly responsible for the excessive force used against protesters. In a separate move, on Tuesday the Ukrainian parliament passed a declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and called for the prosecution of former president Viktor Yanukovych.
The UK government scheme to issue written assurances to 'on the runs' in Northern Ireland must not perpetuate impunity, Amnesty International said today following the announcement of a judge-led inquiry by Prime Minister David Cameron. Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said: "The inquiry announced by the Prime Minister must now ensure that there are no other cases with similar errors which have the effect of denying justice to victims of human rights violations and abuses.
A ground-breaking report on the future of work, published today, highlights the dramatic changes the UK’s workers can expect to see in the next two decades.The Future of Work, published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), analyses the trends and disruptions shaping the UK’s labour market. It finds that multi-generational working – so called four-generation or “4G” workplaces – will become increasingly common as people delay retiring until their 70s or even 80s.
Former politician, writer and broadcaster Ann Widdecombe has written to the Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, telling her of the plight of leprosy-affected women whose lives have not benefited from the Millennium Development Goals. While women affected by leprosy have seen an improvement to the lives of their non-leprosy affected counterparts since the year 2000, their own lives remain unchanged and they continue to live in abject poverty. Due to stigma surrounding leprosy, girls from leprosy-affected families are often denied school places while women affected by leprosy are often pushed out of the work place when someone clocks their leprosy-affected disabilities.
The deputy Prime Minister's announcement on changes to how the government will help young people get into training and employment has been welcomed by the sector. Putting this in context by commenting on today's Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) statistics released by the ONS, Lizzie Crowley, head of youth unemployment programmes at The Work Foundation, said: “Figures out today for young people Not in Employment Education or Training (NEET) suggest that the economic recovery is finally beginning to have a positive impact on the youth labour market.
Politicians on all sides must act to stop disabled, sick and vulnerable people being scapegoated and sidelined in debates about welfare and benefits, says Christian think-tank Ekklesia. The comment comes as the House of Commons today discusses a call from over one hundred thousand members of the public for a proper assessment of a whole raft of welfare changes brought in by the coalition government.
British high streets are set to become more dementia friendly following a commitment from major British businesses today. Argos, Homebase, Marks and Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group, backed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, have committed to create over 121,500 Dementia Friends in shops and banks across the UK. A recent study by Alzheimer’s Society found that one in four people with dementia have given up shopping since being diagnosed, even though the majority feel this is the most common activity that enables them to feel part of their community.
In a speech to 500 young people at Southfields Academy in London, the deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced big changes to how the government will help young people get into training and employment. These new announcements will help prevent young people becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training): A UCAS-style system for young people who don’t want to go to university. Those who go to university are able to make very active choices through their UCAS system. There is currently no single way for people who don’t go to university to make crucial choices about their future training, education or employment.
The Big Lottery Fund is today announcing the launch of Big Potential, a £10million fund to help charities and social enterprises get investment ready. The ultimate aim of the fund is to improve the sustainability, capacity and scale of VCSE organisations so they can deliver greater social impact. The Big Lottery Fund has chosen the Social Investment Business in partnership with Charity Bank, Social Enterprise UK, Locality and the University of Northampton to deliver the much needed support to the VCSE sector.
In a letter to Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO, the Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that the controversial Lobbying Act will not affect the majority of charities and campaigning organisations. The Prime Minister responded to an impassioned letter from Sir Stephen on 12 February, which urged him to commit to repealing the Act and replacing it with a fairer regulatory regime. The Prime Minister said that he was ‘sorry to read of [Sir Stephen’s] concerns’ and that his aim was only ‘to improve openness and transparency.’
Charities and social enterprises will be able to apply for loans and investments of up to £1million from a fund launched today by Social and Sustainable Capital, which is jointly financed by the Social Investment Business and Big Society Capital. As it launched its first fund, Social and Sustainable Capital also announced a strategic partnership with the Social Investment Business, one of the UK’s leading social investors, with the aim of attracting new finance for charities and social enterprises from the private sector.
The UK should not aspire to a US model of philanthropy and tax incentives - they are not replicable and are a unique product of US social, political and historical factors, according to a report released today. Although the USA is top of the world for giving, with the average person giving $694 a year to charity compared to $247 (£148) in the UK, the report debunks the argument that we need a more American charitable culture. Give me a Break: Why the UK should not aspire to a “US-style” culture of charitable giving, released by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), also highlights the barriers to adopting a US culture of giving.
Leading housing and planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has today published a landmark document into how the UK can deliver the beautiful, inclusive and sustainable communities of the future. The report,New Towns Act 2015?, has taken the successful New Town Development Corporation model, that delivered 32 new towns after the Second World War and which now home over 2 million people, and updated it for the 21st Century.
The current situation in the Ukraine, in which the Russian-backed government is using violence against its own people, is deplorable and must end immediately, says the The Henry Jackson Society’s Russia Studies Centre a leading think-tank, urging President Yanukovych to engage in dialogue with the protestors in order to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution, followed by free and fair elections.
Forty one voluntary and community sector organisations will be granted a total of £11 million to encourage young people to help others through social action. The cash will come from 2 funds – The Youth Social Action Fund and Youth Social Action Journey Fund – to provide a package of programmes across the country. It was launched by Nick Hurd, minister for Civil Society, and is part of the Cabinet Office’s commitment to Step Up To Serve. This is an initiative led by HRH The Prince of Wales to increase the quality, quantity and frequency of social action opportunities for young people...
The Charity Commission is issuing this alert to charities as regulatory advice under section 15(2) of the Charities Act 2011 – it is particularly relevant for trustees of charities and charitable appeals which are organising or participating in humanitarian aid convoys to assist those affected by the Syria Crisis. Recent media coverage has reported that a suspected British suicide bomber in Syria had travelled there as part of a humanitarian convoy.
Many of Savile's victims were ignored or laughed at when they revealed at the time that he had sexually abused them, new NSPCC research shows. Others were so convinced they wouldn't be believed, because he was such a powerful and influential character that they stayed silent. And, 50 years on, a significant number of the men and women interviewed for the children's charity's report - Would they have actually believed me - have still not confided in friends and family about the abuse.
A group of leading charities have warned the government that the new overall cap on welfare spending – the Annually Managed Expenditure cap – could drive short-term decisions about social security. Longer-term measures would be more effective in reducing demand for benefits, the charities argue. In a letter ahead of the Budget (attached) the charities – Age UK, Barnardo’s, Crisis, Child Poverty Action Group, Mind, NCVO, Oxfam, Shelter and Scope – say: "‘Our main concern about the AME cap is that it is a blunt measure, which is likely to drive short-term decision-making and arbitrary cuts to benefit levels or eligibility.
In a letter to George Osborne one month before the 2014 Budget, Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO, calls on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to recognise and safeguard charities’ contribution to Britain’s economy and society. And he draws particular attention to their work in the recovery effort after the recent UK floods. Sir Stephen’s letter asks the Chancellor to ‘make an offer’ to support the sector’s growth and development and ‘to ensure that social justice is at the heart of (the budget’s) proposals, and that the voluntary sector is properly supported .’
False stereotyping of young people in the media and wider society is having a negative effect on both their self-esteem and employment opportunities, reveals new Demos report supported by National Citizen Service (NCS). Four-fifths of teens (81%) feel they are unfairly represented in the media. Most of them (85%) go on to argue that negative stereotypes are affecting their chances of getting a job – with ‘unemployment and access to work’ being the biggest concern of this age group as they look to enter the workforce.
The Charity Commission is reminding people wishing to help the victims of the UK flood disaster to give to registered charities. The regulator says there are simple steps donors can take to ensure their money goes to charities that are equipped to help people affected by floods and storms. The Commission is also reminding the public that funds raised for charitable purposes come under the Commission’s regulatory jurisdiction, even if they are not raised by an existing charity. People managing such appeals take on the legal duties and responsibilities of charity trustees.
NAVCA’s quarterly survey suggests the recovery isn’t here yet, as local voluntary action is yet to feel any benefit from the recent growth in the economy, according to NAVCA’s latest quarterly members’ survey, the 7th in the series. The survey shows that NAVCA members, local infrastructure charities, remain firmly pessimistic about their own financial prospects and those of their local sector over the coming 12 months. The survey uses a representative sample panel of NAVCA members to track trends in local voluntary action.
The government’s new childcare proposals will still leave the lowest earners struggling to afford to go out to work, warns the charity Gingerbread today, ahead of next month’s Budget. The charity is urging Chancellor George Osborne to rethink the government’s childcare plans, which are set to discriminate against parents whose earnings are below the income tax threshold. Under the new universal credit system, parents earning above the income tax threshold (due to rise to £10,000 in April 2014) will be able to claim back 85 per cent of childcare costs, however those under it will only be able to claim 70 per cent.
Newton Investment Management, part of BNY Mellon, today announced the launch of the Newton Growth Fund for Charities, a sub-fund of the new UK umbrella unit trust BNY Mellon Charities Funds. The Newton Growth Fund for Charities complements Newton’s existing dedicated charity fund range and aims to maximise investment returns through capital growth and income from a global portfolio primarily comprising of equity and fixed interest securities.
The Charity Commission has opened a new statutory inquiry into The Apostolic Faith Mission International Ministries UK, registered charity number 1096543, for repeatedly defaulting on the submission of accounts.The charity was, until recently, part of the Commission’s class inquiry into ‘double defaulters’. On 8 November 2013, the charity came out of that inquiry because it had submitted the outstanding accounts from the financial years ending 2011 and 2012. The inquiry report was published by the regulator on 24 January 2014.
The charitable sector may be beginning to emerge from the recession, according to figures from Charity Bank - the bank that lends solely to charities, social enterprises and other social purpose organisations and seeks deposits from individuals to support this mission. The Bank received record levels of loan enquiries by value in January 2014; the number of enquiries has also increased year-on-year for the past five consecutive months.
NCVO is to undertake a major research project into the effects of recent welfare reforms on charities and their beneficiaries. The year-long project will consider the effectiveness of recent welfare reforms and identify the impacts they have had. The review will take evidence from charities and is intended to inform thinking on any future changes to welfare policy. The project launched today with a call for evidence from charities on the that reforms have had on their beneficiaries and the ways in which charities have changed the support they provide.
More than 50,000 charities have signed up to Charities Online, which makes it quicker and easier for charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) to receive the gift aid on their donations. The online system means that charities can claim their Gift Aid online, which is much more efficient than the previous system of posting paper forms to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This has reduced the time taken to process payments from 29 days to nine.
The Charity Commission has today published a report of its investigations into Mind All Support Group, former registered charity number 1108766 and Kenyan Action Mission, former registered charity number 1113803. Mind All Support Group and Kenyan Action Mission, which were registered as charities in March 2005 and April 2006 respectively, have been removed from the Register of Charities. Both charities were set up to relieve poverty, advance education and promote research into economic and structural resources.
TAM Asset Management (TAM) in conjunction with Virtuo Wealth is pioneering the UK's first ISA directly linked to multiple charities in Scotland. The Charities for Scotland ISA is part of the discussion at an information event taking place in the Scottish Parliament building today sponsored by Chic Brodie MSP to an audience of IFAs, charities, clients and fund managers. Partner Charities in Scotland initially on this project will be Yorkhill, 500 Miles, Capability Scotland, Cyrenians and Bethany Trust.
Fraud is currently costing the not for profit sector more than £1.65 billion a year but more than £659 million of this loss could be prevented through the application of improved counter-fraud processes according to a new academic report published by BDO, the accountancy and business advisory firm, and the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth. The report, Minimising Fraud and Maximising Results for Charitable Purposes, released today, shows that the UK not for profit sector could better protect itself against fraud, freeing up additional resources for charitable purposes.
BNP Paribas Wealth Management has published the second edition of its Individual Philanthropy Index, which measures and reflects the commitment of philanthropists in four regions – Europe, Asia, the Middle East and for the first time, the United States. Scores are based on three main criteria: the amounts donated, innovation, and the effort invested by the philanthropists to promote their chosen causes. The Index is derived from a survey of over 400 High Net Worth Individuals in the four regions, each with investable assets valued at $5 million or more. The survey was carried out by Forbes Insights between October and December 2013.
Developing Empowering Resources in Communities (DERiC) and Big Society Capital (BSC), the social investment bank, today announced the launch of a programme to utilise personal care budgets which will improve existing service levels for people with social care needs through community engagement. Despite the UK’s ageing population, the numbers of people getting essential support in their home has actually fallen in the past five years, leaving an estimated one million people without any help.
In a letter to the three main party leaders today, Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO will insist that their parties rectify the Government’s injustice and stand up for charities. He challenges them to ensure that repeal of the unfair and unworkable provisions of Part 2 of the Lobbying Act is part of their manifestos for the 2015 General Election. The Act was introduced to Parliament last July and received Royal Assent on 30 January.
Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of the charity leader’s network ACEVO has today written to the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband, to call on him to go further on public services and commit to radical reforms that will improve outcomes, increase choice and empower citizens. In advance of the Labour Leader’s Hugo Young lecture today, he calls for renewed boldness to develop a programme of reform that will place citizens’ rights at the heart of public service delivery and design.
Leading Muslim scholars – including one from al-Azhar in Cairo, Sunni Islam’s highest religious authority – have endorsed the Henry Jackson Society’s new report, A Guide to Refuting Jihadism, the first English-language handbook to comprehensively debunk the theological basis of jihadist aims and methods. The killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby last year was a shocking reminder of the threat posed by violent extremism at home as well as abroad.
NHS Operations head Vicky McDermott is moving to become the new chief executive of leading disability charity Papworth Trust. Vicky is currently the head of Operations and Strategic Resourcing for the NHS Business Services Authority. She is also a non-executive director and vice-chair of Scope, one of the largest disability charities in the UK. Vicky, who became disabled following a car accident when she was 17, has previously held a number of senior roles across the private and public sectors.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into The Hinckley Concordia Association, charity number 501904. The charity, which is based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, provides facilities for recreation and leisure activities and established a community centre, including a theatre and other facilities, to advance the education of local residents. The purpose of the inquiry, which opened on 31 January 2014, is to examine various regulatory concerns relating to the trustees’ duties and responsibilities in relation to their administration and management of the Charity, in particular the safeguarding of charity beneficiaries
The Charity Commission has today opened an eight week consultation on proposals to change the schemes that it makes to establish Common Deposit Funds (CDF). CDFs are a type of investment fund. They are deposit-taking schemes that only charities can invest in and they are treated as charitable in law. They accept deposits from charities and pool the money to form a large sum that will then be deposited on the money market.
The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to the charity Afghan Heroes, registered charity number 1132340. The Commission used its powers under the Charities Act to appoint Brian Johnson of HW Fisher & Company as IM of the charity to the exclusion of the charity’s trustees with effect from yesterday.
Today the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) delivered another damning verdict on the performance of the Charity Commission, claiming it is ‘not fit for purpose’ in its latest report, resulting in a firm rejection of these findings from the Charity Commission. In their report the Committee accuse the Commission of ‘feeble’ performance, lacking any strategy and ultimately failing to regulate charities effectively. The report goes even further than the National Audit Office (NAO) report from last December, which also criticised the Commission’s performance and concluded it was not regulating charities effectively.
The Charity Commission will update its guidance on charities, elections and referendums, which supplements its guidance on campaigning and political activity, to explain the changes introduced by the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill 2013-14 (The Lobbying Act), which received Royal Assent yesterday. The regulator of charities in England and Wales says it will coordinate its guidance and work closely with the Electoral Commission, which is preparing guidance for all organisations affected by the legislation.
Labour should embrace a fairer voting system for local elections if it wants to live up to its ‘One Nation’ ambitions, according to a new report by the Electoral Reform Society. The report, Towards One Nation, shows that introducing the ‘Scottish system’ for local elections would put Labour on the map across the country – especially in the ‘electoral deserts’ of the South – and ensure Labour voters get their fair share of Labour councillors. Local electoral reform: Would put Labour councillors in 27 of the 69 local authorities which were ‘Labour-free’ in 2011
Recent debates about the squeeze on household incomes have suffered from a
lack of up-to-date information. The latest data covering all incomes at a household level only goes up to 2011–12, but new modelling work published by the think-tank The Institute for Fiscal Studies provides a good guide to where we are now. It shows that real median household income in 2013–14 is more than 6% lower than before the economic crisis hit in 2007–08
Save the Children’s partnership with Morrisons ended on something of a high this month - having raised £7 million for the charity’s UK and emergency work. This makes the charity partnership the biggest and most successful one that Morrisons has ever had. The incredible support from Morrisons has enabled Save the Children to transform the lives of thousands of children across the UK, in the communities where the supermarket works. Launched in April 2011, the partnership was extended from a charity of the year to run for a total of three years.
More than half (57 per cent) of UK third sector organisations are struggling to unlock the marketing and fundraising potential in the data they hold, according to Data Driven Fundraising, a new Blackbaud report launched today. The research was conducted in conjunction with research consultancy nfpSynergy and surveyed 338 not-for-profit professionals to reveal that just 30 per cent of respondents felt they were doing a good job in utilising their data for marketing and fundraising. However, 70 per cent of respondents said there was untapped potential in the data their organisations hold.
New research out today shows that government spending cuts have affected nearly two-thirds of charities (64%) in the North East, while almost 60% of charities have seen an increase in demand for their services. The Garfield Weston Foundation has revealed the new research as they launch an award to help small charities in the North East, working in the areas of youth, welfare and community. The Weston Charity Awards will give charities access to a team of senior business leaders through the organisation Pilotlight, which has been bringing together top business talent with small charities for over ten years.
The Charity Commission has opened two separate statutory inquiries into charities set up to help deliver aid to Syria. The charities concerned are Aid Convoy, registered charity number 1149015, and Syria Aid, registered company number 8361099. Statutory inquiries are the Commission’s most serious type of engagement with charities. Aid Convoy is a registered charity that describes itself as an international humanitarian organisation committed to assisting victims of disasters and wars and whose current appeal is for people affected by the conflict in Syria.
Charities and social enterprises looking to access social investment can now use a new range of simple resources to help better demonstrate their social impact. The online tools, created by the Social Investment Business and The Good Analyst, bring together expertise and advice from leading social investors and successful social enterprises. Successfully showing the impact an organisation makes is critical to their chances of receiving social investment.
The Institute of Fundraising has today raised concerns over the potential impact of recommendations from the European Central Bank (ECB) for the security of mobile payments. The recommendations, aimed to improve the security of mobile payments, are currently being consulted on and, if accepted, would be incorporated into a revised EU Payment Services Directive which would be implemented into UK law. Recommendation 7 of the proposals says that mobile payment service providers should protect mobile payments by ‘strong customer authentication’.
The Charity Commission has endorsed the latest version of Charities Evaluation Services (CES)’ PQASSO Quality Mark. The regulator's Quality Assessment Endorsement Programme aims to increase governance standards and accountability within charities by encouraging the sector to develop quality standards that charities commit to. The Commission only endorses quality systems that meet its challenging benchmark for comprehensive, robust and objective assessments of how charities are run.
The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulatory (OSCR), which together make up the joint SORP making body, have today published guidance to help trustees of large company charities comply with new reporting requirements.Information sheet 5 – The Strategic Report, is available on the Commission’s website and explains how trustees need to respond to a new provision of the Companies Act 2006 introduced by the (Strategic Report and Director’s Report) Regulations 2013.
Locality in partnership with the Local Government Association, are ready and raring to support at least 100 areas as they work towards making local services in their neighbourhoods, such as adult social care, health or employment, better for all. Open to applications from 20 January, groups can apply for direct support and grant funding.
The Social Investment Business and Social Enterprise North West will today launch the UK’s first Local Impact Fund in Liverpool, piloting an innovative financial product expected to channel more than £100 million to charities and social enterprises that meet local needs throughout England. The £2 million Liverpool City Region Impact Fund will offer business support and simple finance to local charities and social enterprises, providing unsecured loans of up to £250,000, helping them to grow and scale up the impact they make in their communities.
The New Year is looking a lot brighter for young jobseekers across England as the Big Lottery Fund today announces 21 youth unemployment hotspots are receiving their share of its £108m youth unemployment initiative, Talent Match. The news comes as the latest ONS job figures are released today. The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of good causes money from the National Lottery, launched Talent Match, a national scheme designed by young people for young people, with the aim of helping those aged 18-24 who are struggling the most to find career opportunities.
The Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) are offering up to $1.5 million for new research projects with potential to speed up the development of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. The international collaboration could help make the hope of finding effective dementia treatments within the next 10 years a reality. Focusing on drug repurposing and repositioning, the new call for proposals aims to take drugs that already exist for other conditions and develop them as dementia treatments.
The three party leaders – David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband – have united to become founding Patrons of a new charity, UpRising, whose programmes have been proven to more than double the number of young people aged 19-25 taking social action in their communities. The charity will formerly launch at the Houses of Parliament today. UpRising will be launched at a time when Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has reported social mobility in the UK is lower than in any developed country aside from Portugal.
Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO, has been featured in the Debrett’s 500 – a list of the 500 most influential and inspiring people in Britain today, published by Debrett’s People of Today in association with The Sunday Times yesterday. The 500 individuals were nominated from across 25 sectors, with Sir Stephen being selected as one of 20 most influential people in healthcare. Debrett’s, which has recognised and recorded the most influential and inspiring Britons for over 200 years, published the list for the first time ever yesterday.
Impax Environmental Markets, the investment trust dedicated to investing in innovative companies within the energy efficiency, alternative energy, water and
waste sectors reports strong investment performance figures for the year end 2013, as environmental and resource efficiency markets significantly outperformed global equity markets.
Dame Jenny Abramsky, chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF)/Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), today welcomed the appointment by the Prime Minister of six Trustees who will join the Board this year. They are: Sir Roger De Haan, philanthropist and former Chairman and CEO of Saga, David Heathcoat-Amory, Chairman of London and Devonshire Trust, and Dr Tom Tew, CEO of the Environment Bank, who will join immediately; Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain, and Steve Miller, head of Norfolk Museums Service, who will join in February; and Perdita Hunt, director of the Watts Gallery Trust, who will join in July.
The Charity Commission has today published inquiry reports into four of the charities that were under investigation as a result of double defaulting on their accounts. The first phase of the inquiry focussing on ‘double defaulting’ charities with an income over £500,000 began on 20 September 2013, when the class inquiry opened. The Commission started the second phase on 11 November 2013, turning to charities with a last known income of between £250,000 and £500,000. Failure to submit annual documents when required to the Commission is a criminal offence and the Commission says that it amounts to mismanagement and/or misconduct in the administration of a charity.
Twitter users are increasingly using the platform to give to the causes they care about, according to JustGiving, the social giving company. Social product manager Jonathan Waddingham revealed data showing over 100,000 donors made charitable donations driven from Twitter last year, totalling £2.5m. This is a rise of 70% from the year previous and 448% since 2011.
The increase in donations last year is a result of JustGiving’s increased integration with social media, and charts the influence that Twitter is having on the third sector.
After the Government yesterday refused to support amendments to their controversial Lobbying Bill made by charity campaigners, ACEVO’s CEO Sir Stephen Bubb said that it was time to drop Part 2 of the Bill. Sir Stephen’s comments came after the government tabled objections to the amendments put forward by Lord Harries in the House of Lords, which were subsequently overturned by Commons votes. The Bill will now return to the Lords once again.
Charity campaigners late yesterday afternoon won another significant vote in the House of Lords, during the controversial Lobbying Bill’s final debate. The Lords voted by 248-222 votes to adopt an amendment proposed by Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, which reduces the scope of the Lobbying Bill’s new limits on constituency-level campaigning. This latest amendment follows last week, where the Lords voted to exclude a number of staff-related costs from the scope of the legislation.
Social investment is set to grow in 2014, boosted by a new tax relief, and entrepreneurs who want to have a social impact as well as making a profit. That’s according to Nesta’s impact investment director, Joe Ludlow, who is today announcing the first social investments, totalling over £2 million, from Nesta Impact Investments. The £25 million fund, which is backed by Big Society Capital and Omidyar Network, is investing in organisations tackling issues, such as elderly care, poor educational standards and financial exclusion, that have social impact as well as providing a potential return for investors.
Macmillan Cancer Support was the top charity brand of 2013, new data from YouGov’s CharityIndex show. CharityIndex measures the public’s perception of charities on a daily basis across a range of measures. YouGov’s 2013 rankings were compiled using Buzz scores from across the year. Buzz scores measure whether people have heard good versus bad news about a charity in the previous two weeks.
In a keynote speech to charity chief executives in Parliament, Sir Stephen Bubb will today call for politicians of all sides to recognise the contribution of charities to public services during a time of austerity. His speech will argue that demands on the voluntary sector to provide services to society’s most vulnerable people continue to grow. He will say: “The 2012 British Social Attitudes survey asked whether the public supported or opposed charities or other non-profits providing personal care for older people. 48.1% agreed with the proposition and only 24.7% disagreed. To ensure the sector provides the services it should, we need to engage with a strong and independent voice.”
The voluntary sector is losing its ability to protect the most vulnerable in society as a result of government attacks on its campaigning activities, lack of consultation over policy changes, and funding arrangements that put the future of an independent sector at risk, according to a new report from a group of sector experts. The third annual assessment of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector calls on David Cameron to take action to stop weakening the independence of the sector and to rebuild trust.
Following Ed Milliband's speech on the need for banking reform and an ethos-driven economy, the latest publication from the think-tank ResPublica argues that a radical change in attitude from our businesses is needed if the private sector is to regain the trust of British consumers. With public trust in businesses at an all-time low and bankers at the “bottom of the league”, ResPublica’s publication The Virtue of Enterprise: Responsible business for a new economy, calls for an improved model of corporate governance and responsibility that ushers in a new era of accountability and transparency.
BlackRock has launched the BlackRock Developed World ex Tobacco Index Fund to meet demand from organisations in the healthcare sector, charities, medical foundations and pension schemes. The fund assists investors seeking to tailor their socially responsible investment strategies by providing a low cost exposure to global equity markets whilst also excluding stocks in the tobacco and controversial weapons sectors from their portfolios.
Trewin Restorick, the founder of Global Action Plan – the environmental behaviour change charity – has decided to stand down after 20 years. He said it is time to step down from the role of running the charity to embark on establishing a new venture. Trewin said: "The time is right for me to hand over the running of the organisation. This year has been one of exceptional growth for Global Action Plan. The charity is financially robust, has an amazingly talented team of senior partners leading the organisation and a strong and influential board of trustees.
The Charity Commission has welcomed the sentencing of Gerald Edmund, a Bristol bishop who admitted stealing £186,000 from his church. The 76 year old former magistrate was sentenced on Friday at Birmingham Magistrates Court to two years for stealing the sum from Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic. Edmund, who was bishop at Bethel Apostolic Church in St George between 1962 and 2002, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one of fraud by false representation between July 2010 and February 2011.
A major survey of senior fundraising and finance professionals in the charity sector has kicked off today, the seventh in a series designed to track the recession’s impact on the charity sector. The Managing in a Downturn series, produced by PwC, Charity Finance Group (CFG) and the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), has been charting how charities are coping during the economic decline since 2008. Over 400 charities responded to the 2013 survey, providing a real insight into how they are responding to funding cuts and increasing demand for services.
Leading asset management firm Quilter Cheviot has announced that William Reid will head its charities division with immediate effect. As head of charities, Reid will oversee the growth of some £1.3 billion of charity assets, belonging to 580 charities and representing 8% of the company’s overall funds under management. Reid became a partner at London-based Cheviot in 2006. He originally joined from Laing and Cruickshank, where he was appointed associate director in 2003 and later became an investment director following the acquisition of the company by UBS.
J O Hambro Investment Management (JOHIM) today announced that it has changed its name to Waverton Investment Management. The rebrand follows the sale of the JOHIM business by Credit Suisse to Bermuda based financial services group, Somers, and JOHIM management in 2013. The London based specialist investment manager, which provides discretionary portfolio management for private clients, charities and institutions, also offers a range of offshore funds through its Dublin-based Waverton Fund range.
Regressive policies towards charities and an atmosphere of suspicion among governments across the world risk undermining public trust and threaten to stifle the growth of charitable giving according to a report released today. Heavy handed government policy and regulatory mismanagement in many parts of the world have damaged the public reputation of charities, according to the report by the Charities Aid Foundation, an international charity which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to charities and not-for-profit organisations.
An amendment that would have removed charities from the Lobbying Bill and the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) was torpedoed by the Charity Commission in a key debate in the House of Lords on Wednesday night. Earlier in the week support for the move had been building within the Lords for the amendment tabled by Lord Phillips of Sudbury, the leading charity law expert and Liberal Democrat peer. However, the wind was taken out of his sails by an eleventh hour letter to Lords from the Charity Commission, in which they reiterated their opposition to any exemption, claiming it was not in the best interest of public trust and confidence in charity.
Civil society campaigners last night won significant changes in the House of Lords, at the report stage on the controversial Lobbying Bill. Despite welcome government concessions last week, ACEVO warned that the bill still posed significant risks and stated that the remaining constituency limits and the requirement to monitor staff costs under the new regime meant that the Lobbying Bill was still bad.In the House of Lords last night, that pressure told.
Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO today issued a warning to the Government in advance of the Lords’ debate on the Lobbying Bill. Sir Stephen argued that charities would have no choice but to seek an exemption if further amendments to the bill were not forthcoming. Commenting, Sir Stephen Bubb said: “Last week the Government recognised that the Lobbying Bill as it stands is flawed and made welcome concessions on the bill. But ACEVO have argued consistently that the bill is still dangerous to civil society. And since the Government announced that it would make concessions we have argued consistently that there was still significant risk.
Impetus–The Private Equity Foundation (Impetus-PEF), the pioneer of venture philanthropy in the UK, today announced an additional investment of £600,000 over two years in Street League, the charity which uses football to change the lives of unemployed young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
Impetus-PEF brings strategic resources to charities and social enterprises that work to support children and young people in poverty in the UK.
Stonewall today publishes its Top 100 Employers 2014, showcasing Britain's best employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff. Gentoo is named as 2014’s top gay-friendly employer; in second place is Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and The Co-operative is third. Accenture and EY complete the top five. This is the first time that a housing sector employer has taken the top spot. Britain’s military and security services are well represented on the list, with the Security Service (MI5), Ministry of Defence, the Army and the Royal Navy all securing positions.
The number of people being diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year has hit more than 330,000 for the first time, according to the latest figures published by Cancer Research UK today. While more people than ever are being diagnosed with cancer, research has led to more people surviving the disease. Survival has doubled in the last 40 years thanks to improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In 2001 there were around 283,000 cases diagnosed which means there has been an increase of nearly 50,000 over 10 years.
An independent commission, led by cross-bencher Lord Low, is calling for urgent reforms to ensure ordinary people can get the help they need to deal with employment, debt, housing and other social welfare law problems.The Low Commission was the biggest inquiry of its kind into the impact of cuts in funding for social welfare law advice. In its report, published today 9 January 2014, the commission calls for a national strategy for advice and legal support, to replace the current piecemeal approach, which is failing to protect the poorest and most vulnerable.
New Government research published today proves that studying a wide range of courses in prison makes people less likely to reoffend when they are released. The report sampled over 3,000 prisoners who had been funded by the charity Prisoners Education Trust (PET) to study distance learning courses in prison and found a reduction in reoffending when compared with similar prisoners. The results, published by the Ministry of Justice’s Data Lab alongside analysis of the effectiveness of several organisations and PET is the only intervention exclusively in custody shown to have had a statistically significant reduction.
The public are becoming more generous when donating to their favourite causes at Christmas, according to new Blackbaud analysis, with the average online donation made in December rising by 14 per cent since 2010. After analysing its customers’ December online fundraising pages between 2010 and 2013, the software and services firm revealed that the average online gift in 2013 was £64.10, up 14 per cent from £56.27 in 2010. There was also a significant increase in the proportion of a not-for-profit’s total annual online donations received in November and December.
The Government has made new concessions to the sector on the controversial Lobbying Bill, resulting in sector organisations giving a positive but qualified response to the changes. The Government plans to amend the bill to exempt smaller charities and raise the amount campaigners can spend ahead of the 2015 general election, by raising the threshold at which campaigning expenditure requires registration with the Electoral Commission, to £20,000 in England and to £10,000 in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Two Warwickshire charities, which pumps profits into local community projects have won a Big Society Award. The announcement comes ahead of Warwickshire Community Recycling’s busiest time of year as it prepares to recycle tons of Christmas packaging, wrapping and trees. Warwickshire Community Recycling runs 2 recycling centres, in Stockton and Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action and the Heart of England Community Foundation set up the project in 2012.
The Charity Commission has announced that it will accept an application for registration from the Preston Down Trust (PDT) based on a revised governing document. The PDT, a Plymouth Brethren Christian Church meeting hall, has agreed to re-submit an application for registration and to amend its trusts by entering into a Deed of Variation, which sets out, in a manner binding on the trustees, the church’s core religious doctrines and practices.
More than half of people think that charities should be able to lobby the government to further their cause, a new report suggests. The Politics of Charities, published by research consultancy nfpSynergy, also shows that a charity campaigning to change the law just puts one in 25 people off donating, while MPs and journalists are apparently wary of non-profits becoming political. Six out of 10 people agreed that ‘charities should be able to campaign to change laws and government policies relevant to their work’, while only 10% were against it.
CFG has announced the appointment of three new directors to CFG who will help it build on its achievements . CFG’s new leadership team will be: Tania Cohen, director of services and enterprise, John Ingamells, director of Policy and Engagement, Jane Tully, deputy irector of Policy and Engagement and Jacqui Porritt, director of resources.
Workplace Giving UK has welcomed the latest revised figures from HMRC which show that donations to charity direct from pay have risen £37 million to £155 million, rather than the £6 million as first reported by HMRC in June 2013 for the financial year 2012-13. The number of employees using the scheme has also topped the 1 million mark for the first time, with 1,022,000 employees donating from pay in the financial year 2012- 13, a 39% increase on the previous year.
Ministers should reverse the cuts to the legal aid budget, as they are causing pain and hardship to some of the most vulnerable members of society seeking legal redress, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today. Unite national officer for the not for profit sector Sally Kosky said: “Unite is increasingly concerned that the proposed draconian cuts on top of the major cuts already made to legal aid will fundamentally undermine access to justice.
HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has announced the appointment of Dr Rosemary Gillespie as its new chief executive. Dr Gillespie joins the charity from the role of chief executive of international HIV awareness charity AVERT. Her previous roles have included deputy chief executive and director of Policy and Research for Breast Cancer Care, and chief executive of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
Charities could be missing out on potential volunteers over Christmas, new research suggests. Over a quarter of people saying they are planning some Yuletide volunteering this year, with many motivated by the festive spirit and ‘extra time provided by the holidays’. The survey of 1000 adults, carried out by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 28% of British people intend to volunteer over the Christmas period.
Complaints about street fundraisers, or 'chuggers', have fallen in the past 12 months following the introduction of a national voluntary agreement to improve standards. Last November, the Local Government Association (LGA) launched the joint national agreement ‘Making the Pledge', between councils and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), to tackle growing concerns about the behaviour of some face-to-face charity collectors.
More than half of consumers feel they have ‘little or no control’ over what they buy in 5 of the 7 markets that are most fundamental to the UK’s cost of living, according to the findings of a poll released by the Social Economy Alliance. Despite the political focus on energy bills; rail and bus travel and care for the elderly came off even worse than energy and water in the polling, with almost two thirds saying they have little or no control over what they buy in these essential markets (65% transport, 64% care for the elderly, 59% energy and water).
The Charity Commission is asking the court to decide how the Interim Manager (IM) appointed to run the Dove Trust can lawfully distribute funds to those owed money by the charity. The Dove Trust ran the online giving website CharityGiving, which was suspended in July. The IM has concluded that there is, at present, approximately £500,000 available for an initial distribution to over 1,800 charities and good causes owed money by the Dove Trust.
The Institute of Fundraising has today published the results of the largest survey on the diversity of the fundraising profession. Who’s doing the asking? Diversity in the fundraising profession presents the results of a survey of almost 1,500 people who work in fundraising. Among the key findings in the report are: fundraisers tend to be younger than the average of people working in the voluntary sector, with an average age of 40.1 years old...
ACEVO has today launched its Good Pay Guide for charities and social enterprises, putting forward a range of recommendations to help maintain public trust in the charity sector. Announced on the day of CEO Sir Stephen Bubb’s appearance before the Public Administration Select Committee, the Good Pay Guide - which was referred to by Sir Stephen during his evidence - is a practical tool to help charities deliver value for money for donors, staff and beneficiaries.
Nine per cent of adults in England have experienced homelessness at some point in their life, new research reveals. The findings are from state-of-the nation report The Homelessness Monitor: England – an independent study published annually by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) that analyses the impact on homelessness of economic and policy developments. England has the highest rate of homelessness of all the UK countries with 9% of adults saying they have been homeless and 2.2% saying this happened in the last five years, new analysis for the study found.
NPC has today launched a ground-breaking tool for charities to pilot, allowing them to easily segment their donors into seven distinct categories laid out in the charity think tank’s Money for Good UK research. Using a quick and simple questionnaire, fundraisers can find out which of their supporters are Loyal Supporters, Ad Hoc Givers or Engaged Champions for example, and then use the information about these groups to tailor their fundraising approaches. The tool has been developed as part of the second part of Money for Good UK, supported by the Gates Foundation and Unity Trust Bank, and is available to download for free from NPC’s website.
Sector organisations have been broadly positive on the social investment tax relief announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, but with some big questions marks over the detail. In the Autumn Statement released by George Osborne and the Treasury this morning, social investment tax relief will be available for equity and certain debt investments in charities, community interest companies and community benefit societies, and for investment in new social impact bonds where the special purpose vehicle is structured as a company limited by shares.
3 in 4 adults (76%) would not donate to a charity which had failed to submit its financial accounts and returns to the Charity Commission, according to an independent ICM poll commissioned by the charity regulator and the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), the self-regulatory body for UK fundraising. Christmas is a traditional time for giving and charities work hard to raise money during this period to fund their work. 85% of people give directly to charity at Christmas, donating an average of around £40 to the good causes they care about.
A volunteering programme run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations has displayed ‘an impressive capacity’ to help unemployed people into paid work, according to an independent evaluation. The Big Lottery Fund-backed Volunteering for Stronger Communities (VSC) programme provides targeted support for unemployed people who face significant barriers to employment.
The Prime Minister will announce the UK has now attracted £2 billion in private sector investment in life sciences since the launch of the government’s strategy 2 years ago, adding further evidence that the long-term economic plan is working. He will say that scientific breakthroughs hold the key to slowing down or even preventing the onset of the illness and he wants the growing UK life sciences sector to lead the way. Building on the Autumn Statement and in a further boost to the UK life sciences sector, the Prime Minister will set out:
Also at today’s G8 dementia summit, Alzheimer’s Society chief executive, Jeremy Hughes, will pledge to spend at least £100 million on dementia research in the next decade. This sustained commitment and long-term thinking will help change the face of dementia research and Alzheimer’s Society is calling on governments and others to follow suit. Dementia is our biggest health and social care challenge. Affecting millions globally, it has overtaken cancer to become the most feared condition amongst over 55 year olds.
Millions of people are being left behind, and the charities that help them are being shut out from David Cameron’s faltering Big Society project, according to a new report published today. The Big Society Audit 2013, released by think tank Civil Exchange, warns that a radical review of Big Society thinking is needed and says that, despite the rhetoric:
The Charity Commission is not regulating charities effectively, according to the National Audit Office’s report The regulatory effectiveness of the Charity Commission. The spending watchdog recognises that the Commission carries out important and necessary work and that its independent status and expertise are highly valued, but finds that there is a gap between what the public expects of the Commission and what it actually does. The NAO has concluded that the Commission does not do enough to identify and tackle abuse of charitable status.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd has launched a consultation on strengthening the powers of the Charity Commission. The consultation will run until 12 February 2014. It will examine how the Charity Commission tackles serious abuse and how the range of criminal offences that disqualify people from being a charity trustee could be extended. The proposed changes include: Extending the range of criminal offences which automatically bar a person from acting as a charity trustee
The Charity Commission welcomed the Cabinet Office consultation, published yesterday, on amending and extending its powers to tackle abuse and mismanagement in charities and says it supports the proposals. The regulator says it is vital that its existing powers are strengthened. The Commission is required under charity law to identify and tackle mismanagement and abuse in charities but weaknesses in its current powers are undermining its ability to be an effective regulator.
The charity Directory of Social Change has challenged the conclusions of a National Audit Office report on the Charity Commission. The National Audit Office released its report on the regulatory effectiveness of the Charity Commission, in the wake of the Cup Trust scandal and subsequent investigations by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.
The UK is top of the developed world for giving money to charity, with 76% of Britons giving to good causes in a typical month. This increase in financial giving makes the UK the sixth most charitable nation in the world, up from 8th, in the World Giving Index, the biggest annual global survey of giving. The survey also found that Britons are becoming more generous with their time. Volunteering levels rose by three percentage points from the previous year to 29%.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is today announcing a £7m of investment in two of the UK’s most wonderful buildings: Durham Cathedral and Peterborough Cathedral. Both are due to celebrate important anniversaries in the next five years. HLF’s investment will enable the display of original 13th-century copies of the Magna Carta alongside other artefacts in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the charter in 2015. The Monks’ Dormitory and Great Kitchen, some of the most intact medieval monastic rooms in England, will be restored to house an exhibition showcasing the history of the cathedral and its monastic community.
The popular trend for judging charities according to the proportion of income spent on overheads is ‘useless’, according to a new report published today by NPC. In Keeping account: A guide to charity financial analysis, the charity think tank and consultancy explains how funders and others can gain a meaningful understanding of a charity’s financial position, and any risks it might be facing. The report talks about topics in the headlines this year—from charity chief executive pay and the importance of unrestricted income to charity survival.
UnLtd, HEFCE, universities and entrepreneurship support organisations across England will build a sustainable system of support for social entrepreneurs.The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is today launching a £2 million programme to strengthen and broaden support for social entrepreneurship and social enterprise in universities and higher education colleges across England. The programme, part of the UnLtd SEE Change, Social Entrepreneurship in Education initiative, will be delivered by UnLtd, the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK.
The Charity Commission has today published new Regulations and guidance for trustees on adopting a total return approach to the investment of the charity’s permanent endowment. New legislation, which comes into effect on 1 January 2014, will amend the Charities Act 2011 and allow the trustees of permanently endowed trusts to adopt a total return approach to investment without seeking prior permission from the Commission. The regulator has today published the Regulations which set out in detail the rules that charities must follow to adopt and operate a total return approach.
The Charity Commission has endorsed the latest version of the ACRE Good Practice Quality Standard quality system. The regulator's Quality Assessment Endorsement Programme aims to increase the governance standards and accountability within charities by encouraging umbrella bodies to develop a set of quality standards that their members commit to. ACRE is the national umbrella body of England’s 38 rural community councils, who make up the ACRE Network.
The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) today launches a public consultation on the future of the political party. As party membership continues to fall and people’s trust in politicians spirals ever downwards, the ERS is asking members of the public as well as party activists, politicians and experts to share their vision of the party of the future. The consultation consists of three questions: What are political parties for? What does the party of the future look like? What can parties do now to reconnect with people?
The UK public have already donated a DEC record of £6 million via tablets and smart phones to assist those whose lives have been devastated by the Philippines typhoon. The record-breaking figure has been donated over a much shorter time period than for previous DEC appeals, including the East Africa food crisis, and the total given now stands at £65 million. Donations from mobile devices have overwhelmingly come from Apple users, who have donated a staggering £4.4 million using their iPhone or iPad.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) today announced that their appeal for people affected by the Philippines typhoon has raised a staggering £65 million. DEC member agencies and their partners have now delivered aid to more than 700,000 people across affected areas of the Philippines, using both funds raised by the DEC and support from many other sources. DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “The response by the UK public to this appeal has been nothing short of extraordinary.
More than 2.3 million votes were cast by the public for their favourite good cause - an overwhelming response to the 2013 Lloyds Bank Community Fund and the 1,332 good causes shortlisted in England and Wales. In each community of four local good causes, the two with the most votes will now be awarded £3,000 and the other two will each be awarded £300 to deliver projects and services as diverse as funding anti-bullying workshops in Brighton or restoring a community river bank to its natural state in Andover. Every good cause on the shortlist received votes - cast online, in branches or by SMS during September and October 2013.
National retinitis pigmentosa support and research charity RP Fighting Blindness, has announced it is in the process of transferring its operations to a new legal body - a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The planned formal transfer date is December 31 2013. Currently constituted under a Deed of Trust dating back to 1976, it had been felt by the board of trustees and the chief executive that the charity was in need of constitutional modernisation.
Today marks the launch of the Spirit of 2012 Trust, an organisation established with a Big Lottery Fund endowment of £40 million. It has the challenging and exciting task of helping to deliver a lasting social and community legacy from the London 2012 Games. The Spirit of 2012 Trust has four key aims: Harness the energy, commitment and organisation of the volunteering legacy of the London 2012 Games for community benefit; build on the energy, creativity and positive spirit inspired by the London 2012 Games to galvanise and inspire groups of people into social action.
New analysis of the ONS Longitudinal Study by Birkbeck College and the think-tank Demos reveals a growing trend of ‘comfort-zone segregation’. The ESRC-sponsored research found 100,000 ethnic minority people left London for other parts of England and Wales between 2001 and 2011. However, they are mainly moving to diverse, mixed-minority wards rather than to the 80 per cent of England & Wales which averages 96 per cent white.
Charity shops act as a life support on Britain’s high streets, providing a number of benefits for local businesses, residents and communities, according to a new report by think-tank Demos. An in-depth study into the value of charity shops found they keep people shopping on their high street and drastically reduce the number of empty shops, challenging the perception that they fuel high street decline. Charity shops are also in the frontline of the fight against unemployment.
Donations to charity from 16-24 year olds in Northen Ireland have more than doubled from 2011, up by over £5.00 per year, according to NICVA’s 2013 survey into individual giving in Northern Ireland. The survey found that donations from people aged 16-24 increased from an average of £3.60 in 2011 to £8.68 in 2013, possibly due to increased donations via mobile phones and social media. Overall the number of people in Northern Ireland claiming to give to charity has increased slightly, up 7% from 66% in 2011 to 73% in 2013. The average donation remains around the same at £17.65.
Donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee Philippines Typhoon Appeal have topped £60m since the launch two weeks ago. Over 13 million people have been affected by the devastating typhoon. Praising the response, the DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “The support of the British public over the last two weeks has been astounding in helping us reach another milestone figure. "People across the UK have dug deep into their pockets to help some of the millions of people affected by this terrible tragedy.
Charity chief executives have recently found themselves under the spotlight in one area more than any other; their salaries. Plenty has been said about the public objecting to anyone at a charity earning over £100k a year, but we have been looking at how we got to this stage. The data, drawn from the country’s top 50 most recognisable charities, looks back at the last five years of CEO pay and what drives it. It discovered that CEO salaries have broadly increased at the same rate as charitable income and that there has been something of a rebalancing in the sector, with higher salaries increasing far more slowly than the lower ones.
Threadneedle Investments has today announced it will launch the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund in partnership with Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue. The Fund aims to achieve both an investment return and a positive social outcome by investing in fixed income securities of organisations which support socially beneficial activities and economic development.
The Silver Line Helpline is launching across the UK today, thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund of £5million over two years, to help every older person who needs information, friendship, advice and protection from abuse or neglect. It is the only free, confidential, 24 hour service for older people and as well as the helpline, trained volunteers will become Silver Line Friends providing regular friendship calls. As well as the momey from the Big Lottery Fund, the other founding partners of The Silver Line are Comic Relief, Swiss Re and BT, who made the pilot phase of The Silver Line possible.
The Community Investment Coalition has urged the House of Lords to put an end to the payday lending misery being experienced by millions of hard up households by backing an amendment to the Banking Reform Bill that would establish a proven regulatory regime for the industry. An amendment tabled for debate at Report stage of the Bill by the Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Sharkey, would require the Financial Conduct Authority to establish regulations based on the Florida, USA, model of payday lending regulation, and which would...
Every year ACEVO’s Pay Survey acts as a bench mark for the sectors progress. This year’s shows that there is still progresses to be made to the gender pay gap within the sector and encouraging diversity within charity boards. The results show: the pay gap between male and female CEO’s has increased to 18.6% of the median male salary compared to last year’s figure of 12.1%. Median male CEO salary has increased to £67,000 (£62,000 in 2012) compared to £54,530 for female CEO’s (£54,500 in 2012)
NAVCA has published the findings of their sixth quarterly tracker survey, which was undertaken in October. The findings indicate that NAVCA members are experiencing a greater level of stability than in previous surveys, although overall members feel prospects are more likely to worsen for both themselves and local charities and community groups rather than improve. The findings come from NAVCA’s sixth quarterly survey of members.
Many payday lenders in Scotland are breaking the promises they made last year to clean up their act – according to new research published today by Citizens Advice Scotland. One year ago this week, the main payday lenders published a voluntary Code of Conduct in which they acknowledged some wrongdoing in the industry, and set out a number of cast-iron guarantees to improve their operations so they offered fair and responsible lending in future. CAS has been asking payday loan clients all year to report their experiences, and in our report card today we can show that lenders have in fact broken most of the pledges in their own code.
Every £1 invested in volunteering in the NHS yields services worth £11 in return, estimates a new report by The King's Fund. Volunteering in acute trusts in England: Understanding the scale and impact is based on the first national survey of volunteering in hospitals. The survey found that there are nearly 500 volunteers in the average acute trust, equating to more than 78,000 volunteers in hospitals across England who contribute more than 13 million hours per year. Based on current NHS pay rates, this translates to a return of £11 for every £1 invested in the training and management of volunteers.
A ground-breaking £2m fund has re-opened to entrepreneurs across the North. The Social Incubator North scheme invites budding entrepreneurs to submit their business idea for its second round, with the chance of up to £25k loan investment and up to 80 hours of tailored one-to-one business support, peer learning, networking and access to business premises for the successful applicants. All ideas must come with a social backbone, such as offering employment or training to vulnerable members of the community or delivering a service with green credentials.
The Big Lottery Fund has welcomed the start of its Triennial Review announced by the Cabinet Office today. The review is being conducted in accordance with the requirement for all Government Departments to review their Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) at least once every three years. In common with other Triennial Reviews of NDPBs, the review will examine whether there is a continuing need for the functions performed by the Big Lottery Fund (the Fund), as well as the structure, efficiency, and effectiveness of the organisation. In order to make a full assessment, the review will take into account the views of people who have an involvement with or interest in the Fund as a grant making organisation.
The Charity Commission has today published two revised model schemes for Common Investment Funds (CIFs) following a consultation this summer. The revised schemes are needed to ensure that CIFs are compliant with the implementation of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). A CIF is a collective investment fund in which only charities can participate. Charity law gives the Commission the power to establish these funds as charities.
Leading investment house, ING Investment Management (ING IM) is predicting that 2014 will continue to see global growth acceleration as the US and Japanese economies pick up pace. At its Annual Outlook Conference held in London this morning, the investment manager predicted the US will grow above its potential thanks to less fiscal tightening, private sector healing and monetary support. Meanwhile, it foresees that Abenomics will succeed in reflating Japan although ING IM does believe that more should be done to unlock corporate savings and highlights that a consumption tax hike will remain a downside risk.
National charity Contact the Elderly has appointed a new CEO, Mary Rance, to further its unwavering mission to tackle acute loneliness and isolation among older people across England, Scotland and Wales. Contact the Elderly organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people within the homes of volunteers – providing a regular and vital friendship link every month. As the charity gears up for its Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2015, Mary Rance will focus on increasing the charity’s network of volunteers, partners and funders to extend its vital companionship link with lonely older people.
Fifty thousand 16 to 18-year-olds are taking 'dead-end' courses that will end with no job and will turn them off education and training, a policy think-tank has warned. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says huge numbers of late teens were facing being NEET(not in education, employment or training) by studying low-level courses that offer little or no job preparation or incentive toward further study. Almost 250,000 teenagers who left school without good qualifications are studying these courses, but IPPR says that up to a fifth would be better off on an apprenticeship or in stronger forms of pre-apprenticeship training.
The Big Lottery Fund today announced it will make available up to £5 million through its International Communities programme to support charities working to help communities in the Philippines rebuild their lives following the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan. The Big Lottery Fund cannot make general donations to emergency appeals. Nor does it believe its funds are best used for immediate disaster relief. Instead, it will make up to £5 million available to UK based charities, working with communities in the Philippines, to help the long term process of rebuilding lives and livelihoods.
Communities which lost millions of pounds which were diverted to fund the Olympics were not even given a mention in a House of Lords Olympic legacy report which was published today. In 2007 the last Government diverted £425 million from the Big Lottery Fund – which funds small community groups and charities across the UK – to pay for infrastructure on the Olympic Park. The current Government has reneged on the promise to repay, saying the money will only come back from sales of assets on the park site; a scenario which will see hard-pressed charities wait until the 2030s to be repaid.
The UK has pledged a further £30 million to support the UN and Red Cross emergency appeals for the Philippines, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced today. The funding will be used to deliver vital supplies to more than 500,000 victims of the Typhoon Haiyan and support UN and Red Cross teams working on the ground as they coordinate the international relief effort. He also announced that the UK will deploy a C130 to help with the relief efforts. The C130 will assist DFID, the UN and national authorities with the internal delivery of humanitarian aid and the movement of personnel.
As part of a drive to communicate its core belief in the positive effects of investing in people, Skills Third Sector is rebranding to Skills Effect. The new name reflects the organisation’s new focus on developing innovative, sector-specific products and services that will make skills and training more accessible and relevant to the growing 163,000 charities and not for profit organisations in the UK. Skills Effect shair, Jane Slowey, said: “Many organisations in our sector are having to do more for less. At a time when funding is diminishing, it is vital that civil society organisations make the most of the people they have – whether they are paid employees, volunteers or trustees.
At the start of the second week since Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall, the DEC has received donations of £33 million for the Philippines Typhoon appeal. Speaking on behalf of the agencies which make up the DEC, its chief executive Saleh Saeed, said: “The generosity of the public is yet again surpassing all expectations. The aid agencies represented by the Disasters Emergency Committee never take such kindness for granted but this shows that when people are really suffering, the UK responds.
The Charity Commission has today published inquiry reports into five of the charities that were under investigation as a result of double defaulting on their accounts. It has also announced the new phase of the class inquiry. The first phase of the inquiry focussing on ‘double defaulting’ charities with an income over £500,000 began on September 20 2013, when the class inquiry opened. Failure to submit annual documents to the Commission is a criminal offence and the Commission says that it amounts to mismanagement and/or misconduct in the administration of a charity.
Unite, the country’s biggest union, has today launched a new credit union service, in a bid to take on payday lenders, encourage saving and offer members finance without fear. The new credit union service, launched at Unite’s sector conference, arrives in the week the union released figures showing the extent of Britain’s cost of living crisis. Independent research shows that the disposable income of Unite members has fallen by £129 a month, with households being forced to borrow an average of £660 over the same period.
The chairman of the Charity Commission says the regulator of charities is improving its approach to dealing with serious problems in charities, especially where there is a suspicion of deliberate abuse. Speaking at Mansion House as part of a lecture on Charity and the City, William Shawcross said the regulator is already taking steps to sharpen its regulatory approach to serious wrong-doing, including by using its statutory powers more frequently. These include: powers to suspend or remove charity trustees, or to require trustees to provide information to the regulator.
Investment boutique Cerno Capital Partners gave a fascinating insight into investment trends at its latest invetment seminar held at Selwyn College, Cambridge University. Jame Spence, managing partner at Cerno, in a talk enitled Asset Allocation in a Confusing Era – What normalisation means for investors, expanded on the historical context of the current financial situation and Cerno's defining idea of normalisation. Spence began by identifying three periods of investment, citing the Barclays Equity Gilt Study that 1982-2008 was The Great Moderation; 2008-2012 The Great Crisis; with 2013 onwards being something of a question mark.
Only one in five (21%) funders say they are not measuring their own impact and 72% plan to boost their impact measurement over the next three years, according to a new report launched today by NPC. However, one in ten funders (10%) remain unconvinced about the importance of measuring their own impact. Funding impact, published by charity think tank and consultancy NPC, also found that while most funders collect some information about impact from the charities they support, many are not making the most of this data.
ACEVO has announced that Asheem Singh will be joining the organisation as the new director of policy. Singh has a wealth of policy experience from numerous high profile organisations, most recently the Impetus Trust where he was the director of policy and Strategy, but he has also held senior roles at ResPublica Think Tank, Centre for Social Justice and for Nick Hurd MP.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has today launched an appeal for people affected by the devastating Philippines typhoon. The organisation said its members, which are the UK’s leading aid agencies, are already responding to the crisis but the scale of destruction is such that there is huge unmet need. Typhoon Haiyan – said to be the strongest ever to make landfall – has rendered roads impassable and airports out of action which is severely hampering relief efforts, the DEC said.
Seven out of ten (72%) young people with chronic health conditions felt at risk of unemployment during the recession, while 97% attend work when ill due to fear of job loss. This is according to a report by Fit for Work UK, written by The Work Foundation, and published today. The findings reveal that negative social attitudes towards chronic conditions, in schools and amongst employers, are leaving many young people at risk of low earnings and exclusion from the labour market.
The Charity Commission has encouraged people wishing to help victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to check the Commission’s website and give to established, registered charities. It says charities such as the members of the Disasters Emergency Committee, which has launched a dedicated appeal in response to the typhoon, are experienced in providing emergency help during humanitarian disasters.
CFG is concerned that 22,000 small charities that are due to auto-enrol their employees into pension schemes from 2015 onwards could be underestimating the scale of the task. Findings from a recent CFG survey show relatively high levels of confidence in the sector, with 63% of respondents due to auto-enrol from 2015 saying they are confident in their capacity to implement it. However, this appears to be at odds with the practical experience of those who have complied to-date.
A new report launched today by the charity think tank and consultancy NPC encourages charities working in the visual impairment sector to talk to and work with commercial providers — such as national optician’s chains, pharmacies and private healthcare firms. This would increase awareness of eye health and improve eye test accessibility for vulnerable groups, and older people in particular. In sight: a review of the visual impairment sector finds that, while blindness is the disability people fear most, the general public are simply not taking good care of their eyes.
New research published today says that local businesses make a limited but important contribution towards supporting voluntary and community organisations. Local Business Giving: between the raffle prize and a new source of funding, by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University, is notable because there is little published research on local businesses support for the voluntary sector. This is in contrast to the considerable attention given to the role of large businesses in supporting charities.
20 UK charities are now better able to measure their achievements thanks to a Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and Coalition for Efficiency (CfE) programme aimed at improving charitable services through better impact measurement. The Measuring the Good programme, funded by Esmée Fairbairn and the Garfield Weston Foundation, provided 20 charities with structured, facilitative support from senior volunteers from the private and public sector to help the charities focus on their mission and improve their process of impact measurement.
Sourcing new funding streams to compensate for reductions in government support is the biggest challenge for charity executives, but competition for funds is getting more intense, according to the latest survey by accountancy firm Baker Tilly. Almost half (47%) of the charities taking part in Baker Tilly’s Funding Challenge survey said that government funding had decreased over the last 12 months reflecting the prolonged period of austerity, and almost two thirds (63%) said that sourcing new funding streams was their biggest challenge.
The Vulnerable and Disengaged Young People Fund, a new funding stream through the Cabinet Office Centre for Social Action, has up to £2m to help grow ambitious social action programmes to inspire England’s most vulnerable young people. It will be administered by the Social Investment Business on behalf of the Cabinet Office. Organisations looking to create or further develop inspiring social action programmes for young people can apply for a development, evidence or scale-up grant from 8 November until 6 December 2013.
More organisations are creating and advertising ‘micro-volunteering’ opportunities, according to new research from NCVO. Demand for such volunteering opportunities, often tasks that can be completed online or on smartphones, is also likely to grow, the research concludes, as it provides a more accessible form of volunteering which is increasingly sought after. Growth will also be driven by technological development.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales and The Scottish Charity Regulator have welcomed the sector’s enthusiastic response to its consultation on the draft SORP. Over 1,600 charity sector representatives took part in the 26 consultation events held by the SORP making body, hosted by or in conjunction with umbrella and professional accountancy bodies and accountancy firms across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The 447,000 people whose benefits were stopped or ‘sanctioned’ since October last year have been left at risk of severe hardship and risk of homelessness – often through no fault of their own – warns homelessness charity Crisis. Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions, reveal that since October 2012 447,000 people had their benefits stopped. Of these, 215,000 were jobseekers who saw their benefits stopped for at least a month – with some potentially facing three years without their main form of financial support.
Rathbones’ Charities Team today announces its funds under management have hit £2.5bn in the year to 30 September, up 35% from last year. Its client base grew 13.4 per cent in this same period. The growth comes on the back of Rathbones’ decision to lower its minimum size criteria for a segregated portfolio two years ago. James Brennan, business development director for Charities at Rathbones, said: “We’ve seen growing interest from a range of charities, including groups which have previously not explored investing, but have become frustrated as inflation diminishes their cash deposits.
Despite good governance being essential for the successful running and management of charities, many UK charities have very different approaches to governance according to a new survey from Trustees Unlimited. Trustees Unlimited questioned 1,300 trustees to find out more about governance practices in charities and found that whilst 36% of charities discuss governance at most board meetings, a third discuss it just once a year and 15% never talk about it. The research also highlighted a lack of training on governance matters in some UK charities and a poor induction process for new trustees.
CHANGING LIVES, the newly renamed charity The Cyrenians, has agreed to incorporate a significant proportion of Platform 51’s specialist women’s and girls’ frontline provision through a transfer. The move, which takes place with immediate effect, involves the transfer of 64 staff from Platform 51 to CHANGING LIVES, working in projects from Middlesbrough, Doncaster and Liverpool, to Nottingham, Wolverhampton and Wales. The changes will help to ensure the continuing provision of services for girls and women across the country as Platform 51 changes its focus from frontline provision.
NAVCA’s AGM was held today at the RUSI building in Whitehall and NAVCA published its annual review and accounts for 2012-13. The accounts show NAVCA made a small surplus in the year and also gave over £400,000 in grants to its members. The annual review highlights key successes including securing free DBS checks for volunteers, ensuring local healthwatch are community led organisations and opposing the payment of charity trustees. In 2012-13 NAVCA made a small surplus of £6,000. Income was up from £1.8million in 2011-12 to £2.6 million in 2012-13, although this included a £1 million grant for the Building Health Partnerships project.
The winners of this year’s Compact Awards have been announced at a ceremony held by Compact Voice last night in Westminster. The ceremony was hosted by Simon Blake, chair of Compact Voice, and Nick Hurd MP, minister for Civil Society. The Compact Awards recognise excellent partnership working taking place between different sectors. Announcing the winners, Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, said: "The winners of the 2013 Compact Awards all display thoughtful and collaborative working, showing just how much can be achieved when people work well in partnership.
The government has agreed a short pause to Part 2 of its controversial Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill in response to criticisms raised by charities, campaigning groups and community organisations. A motion tabled in the House of Lords by crossbencher Lord Ramsbotham, which proposed to pause the Bill and submit Part 2 to a Select Committee for proper scrutiny, was met with a commitment by government to pause Part 2 for 6 weeks. In that time, the government suggest they will only make minor changes to the spending threshold above which campaigns must register with the Electoral Commission, and caps on spending in individual constituencies.
Futureversity, the East London charity which is also registered as Tower Hamlets Summer Education and works with young people to increase their potential, has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Michele McKendry. Futureversity is a local youth charity based in Tower Hamlets, working to support 11-25 year olds with educational, skills-based courses to help bridge gaps between school, training and employment. Its employment programme, Job Ready, has a 61% success rate of turning NEETs to EETs. McKendry comes from the UK branch of the Children’s Hospital Trust where she was head Of development, and has over 20 years experience of working for youth charities.
ACEVO has responded critically to the government’s proposals to reform judicial review; specifically, the proposals to restrict the ability of representative organisations such as charities to lodge judicial review cases on behalf of those they serve. Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO, said: “These proposals represent an un-evidenced, ideologically-driven attack on civil society’s ability to hold public authorities to account on behalf of citizens. They would deny access to justice to members of vulnerable and marginalised groups who rely on charities to represent them and ensure their rights are upheld. The government must go back to the drawing board and abandon these disastrous plans.”
The Charity Finance Group today submitted comments on new financial reporting guidance for charities. The Charity ‘Statement of Recommended Practice’ (SORP) is the principal document informing charities on how they should report income, spending and activities to the general public. The Charities SORP has not been updated since 2005 and the new version had to incorporate major changes in the accounting and reporting framework for the UK and Ireland.
The Charity Commission, is marking the fourth annual national Trustees’ Week (this week: 4-10 November) by urging charities to offer training and support to their trustees. Survey research by the Charity Commission reveals that a third of charity register applicants claimed their organisation did not offer training and support to trustees. By contrast, just under two thirds (63%) did offer this to some extent. Trustees are the people with ultimate responsibility for directing the business of their charity. As such, it is important they are provided with resources, support and training to help them run their charities effectively.
Jordan is denying entry to desperate Syrian refugees who have been forced to sleep rough and scavenge for food by the roadside, said Amnesty International in a new report today. Despite claims by the Jordanian authorities that its border has remained open to those fleeing the conflict in Syria, Amnesty’s research indicates that at least four categories of people are being denied access to Jordan. These are: those lacking identity documents, unaccompanied men with no demonstrable family ties in Jordan, and Palestinian and Iraqi refugees who have been living in Syria.
The way a key government mechanism to improve public services has been implemented has often been ‘seriously flawed’, a report today argues. Payment by Results (PbR) has suffered from crude implementation, meaning opportunities to improve public services, such as mental health treatment or drug rehabilitation, are being missed, the report said. The report, for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, finds general support for PbR as a concept. However, some charities believe PbR contracts have been brought in by commissioners as they are ‘political flavour of the month’ rather than as part of a coherent strategy to improve services.
Leading investment boutique Cerno Capital today held a key investment conference at Oxford University looking at four themes institutional investors, including charities, should take into account when investing. The four themes, centred around the idea of normalisation, are: that core government bonds will prove a poor investment; falling correlations increase the opportunity set for bottomup investors; inflation protection is a noble aim but not reliable; and danger remains in emerging markets.
The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement, chaired by Lord Harries of Pentregarth, publish their final report on the Lobbying Bill today. The report has been written in three weeks following extensive consultation around England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Commission was established and administered by a broad coalition of NGOs, with full support for the report from all 50-plus organisations.
The Fundraising Standards Board has welcomed the Charity Commission's decision to publish whether a charity is signed up to the FRSB on its register, announced today. Alistair McLean, chief executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, said: "This is a significant move that recognises commitment to self-regulation as a key measure of accountability and transparency for fundraising charities. Inclusion on the register will also help to build awareness that fundraising is regulated, strengthening public confidence in charitable giving.
Advanced NFP has announced the Advanced Halo Awards, a new annual awards programme. These are designed to recognise best practice amongst organisations using its specialist fundraising and membership CRM solutions. The winners of the 2013 awards were announced at NFP World which took place yesterday, covering the four categories for the awards as follows:
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has published a report today on the Department for International Development’s Support to Agricultural Research. The overall rating for the programmes we examined is Green-Amber. DFID has committed £350 million to agricultural research in the period 2010-15 to improve food security and tackle hunger in developing countries. Activities range from advanced science research in UK universities to projects developing and testing innovative ways to get research products (such as new seeds or animal vaccines) into use by farmers.
NAVCA has highlighted the threat to smaller charities and community groups presented by the Lobbying Bill. NAVCA has published their briefing on the Lobbying Bill to accompany the 2nd reading of the bill in the House of Lords today. NAVCA fully agrees with the campaign being led by NCVO, Friends of the Earth and other charities that the bill as currently drafted is entirely unworkable and may limit charities’ and other groups’ ability to speak out on issues of concern.
The Big Lottery Fund is today announcing a £3.85 million partnership between the UK’s biggest music and entertainment brands and major youth sector players to use music to bring positive changes to the lives of millions of young people across the UK. UK Youth, Capital FM and its charity arm Global Charities, BPI, The BRIT School and The BRIT Awards, will come together to help transform the lives of young people in some of the most deprived areas across England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. Working with young people aged 14 to 24 years old, the project partners will create and deliver a programme of community outreach and skills development with the aim of empowering and inspiring participants to fulfil their potential and achieve personal goals.
A third sector expert has warned that charities are missing out on important supporter care opportunities, after a survey of charity leaders has revealed that only one in five believe they are effectively engaging with their supporters using digital platforms. The survey found that eighty per cent per cent of charity leaders reveal they are not building relationships with supporters digitally. The survey has also found that less than 20 per cent of charities are using platforms such as text messaging, live-chat and online channels, to communicate key campaign messages to their supporters.
GPs need to play a stronger role in co-ordinating care for people with long-term or chronic conditions, according to a new report from The King’s Fund. Co-ordinated Care for People with Complex Chronic Conditions, funded by Aetna and the Aetna Foundation in the United States, compares five UK-based case studies with a proven track-record in providing care co-ordination in primary and community care settings. It identifies the critical success factors that enable effective care co-ordination and how these might be transferrable to different settings, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The Charity Commission has published the results of the consultation on proposed changes to the Annual Return and about the information displayed on the register of charities. Along with an analysis, the regulator has also announced the key changes charities should expect for 2014. The changes include a number of new questions that charities will be required to answer in the Annual Return for 2014. In addition, the Commission will publish information of interest to the public which it already holds, or which is held by others, on the online register of charities.
A British journalist, who has investigated the secret use of torture in Northern Ireland, has called for the UK authorities to reveal the truth about past abuses as part of a wider process to “deal with the past” in Northern Ireland. Ian Cobain, author of Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture, says that it is not clear that the full truth about the use of torture in Northern Ireland has been made public, and called for the British government to open its files as part of any new “truth recovery process” in Northern Ireland.
Liberty has published its response to the Government’s 'irresponsible and unworkable' new Immigration Bill, unveiled in the House of Commons. The campaigning group said that rather than attempting to fix an immigration system blighted by inefficiency and error, the Bill paves the way for even greater dysfunction and complexity. It added that its provisions would lead to a nightmarish bureaucratic system of immigration control in the community – embroiling private landlords, members of the clergy, bank workers and airline staff.
The latest London's Poverty Profile shows the shifting pattern of poverty in the capital. The new report shows the profile of London poverty is changing: poverty continues to shift from workless to working households and from social housing to the private rented sector. Unemployment and underemployment are high and levels of low pay are increasing, which along with welfare reforms are hitting poor Londoners hard.
A leading expert at Cass Business School has said that hedge funds gaining control of the Co-operative Bank will mean the bank "drops the focus on doing good to focus on doing well for shareholders". Commenting on hedge funds gaining control of the Co-operative Bank, Andre Spicer, professor of Organisational Behaviour at Cass Business School, said: "It is unlikely that the Co-op will maintain its ethical approach in the long run. A leading expert at Cass Business School has said that hedge funds gaining control of the Co-operative Bank will mean the bank "drops the focus on doing good to focus on doing well for shareholders".
The UK’s leading voluntary adoption agencies have joined forces to encourage more families to come forward to adopt children in care who are considered as ‘harder to place’. Their appeal comes as a new scheme ‘It’s All About Me’ (IAAM) is launched in Westminster today.
The charity Business in the Community is calling on UK employers to remove the default criminal-record disclosure tick box from job application forms – as part of its ‘Ban the Box’ campaign launching today to address the discrimination faced by job-seeking ex-offenders. 9.2 million people – one in five of the population – in the UK have criminal records, yet research suggests that three-quarters of employers admit to using a criminal conviction to discriminate against an applicant, meaning that millions of job seekers are blocked from employment.
Excellence in fundraising within Germany, Spain, Ireland, South Africa and the Philippines was celebrated last night at the Global Awards for Fundraising ceremony, hosted by the Resource Alliance during its International Fundraising Congress. The Global Awards for Fundraising recognise quality and creativity of organisations and individuals in four categories:
Commercial experience is essential if a fundraiser is to become a chief executive, according to research by Australian marketing consultancy, More Strategic, presented today at the Resource Alliance's International Fundraising Congress (IFC). The research comprised interviews with 12 former fundraisers from around the world who had moved up through the ranks to become chief executive or executive director.
The 2013 Charity Times Awards were celebrated last night at a glittering and sector leading event in London attended by over 650 of the sector’s most senior people. Andrew Holt, editor of Charity Times, said: "It was an outstanding evening. The quality of the shortlist this year was the highest ever. The Charity Times Awards show the sector at its very best: each shortlist is a high quality mark in excellence. One of the judges remarked to me, the awards shortlist makes you proud to be part of the sector."
Citizens Advice Scotland fear that official figures showing the numbers of people using foodbanks are only the tip of the iceberg, and that the problem is much bigger under the surface. The CAS statement comes on World Food Day today, as the Trussell Trust reveals that 350,000 people across the UK had to use its foodbanks in the last 6 months.
NCVO has announced the members of the Executive Pay Inquiry that will draw up guidelines for charity trustees when deciding on pay levels for senior executives. The Inquiry will explore the arguments about what are appropriate levels of pay for charity senior executives, and how these levels should be arrived at. It will also explore the relationship between salary levels and public trust and confidence in the sector as a whole.
The charity sector is not yet taking full advantage of the opportunities presented by data, NPC has said in a new report published today. In The power of data: Is the charity sector ready to plug in? the charity think tank and consultancy finds that charities are not making the most of the different types of data sets available to them— including open data and big data— despite their potential to help them understand the issues they work on better, operate more effectively, and improve their understanding of results and impact.
Trustees came under the spotlight last year because of their reluctance to defend
the salaries of their chief executives. The sector has since offered trustees opportunities to learn from the experience. It is an opportunity they must take, argues Andrew Holt