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.
The Charity Commission has launched a new series of audio podcasts, designed to help charity trustees understand their duties under charity law. The three podcasts of this autumn series introduce Commission guidance on:
Protecting your charity from harm from extremists. Nick Donaldson, the outreach manager at the Charity Commission, is joined by a newly appointed trustee of a London university to discuss a case study that highlights the risks facing charities from extremism.
The Association of Charitable Foundations’ Annual Conference saw the launch of new research highlighting the unique role that charitable foundations play in the area of social investment. The briefing, Charitable trusts and foundations’ engagement in the social investment market, is the first investigation into the approaches and motivations of trusts and foundations with regard to social investments.
To coincide with National Ethical Investment Week, a leading investment manager has set-out how investing ethically across rapidly growing global environmental markets appeals to charity investors and challenges the myth that ethical investments tend to underperform. Hubert Aarts, managing director, listed equities at Impax Asset Management, said: "An ethical investment is simply an umbrella term for any investment that takes environmental, social and/or governance issues into consideration.
Top business executives and corporations should set an example and encourage giving to charity at work, according to evidence presented to a major inquiry into stimulating support for charities. A summary of evidence presented to the Growing Giving Inquiry, launched by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), includes calls for senior business leaders and large and small firms to get involved with fundraising events, payroll giving and other charity initiatives in the workplace to encourage employees to take part.
As part of its commitment to transparent banking, Charity Bank - the bank that lends solely to charities, community organisations and social enterprises using deposits from individuals who support this mission – is inviting its depositors to visit some of these organisations to see for themselves the social impact personal savings can have in local communities.
An interactive online skills market place for charities and social enterprises to find the training and tools they need to develop their workforce, is being launched.
Supported by co-investment from UKCES Growth and Innovation Fund, the Skills Platform will be the first comparison site for the sector giving organisations easy access to sourcing skills, comparing offers and working together to find relevant, well priced and local training.
Lloyds Banking Group’s Lloyds Scholars programme has won the prestigious Education category in Lord Mayor’s Dragons Awards which recognises community engagement in London. The Lloyds Scholars Programme opens doors to students who otherwise might not have had the financial backing to attend our leading universities including University College London.
The Charity Commission has upheld its June 2012 decision not to register the Human Dignity Trust as a charity. The HDT works to support individuals who seek to challenge legislation criminalising consensual sexual activity between same sex adults in certain countries. It applied to register as a charity in July 2011, and requested a decision review after the Commission refused registration in June 2012.
Northern Ireland is set to be hit harder by welfare reform than any other part of the UK according to research commissioned by NICVA’s Centre for Economic Empowerment. When the reforms have come into full effect the research estimates they will take £750m a year out of the Northern Ireland economy, equivalent to £650 a year for every adult of working age. This compares to an average of £470 a year across Great Britain.
A debt charity is calling for tighter regulations to protect vulnerable people from rogue payday lenders. New findings from debt counsellors Christians Against Poverty show four out of five (78%) people taking out a payday loan did so to afford food. Worse still, one in five people weren’t even asked if they had a job.
The Fundraising Standards Board has welcomed plans to introduce a new compliance regime for doorstep face-to-face fundraising, announced by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. Alistair McLean, chief executive of the independent regulatory body, the Fundraising Standards Board, said: “Doorstep fundraising is an important technique for so many charities, it can be extremely effective and yield long-term committed donors.
Charities spending above 3% of the value of their long term investment portfolios each year face the material risk of eroding the real value of their capital, according to a new white paper: Sustainable Portfolio ‘Withdrawal Rates’ for Charities launched today by Newton Investment Management. Newton’s paper found that even a small over or under-distribution can have a significant effect on the real value of a portfolio over 20 years.
A group of investors responsible for over a trillion of investment worldwide has written to the Chancellor on the day of his speech to the Conservative Party Conference calling for a decarbonisation target to be included in the Energy Bill. They argue that the lack of a target inhibits investment decisions and negatively impacts the UK’s ability to attract the capital needed to update its ageing infrastructure.
A diverse coalition of prominent charities, campaign groups, academics, think tanks and online networks has today launched an independent commission in response to the Government’s Lobbying Bill. The commission will investigate the impact of the proposed legislation on civil society following concerns that it will have a chilling effect on charities and campaigning organisations speaking out on issues of public concern ahead of general elections.
Human influence on the climate system is clear and this is evident in most regions of the globe, a new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded. The IPCC says it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid 20th century. The IPCC notes the evidence for this has grown thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.
Charities that have failed to file annual reports, accounts and returns for two or more years are being formally investigated, the chief executive of the Charity Commission will announce today at the regulator’s Annual Public Meeting. Failure to submit annual documents to the Commission is a criminal offence. The Commission says that it also amounts to mismanagement and/or misconduct in the administration of a charity and is often associated with wider mismanagement and poor governance, including the misapplication or abuse of charitable funds.
The Cabinet Office has lent its endorsement to the Philip Baxendale Awards’ Public Service Mutual of the Year prize to celebrate the most impressive group of former public sector workers who have spun out into an employee-led mutual to provide exemplary public services. Nominations for the award are now open, and will be judged on the basis of how nominees have transformed their services to improve outcomes for citizens.
Any piracy charges against activists on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise would be manifestly unfounded, Amnesty International has said after the Russian authorities released a statement on the case yesterday indicating they may prosecute those onboard the vessel. Russia’s Investigative Committee, a state agency responsible for the investigation of serious crimes, said in its statement that it had opened a piracy investigation against the detained activists.
The Charity Commission has endorsed the latest versions of two quality systems: Mind’s Quality Management and UK Community Foundations’ QA3. Aiming to increase governance standards and accountability, the regulator’s new Quality Assessment Endorsement Programme encourages umbrella bodies to develop a set of quality standards that their members commit to, which the Commission then endorses.
Global terror network al-Qaeda retains huge potential to attack Western targets, and has cemented an ideology whose influence will outlive current leaders despite the fragmentation of its core command, a new report by think-tank The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) has found. The timely new study, Al-Qaeda’s Global Footprint: An Assessment of al-Qaeda’s Strength Today, by HJS research fellow Robin Simcox, follows two previous studies on al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the United States and The European Angle to the U.S Terror Threat.
A leading Yemeni human rights activist has been detained at Gatwick and questioned on his work and political views by UK officials under the Terrorism Act. Baraa Shiban, a member of Yemen’s National Dialogue – the body tasked with mapping out the country’s democratic future – had been invited to speak at a seminar at international think-tank Chatham House, also known as the Royal Institution of International Affairs.
The Charity Finance Group has released its 2012-13 annual report, showing a year of continued resilience and development, despite the tough economic climate. Although the number of charities in membership fell by 3%, individuals in membership grew by 23% to 2,237 – demonstrating the value that charities see in connecting more of their finance team to the support and services CFG offers, and securing a slight increase in income for the year.
Employers committed to encouraging their staff to donate to charity have an opportunity to showcase their achievements and share best practice with others as nominations open for this year’s National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards. Representatives from household names - that have in recent years included the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Network Rail and BT - will appear at the prestigious ceremony at the Treasury on December 3 2013, hosted by Nick Hurd MP, minister for Civil Society and Sajid Javid MP, economic secretary to the Treasury.
Business leaders in Bristol will today announce that Bristol has become the UK’s first social enterprise city alongside Plymouth, putting the South West at the forefront of the UK’s growing social enterprise movement. The unveiling is part of a Social Enterprise Places scheme being run by Social Enterprise UK. Towns, cities and zones across the UK are declaring themselves as social enterprise places with the backing of the campaigns and membership organisation. Two more places have launched their bids to achieve social enterprise town status and more are expected to do so later in the year.
The discretionary investment manager TAM Asset Management is launching a range of ethical portfolios which allows investors a unique opportunity to donate to their favoured charity from a portfolio of socially responsible investments. The You Give, We Give scheme forms part of the firm’s TAM Ethical product. Anyone investing in TAM Ethical can choose to give a percentage of any annual profit made by their individual portfolio to a charity. In an innovative move TAM will match the percentage given with the same percentage from its management fee.
Charities are being reminded that from October 1 they must make Gift Aid repayment claims using the Charities Online service. More than 33,492 charities have registered to claim Gift Aid online since the service was launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) five months ago. Charities Online makes claiming Gift Aid repayments faster for charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs).
Today Compact Voice has published findings from its third annual survey of local Compacts: with the results revealing that despite reductions in resourcing, local support for the Compact is at its highest ever levels. 89% of respondents to the survey from both the voluntary and statutory sector agreed that the ‘Compact is important and effort needs to be made to implement it in full’, highlighting the vital role of partnership agreements in a changing local policy and commissioning landscape.
ACEVO and NCVO have expressed agreed enthusiasm about the Ministry of Justice announcement that the bidding competition for Transforming Rehabilitation programme is positive for the sector. NCVO CEO Sir Stuart Etherington, said the Government has taken on board lessons of the Work Programme. He said: “Specialist charities, many involving dedicated volunteers, can make all the difference to the lives of people leaving prison and help reduce reoffending.
A competition has been launched with more than 700 organisations from across the world looking to turn offenders’ lives around, as part of an annual £450 million package of rehabilitation contracts across England and Wales, said the Ministry of Justice. This includes hundreds of British organisations, employing many thousands of people, who are ready to get to work tackling the high reoffending rates, that see almost half of all offenders leaving prison going onto reoffend within a year.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has today announced the appointment of Caroline Mason as its new chief executive. Mason joins the Foundation from the position of chief operating officer at Big Society Capital. Mason has over eight years’ experience of working with organisations in the charitable sector. Prior to her role at Big Society Capital she held the position of chief operating officer at Charity Bank.
In a letter to Tom Brake MP, deputy leader of the Commons and a lead minister responsible for the Lobbying Bill, ACEVO chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb called for the coalition Government to halt the bill to allow for proper pre-legislative scrutiny. ACEVO has offered to work with the Government in rewriting the Bill - in partnership with other civil society organisations. Despite recent government attempts to placate charities, it warns that without proper pre-legislative scrutiny, the Bill still threatens the freedom of civil society and risks further damaging public trust in politics.
The NHS will struggle to meet its target of delivering £20 billion in productivity improvements by 2015 according to The King’s Fund’s latest Quarterly Monitoring Report. Only 1 in 10 (10 per cent) of NHS finance directors surveyed for the report rated the chances of meeting the target as better than 50/50. The majority (56 per cent) identified a high or very high risk that the target will not be met, while a third (34 per cent) rated the likelihood of success as 50/50. The survey - which this quarter includes finance leads from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as well as trust finance directors - highlights the growing pressures on NHS providers.
Business advisory firm Deloitte has today been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron with a Big Society Award for their programme supporting 46 socially-focussed businesses. The Social Innovation Pioneers programme helps businesses set up to solve social problems become sustainable, scalable and investment-ready by using the skills and expertise of volunteer Deloitte employees. The programme was started last year with over 30 social businesses and one year on, a further 16 businesses have been selected.
Drinkaware is launching a review in support of the Government’s Alcohol Strategy to develop a coherent, well evidenced strategy as to the role Drinkaware could play in reducing the harm from public drunkenness and its negative consequences as part of its activities. The initiative seeks to develop new approaches to reduce binge drinking and the damage it inflicts on surrounding communities. The alcohol education charity is calling for evidence from all interested parties to inform Drinkaware’s approach.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, a unique UK national honour, was created over a decade ago by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 to recognise the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers. It has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals. To coincide with the 60th Anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation in June, 117 outstanding UK volunteering groups were honoured as recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2013.
A new model that promises to provide simple finance for local charities and social enterprises was launched at a fringe event hosted by the Social Investment Forum at the Liberal Democrat party conference yesterday evening. The Local Impact Fund model is outlined in a prospectus published by the Social Investment Business Group called Growing a local social economy. The publication highlights the economic and employment benefits of supporting the local sector, in addition to the social impact.
Barclays has launched its new charity fund, a Tax Elected Fund designed for UK charities. The Fund will provide access to Barclays’ proprietary asset allocation and portfolio construction techniques, enabling charities to make use of nine asset classes to diversify risk and maximise returns.
Breast Cancer Care today reveals a new brand identity to reach the half a million UK women living with and after breast cancer. The charity’s new logo and visual identity have been created to help it stand out from the crowd, with a vivid orange palette taking centre stage, while the pink synonymous with the disease takes a supporting role. A specially developed unique headline font, named “Betty” after the charity’s founder, Betty Westgate, makes the new brand even more distinctive.
Amnesty International today announced the launch of the secretary general’s Global Council, a forum that will see leaders in the arts, business and philanthropy work together to further human rights. The Global Council members will contribute the expertise from their respective sectors to help raise support for Amnesty International and its human rights priorities.They have agreed to act as champions for the world’s first and largest human rights movement as it looks to grow in the Global South and East.
NAVCA has published the findings of their 2013 survey of chief officers, an annual survey carried out to determine the views of NAVCA members on current policy issues. Over a third of members completed the survey which shows that funding remains a major issue but NAVCA members are responding to the challenge. The survey findings were presented at NAVCA Annual chief officers’ conference (CORE), which is taking place in York today and tomorrow. The survey shows that funding remains the biggest issue.
The Charity Commission has today published its revised public benefit guidance for all charities. The guidance, which the Commission is required to produce under what is now the Charities Act 2011, is split into three short, high-level guides available both in online and offline formats. Trustees must have regard to this guidance when administering their charity.
New proposals to make it quicker for charities to collect donations and easier for employers to encourage charitable donations using Payroll Giving have been announced by the government, with the Institute of Fundraising responding positively to the moves. Following a consultation, the Government is to almost halve the processing time for donations from 60 to 35 days, allowing charities to access the money that has been donated more quickly.
In a report published today, seven leading charities, including WWF, RSPB, Greenpeace, the Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth, assess the green performance of coalition ministers and Labour shadow ministers since the last general election. They reviewed the parties on four key areas: the economy, communities, nature and international leadership. The assessment has identified good performance by individual ministers and shadow ministers.
Action is needed to bridge the gulf in charitable giving in British society, according to a new report which shows that the majority of the time and money donated to good causes in Britain comes from just nine per cent of people, while nearly one in four give little or nothing. The new report by the Charities Aid Foundation, Britain’c Civic Core: Who are the people powering Britain’s charities?,which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations, shows that...
In a major and combative speech, William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission, yesterday told a charity audience that the regulator’s new board is “grasping the nettle” and improving the Commission’s performance to ensure the regulator promotes public trust and confidence in charities. Speaking at the Rathbones Charity Symposium in London, Shawcross acknowledged that the Commission, and charities, had come under fire in recent months and said in turn the Commission is now “concentrating on tackling the real problems that we and our friends and critics have identified”.
A UK-wide environment project and an initiative that will put together a practical body of evidence to help beat domestic violence are two projects receiving grants from the Big Lottery Fund today. Open Air Laboratories (OPAL), led by Imperial College London, is a partnership that has inspired communities to discover, enjoy and protect their local environment for over six years all over England.
Lord Michael Bichard is to chair a new initiative funded by Arts Council England, to raise awareness and understanding of commissioning opportunities amongst the arts and cultural sector. National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) will lead the Cultural Commissioning Programme, which will be delivered by a partnership including the think tank and consultancies NPC and nef, as well as the arts network Mission, Models, Money (MMM).
Part Two of the Transparency, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill known as the ‘Lobbying Bill’, could have devastating consequences for debate and democracy, Amnesty International warned today as MPs prepare to scrutinise the Bill.The Lobbying Bill has been criticised by a wide range of organisations that fear it could hinder their ability to campaign. From Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 September the Bill will be debated in a Committee of the whole House of Commons.
A new report by specialist insurance group Ecclesiastical, examining the size of the specialist broker market in the UK has indicated almost three quarters of brokers place business in specialist niches such as charity, heritage or education and that charity insurance is the biggest specialist area of business for brokers. The Ecclesiastical Specialist Broker Barometer, aimed at becoming an annual temperature check of the UK specialist broker market has indicated that 71% of brokers in the UK place business in specialist areas.
Measures to grow the global market for social investment have been announced at the first ever G8 conference on the subject. Britain alone has over 180,000 social enterprises, generating £55 billion for the economy. While many of these organisations have traditionally relied on grant funding, a growing number of investors are now providing them with affordable but repayable finance.
Moves by Russia and Syria to prevent military intervention from the US by handing over chemical weapons are to be welcomed and encouraged, but must not be allowed to become a ploy to distract the international community from responding decisively to the Assad regime, say a leading think-tank. The Henry Jackson Society, an international affairs think tank, has warned the Russian commitment to collect and hand over chemical weapons stockpiles will only be effective if they are supported by a Chapter VII UN Resolution outlining the proviso that this must happen immediately.
The latest publication from ResPublica reveals that community owned energy could grow to 89 times its current size if the right national and local policies are put in place. In Germany, community energy accounts for 46% of all energy produced from renewables. In the UK this figure stands at just 0.3%. The ResPublica report, The Community Renewables Economy: Starting up, scaling up and spinning out, argues that if community owned energy is to become more commonplace, councils must remove the significant barriers faced by communities during the planning process.
The relationship between affordable housing and philanthropy should be reignited, according to a new report published today by Peabody and the think tanks NPC and the Smith Institute. In the preface to Rebuilding the relationship between affordable housing and philanthropy - a collection of ten essays by a range of expert authors- the three organisations call for the affordable housing and philanthropy sectors to work more closely together and for a working group to be established to support the two sides coming together.
New research published today from researchers at Marie Curie Cancer Care, the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, reveals that only 20% of non-cancer patients in Scotland are receiving palliative care before dying. The study, published in the European Journal of Palliative Care, is the first of its kind in the UK to examine the point at which patients are formally identified for palliative care.
Citizens Advice Scotland are backing a national campaign which has been launched today by Police Scotland. The ‘Beat Bogus Callers’ campaign will run for the next two weeks, and will use radio adverts, booklets and posters to advise people against opening their door to unexpected callers, and offering advice on what you should do if you become suspicious. Action Days will be held in communities across Scotland, with local CAB staff joining with police officers and other community groups to talk to people about the campaign.
New measures announced today by the Government will make it easier for people to set up a local (parish, neighbourhood, community or town) council – the most local form of government in England – and give power back to local people so they can take more decisions locally and have more of a say over how money is spent in their area.
A clarion call was made today to wage war against the grim politics of austerity by Unite, the country’s largest union. Unite executive director of policy Steve Turner told the TUC at Bournemouth that there needed to be a mass mobilisation, including peaceful civil disobedience, across the UK “to inspire a generation”. He was speaking to the Unite motion on anti-austerity campaigning which called for the reaffirmation that mass industrial action to oppose the cuts and the wrecking of the welfare state is a legitimate option, including a nationwide march against poverty in 2014.
The government will act on amendments to the Transparency Bill after a meeting with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). At the second reading, the Leader of the Commons said that the government would listen carefully to the concerns of both the charitable sector and Members of Parliament in respect of specific aspects of the Bill. The government said it has not been, and is not, its intention to change the substantive test of what is expenditure “for electoral purposes”, and accepted it has heard the concerns being raised.
New independent research by industry analyst, Redshift Research, on behalf of Bottomline Technologies has found that almost a quarter of UK individuals (23%) have experienced a problem setting up or amending a direct debit (DD) or direct credit (DC) in the last 12 months, with 14% of consumers cancelling a direct debit because the DD set-up process was too complicated. With almost six billion payments processed every year, and each failed transaction costing around £50, this represents a significant loss in revenues and supporters for UK charities.
Young people are few and far between on charity boards in England and Wales, with 18-24 year olds accounting for only 0.5% of trustees in 2010. Yet a recent survey undertaken on behalf of Young Charity Trustees (YCT) suggests that the vast majority of UK youth without board experience would consider trusteeship in future, while those young people who were or had been trustees overwhelmingly found the experience a positive one.
Following the publication of the Government’s response to the PASC report The Role of the Charity Commission and 'public benefit': Post legislative scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006’, and Lord Hodgson’s review Trusted and Independent: Giving charity back to charities, both have been welcomed by leading sector players. Caron Bradshaw, CEO of CFG, commented: “Now, more than ever, it is vital that trust in our sector is upheld, and effective regulation is central to this.
In its response to the consultation on a tax relief for social investment, supported by a letter to Chancellor George Osborne, CFG has highlighted concerns over several proposed characteristics of the relief which are likely to severely undermine its potential. CFG CEO Caron Bradshaw said: “Social investment offers a potentially valuable opportunity for some charities, particularly those looking to expand or innovate. However, as the proposals currently stand, we are of the view that uptake of this potentially valuable relief will be highly restricted, causing it to become a missed opportunity to bring new income into many charities.”
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon today released his report to the General Assembly on the work carried out by the United Nations over the past year, highlighting new priorities and challenges. In his annual report on the work of the Organization, Ban said that the UN is adapting to new realities, among them an unprecedented level of interconnectedness, as well as unemployment brought about by the global economic crisis, increasing inequality within and among States, and environmental degradation.
NAVCA has added its voice to the growing criticism of the Lobbying Bill being debated in Parliament yesterday. NAVCA has written to Graham Allen MP, chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee expressing its concerns. In particular NAVCA is concerned that the bill will gag charities and will create confusion about what campaigning activity needs to be regulated.
YoungMinds, the UK’s leading children and young people’s mental health charity has launched their biggest online survey. Reaching out to young people across the country, the survey will reveal what concerns and worries most affect the lives of young people today. The consultation survey will help to shape the development of a new and exciting campaign generating a mass movement for change, and creating a better future for young people funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief.
Short-termist investors who are negative on the bond market will miss great opportunities, according to Sturgeon Ventures, the regulatory incubator, which has launched a non-profit fixed income portfolio management service for charities that they believe are overlooked by large fund managers because they have less than £20m to invest.
The Board of Trustees of Marie Stopes International (MSI) has today announced the appointment of Simon RG Cooke as the chief executive officer of Marie Stopes International. He will begin on November 4 2013. Cooke is currently CEO of SuperMax, a personal care product marketing organisation based in the Middle East.
Despite a decline in corporate, trust and legacy income, individual donations and income from challenges and events have increased, leading to a small increase in total generated funds, according to the Epilepsy Society's latest accounts. Bridget Gardiner, director of fundraising and marketing explained: "In the last year we've seen a decline in corporate, trust and legacy income of £138,000. About a year ago, to pre-empt the shortfall, we took a strategic decision to look at new ways of generating income.
One hundred 17 and 18 year olds attended bespoke digital skills workshops at the O2 “Campus Party” today. They were joined by minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd, and Telefonica/O2 CEO Ronan Dunne. The event is a collaboration between government, business and non-profit organisations designed to ensure young people have the skills to make their own digital products and content and brings together three youth and community programmes.
The profits of more than £1 million a week by controversial payday lender Wonga was branded as ‘vulture capitalism’ by Unite, the country’s largest union, today.
The union is angry that much of the so-called economic recovery and boost in consumer spending is being fuelled by payday lenders that “prey on the financially vulnerable”. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The fact that Wonga’s profits rose to £62.5 million in 2012 urgently reinforces the need for legislation to curb payday lenders and also for a Treasury select committee probe into this industry.
National heart charity Heart Research UK is backing a major new Government campaign that aims to help families introduce healthy changes to their school-time routines.The Change4Life ‘Smart Restart’ campaign will encourage families to capitalise on the fresh start presented by the new school year as an opportunity to establish healthier habits – such as walking to school, incorporating short bursts of extra activity into the day, and making sure children eat a healthy lunch at school – in order to get parents and children moving more and eating more healthily.
The Big Lottery Fund has appointed Social Finance in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA) to offer a support package for those developing Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) and other Payment by Results (PbR) based social investments as part of Commissioning Better Outcomes. Social Finance and LGA, who bring a wealth of experience to this area, will work to engage and encourage the development of SIB proposals that could then benefit from the £40million Big Lottery Fund’s Commissioning Better Outcomes fund or the Cabinet Office’s £20 million Social Outcomes Fund.
A new chief executive has joined Willow - the only UK charity supporting seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds by providing unique and positive special days. David White took over the role from September 2 , succeeding Jeff Kaye who has been in post since early 2012 and has strengthened and consolidated Willow’s operations. Kaye is leaving to pursue other interests in the voluntary sector.
Up to 180,000 people with dementia feel trapped in their own homes according to a major new report launched by Alzheimer’s Society today. Building dementia-friendly communities: A priority for everyone shows that one in three people (35 per cent) with dementia surveyed only leave their homes once a week and one in 10 get out just once a month.
Advice from a top election law QC has confirmed charities’ fears over proposals in the government’s lobbying bill, due to get its second reading in the Commons today. NCVO wrote to Cabinet Office minister, Chloë Smith, last month, backed by many household name charities, to express its concern about proposals in the bill on ‘non-party campaigning’.
NICVA is concerned that the UK Government is pushing through a Bill with undue haste, which if passed could curtail essential and longstanding freedoms. The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill is due to have its second reading at Westminster today before moving straight to Committee Stage on September 9.
The United States’ vote on potential military action in Syria could have a disastrous effect on America’s standing in the Middle East if Congress fails to approve intervention, the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) think tank has warned.
With congressional approval being sought by President Obama, the US Administration must use the next week to persuade Congress that the use of force is the only way President Assad will be brought to the negotiating table to bring about peace and prevent further use of chemical weapons, sasy the think- tank.
As the Lobbying Bill is being debated in the Commons today, an ACEVO poll reveals the public have far lower trust in lobbyists, to influence Government for the benefit of society, than other sectors. Charities are the best-trusted sector. Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO, said, "The public trusts charities to do this – and they don’t trust lobbyists. So, it’s important that the Lobbying Bill takes the right steps to restore public faith in politics.
Charities, led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), have written to Cabinet Office minister, Chloe Smith, to express serious concerns over proposals in the lobbying and transparency bill which would dramatically limit their ability to speak out on issues affecting the people and causes they support.
Government plans to outsource public service provision to independent employee-led mutuals should be subject to a ballot of employees and not be 'forced through' against their will, Co-operatives UK and the TUC warned today. The two umbrella groups - representing co-operatives and unions - say that ministers should not ignore the views of workers in their drive to mutualise services.
A new report from think-tank IPPR makes the case for an economy built on shared rewards and more democratic workplaces, rather than management prerogative, shareholder power and trickle-down economics. The report notes how the financial crash of 2008 brought the underlying weaknesses of British capitalism out into the light.
The British public should take the chance to thank the unsung heroes who risk their lives to deliver aid in warzones and natural disasters, International Development Secretary Justine Greening urged today. On World Humanitarian Day, today, she is calling on as many people as possible to get online and send a message of thanks to humanitarian aid workers, including the British men and women working in some of the most inhospitable places in the world to get help to those who need it most.
The Egyptian security forces must take urgent steps to avoid further bloodshed after a pro-Morsi sit-in was dispersed in Cairo today, Amnesty International said this afternoon. Amnesty is currently working on the ground to verify any abuses that have been carried out.
The partner of a Guardian journalist who was detained earleir today while in transit at a London airport was clearly the victim of unwarranted revenge tactics, targeted for no more than who his partner is, Amnesty International said this evening. David Michael Miranda - the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who analysed and published information on the documents concerning the USA’s unlawful surveillance programme released by Edward Snowden - was detained while in transit in Heathrow today.
Amnesty International is calling for the Egyptian authorities to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of Egypt’s Coptic Christians after an unprecedented rise in sectarian violence across the country. Coptic Christians have been targeted - seemingly in retaliation for their support of the ousting of Mohamed Morsi - since the violent dispersals of pro-Morsi sit-ins in Greater Cairo on 14 August.
Back to school is putting a tremendous strain on parents’ finances as 1 in 4 borrow to cover the cost of a new uniform, reveal new figures from Citizens Advice.
Almost two thirds of parents face costs of over £70 for a new school uniform for each child this term – and 19% will fork out more than £150 per uniform. The national charity also finds that only 11% expect to pay under £30 for a new school uniform.
New figures from Citizens Advice show a 78% rise in enquiries about foodbanks in the past six months. The figures show a rise in enquiries about foodbanks in Citizens Advice Bureaux in almost every region of the country. The national charity’s chief executive calls the spike in requests for information about emergency food supplies “alarming” and has warned that “a perfect storm of pressures” is increasing demand.
Measures introduced since the last General Election cut fraud and error against the public purse by £6.5 billion last year, ministers revealed today. Better fraud prevention and reducing errors in the tax and benefits systems, along with more fraudsters being prosecuted, saved nearly £400 for every working family in the country.
This could be the last 6 week summer holiday for schools across England as a result of Government plans to give schools the freedom to set school holiday dates and durations. However, new figures out today suggest this could be a real concern for parents as varied holidays will cause major childcare difficulties for families with children at different schools.
Today, the Big Lottery Fund is announcing £5 million in development funding to be shared by fifteen areas in England to build long term plans to support thousands of parents in giving their children the best start in life. The investment is from the Fund’s A Better Start initiative which aims to improve the life chances of over 10,000 children by investing £165 million for up to ten years.
The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship 2013 will launch today, bringing together the brightest social entrepreneurs from across Europe and North America to develop a new model for conflict resolution by harnessing the power of social entrepreneurship. Firoz Ladak, executive director, Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, said: “We want to create a network of entrepreneurs who not only have the tools to develop successful businesses that deliver sustainable social impact, but are committed to improving relations between the Jewish and Muslim communities.
The UK is making the fight against dementia global by hosting the first G8 summit dedicated to seeking an ambitious level of international coordination and an effective response to tackling the condition. Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will use the UK’s 2013 presidency of the G8 to lead coordinated global action against what is fast becoming one of the greatest pressures on families, carers and health systems around the world.
Impact investing, where a measurable social and/or environmental impact is generated alongside a financial return, is developing rapidly across the investment community and all economic sectors, with strong UK and EU policy support. This is among the key findings of the report The Future of Investment: Impact Investing, published today by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association.
Spending cuts have devastated the Big Society and left local communities and voluntary sector organisations in turmoil across the country, says a leading think-tank. A ground-breaking two-year study, Surviving Austerity, published today by think-tank New Economics Foundation (NEF) paints a bleak portrait of the impact of spending cuts on communities in England.
On the anniversary of the Olympics closing ceremony, Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive of the charity Directory of Social Change has released a video criticising the Government for ignoring the pleas of over 3,000 charities who have added their support to the Big Lottery Refund Campaign. The funds were diverted from charitable good causes in 2007 to support the building of Olympics infrastructure.
The Cabinet Office has announced that a scheme providing support for disabled adults and older people will receive over £140,000 to expand its services. ‘Shared Lives’ arrangements are a model of social care where adults that may be isolated or in vulnerable situations are placed with supportive families, rather than in residential homes or with visiting carers, giving those in need of support a greater degree of flexibility and independence.
New Prince's Trust research shows that struggling school leavers need more vocational support. Abandoned Ambitions, new research from The Prince's Trust, supported by HSBC, shows that one in six young people believes they will “end up on benefits”, and this increases to more than one in three among those leaving school with poor grades.
Today Compact Voice and the Office for Civil Society have announced a joint action plan, which sets out clear activities for both to strengthen use of the Compact across government departments. The National Audit Office’s report into government implementation of the Compact, published in 2012, included a number of recommendations that the joint action plan aims to address.
Players of charity lottery, People’s Postcode Lottery, have raised an £30.3 million for charities since its launch in 2008. The money has been awarded to small community associations as well as national charities. As well as reaching the £30.3 million milestone for charities and good causes, People’s Postcode Trust, the grant-giving trust funded by players, has awarded its 1000th grant.
After the recent spate of stories about charity pay, The NCVO and the Charity Commission are set to work together to produce guidance for charity trustees, on how to go about determining senior staff remuneration. The group will include chairs of trustees from a range of charities, including the broadcaster, Martyn Lewis, who has been chair of NCVO since 2010. It is expected to finalise guidance in spring.
People think charities spend more than double the acceptable level of their income on administration costs, new research suggests. The poll, published by research consultancy nfpSynergy, also reveals people want to see a big increase in the amount they think is being spent on a charity’s cause. The research, taken from a nationally representative survey of 1002 adults, shows that people think charities spend 36% of their income on admin costs, twice the 16% they feel would be acceptable.
The national director of The Leprosy Mission England and Wales, Peter Walker, has condemned the comments made by UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom on international aid. Addressing a clutch of supporters in the West Midlands on Monday, Bloom was caught on camera talking about foreign aid. He said: “How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month, when we’re in this sort of debt, to bongo bongo land, is completely beyond me."
ACEVO chief Sir Stephen Bubb has slammed comments made by Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross on charity CEO pay. Shawcross said in an interveiew in today's The Daily Telegraph that large salaries paid to charity staff could "bring the charitable world into disrepute". Shawcross said organisations must ask if pay levels are "really appropriate".
Britain is spending almost £2billion a year on welfare payments to people of working age who live in once flourishing seaside towns, according to a new report by a think-tank warning that some resorts are suffering severe social breakdown. Of the 20 neighbourhoods (LSOAs) across the UK with the highest levels of working age people on out of work benefits, seven are in coastal towns that once attracted millions of holidaymakers.
Young people with high levels of cultural capital are more likely to volunteer, says new research from the Third Sector Research Centre. Going to the theatre, concerts, sports events, museums or art galleries had the greatest influence on youth volunteering, political and organisational involvement. The research is the first large-scale analysis of youth volunteering in the UK.
Three in four people think that London-based offices for charities are a waste of money, new research shows. The public also take a dim view of paying for rebranding, but more than half say they would feel confident that a charity spends donations well if they vetoed first class travel for staff. The poll of 1002 adults by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 74% of people feel London-based offices for charities are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ wasteful, with just 4% saying they were even ‘fairly’ worthwhile.
The average online donation in the UK has risen by 21% since 2010, according to analysis of the last three years of online donations by the Institute of Fundraising and software firm Blackbaud. The data analysed thousands of its customers’ online fundraising pages between 2010 and 2012 and revealed that the average online gift in 2012 was £64.07, up 21 per cent from £52.87 in 2010 and from £55.61 in 2011.
StreetGames, a sports charity which brings sports to the doorsteps of young people living in disadvantaged communities across the UK, is the latest winner of a Big Society Award, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced. StreetGames was founded in 2007 and is a national partner of Sport England.
The Legal Education Foundation (LEF) has announced the appointment of Matthew Smerdon as the Foundation’s CEO. Smerdon was previously deputy director at the Baring Foundation where he was responsible for leading its Strengthening the Voluntary Sector grants programme. The LEF was established following the sale of the College of Law last year and officially launched on 10 July 2013 with the announcement of its first six grants.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Africa Relief Trust. The charity was set-up to support the poor in Africa, particularly in Uganda. The Commission opened a regulatory compliance case into the charity in September 2011 after concerns were raised regarding its business rates relief arrangements. As the case progressed, the Commission’s concerns about the risks to the charity’s assets and about the trustees’ failure to provide full and complete information mounted.
The UK social investment market is being held back by a lack of investor readiness, the charity think tank NPC has warned. In Best to invest?, a new social investment guide for funders, NPC finds that the crucial ‘next wave’ of potential funders are being put off by the perceived complexity of social investment.
Oxfam is issuing an urgent call for public support of its Syria crisis appeal as the charity's 2012/13 Annual Report, released today, reveals a record year for its charitable spend. In the face of a challenging year, when overall income was down £17.6m (4.6%) on 2011/12 and demands on the charity's resources increased, Oxfam spent an extra £3.6m on responding to humanitarian emergencies and helping people living in poverty worldwide.
Two thirds of children are still inspired by Team GB’s performance at London 2012 last year with many believing that PE helps them to perform better at school, a new survey from the Youth Sport Trust has found. As the first anniversary of London 2012 approaches the Youth Sport Trust has questioned 1,000 11-18 year olds to get their views on Olympic and Paralympic legacy and attitudes toward PE and school sport.
A joint report from the Government and the Mayor of London released today presents the Spirit of 2012 Trust, an initiative of the Big Lottery Fund set up to receive some proceeds from the Athlete’s Village sale, as one of their ‘headline achievements’ on Olympic legacy. The trust, due to start funding projects in September with an allocation of existing Big Lottery Fund money, will support a range of causes including ‘maintaining the commitment and energy of London 2012 volunteers’ and ‘promoting greater understanding of the issues facing disabled people’.
NCVO has welcomed the Government’s supplementary guidance for Local Enterprise Partnerships, the 39 local bodies which will determine how key European funds are spent in England in the next European funding round, which runs from 2014-2020. The guidance sets out how LEPs should set priorities for their allocation of the EU Structural and Investment Funds, and reflects a number of calls from NCVO and its European Funding Network.
A report published by the House of Commons Public Administration Committee (PASC) has been commended by NAVCA, by echoing its concerns about commissioning by the public sector. The report is critical of government procurement processes, saying that despite Government steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement, ‘the stream of procurement and contract management failures continues unabated’.
SportInspired, a social enterprise that uses the power of sport to help individuals and communities to enjoy happier, healthier lives has been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron with a Big Society Award today. The enterprise was founded in Hackney in 2007 by Rich Raynes and Pete Thomond in recognition of a serious social need and is now a fully self-sustaining social enterprise, expanded from East London to cover England, Scotland and Wales.
The Charity Commission has today issued new guidance on decision making for charity trustees. The guidance, It’s Your Decision, explains the key principles of decision making that the courts and the Commission expect trustees to apply when they are making significant or strategic decisions about their charity.
Trust in charities has increased for the third successive year, new research has found. Two thirds of people trust them, making them the fourth most trusted institution in Britain behind the Armed Forces, Scouts and Guides and the NHS. The poll of 1000 people, carried out by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 66% of people now trust charities ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a great deal, an increase of 2% on last year and the highest figure for the sector since 2010.
In a written statement to Parliament the Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson has revealed that the projected cost of the Olympic Games has fallen by £528 million. This marks a further increase on the £377 million underspend projected in October 2012. The announcement of the savings was not uncontroversial, however.
Around 6,000 young people will be mentored by Mosaic this year – a charity which has won a Big Society Award today from Prime Minister David Cameron for its achievements across five UK regions, bridging the gap between aspiration and achievement for young people.
The benefit cap starts being introduced across the country today. The cap will roll out from now to the end of September with the amount of benefits working-age households can claim limited to the average working wage – £500 a week. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "Returning fairness to the welfare state in this country is long overdue. We will always be there to support those who need help, but the days of blank cheque benefits are over and the benefit cap is a key part of this.
Measures in Scotland to tackle homelessness should be taken up by Westminster, says homelessness charity Crisis, as statistics released today reveal that for the first time everyone who has become homeless through no fault of their own has been offered help and accommodation.
A charity set up by football star Rio Ferdinand and an organisation which uses boxing and martial arts to steer young people away from gangs and crime have received more than £745,000 in total from the Big Lottery Fund. The money comes from the Fund’s Reaching Communities programme which helps those most in need and builds stronger communities.
The online giving website www.charitygiving.co.uk has been suspended. In order to protect funds the public has raised and prevent further charitable pledges being made via the website whilst the Charity Commission’s investigation continues the decision has been taken to suspend the CharityGiving online portal with immediate effect.
Carers are being hard hit by the Government ‘bedroom tax’ cuts to Housing Benefit - despite Ministers’ promises of support to protect carers and disabled people. New research by Carers UK, published 100 days after the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ lays bare the shocking impact of the policy on families caring for disabled loved ones. Carers UK interviewed 100 carers affected by the changes, and the findings include: Three quarters (75%) of carers having to pay the ‘bedroom tax’ are being forced to cut back on essential spending on food, electricity and heating...
Only one in three employees (33%) feel that their employer makes it easy for them to give time or money to a charity at work, according to research released by The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). In a poll of employees, many are not given the opportunity to support charities, with less than one in three (29%) workers saying they had not given money to charity at work as they had not been asked, while 27% felt they didn’t have time at work to do voluntary work for charities.
The Legal Education Foundation (LEF) has officially launched today with the announcement of its first six grants. The Foundation is the charity established following the sale of The College of Law last year and has a capital endowment of approximately £200 million, making it one of the largest foundations in the sector. Its first six grants, amounting to around £550,000, have been given to...
The Big Lottery Fund today announced a new £40m fund to further develop the Social Impact Bond (SIB) market as another way of tackling deep-seated social issues in a challenging economic climate.Commissioning Better Outcomes is being launched alongside the second phase of the Cabinet Office’s ground breaking £20m Social Outcomes Fund to support the development of more innovative and flexible approaches that are designed to deal with complex and expensive social issues.
The Charity Commission today published its most recent Annual Report and Accounts, which reveal that it completed over 1,200 operational compliance cases in 2012-13. The Commission also closed 29 investigations, of which 5 were statutory inquiries, its most serious form of investigation into charities. The regulator says that operational compliance cases involve serious concerns about the management of charities and are similar to regulatory compliance investigations conducted under its previous structure.
Labour MP Chi Onwurah and shadow social enterprise minister has welcomed the State of Social Enterprise Survey 2013: The People’s Business . Onwurah said: “It is fantastic news that social enterprises are thriving. That is a testament to the hard work and commitment of social entrepreneurs and those who work in social enterprises...
New figures published today in The People’s Business report reveal a thriving social enterprise sector in the UK that is attracting a wave of entrepreneurs. UK-wide research carried out for The People’s Business shows that social enterprise has three-times the start-up rate of the mainstream SME sector. Close to a third of all social enterprises are three years old or younger.
Sexual and reproductive healthcare organisation, Marie Stopes International has released its annual Global Impact Report. Delivering services in over 40 countries around the world, 13.6 million people were using contraception provided by the organisation last year, which prevented 5.3 million unplanned pregnancies, 2.1 million unsafe abortions, and saved 11,300 women’s lives.
The Health Foundation has announced the appointment of Dr Jennifer Dixon as its new chief executive to succeed Stephen Thornton. Chair of Governors, Sir Alan Langlands said: "The Board is delighted to welcome Dr Jennifer Dixon to the Health Foundation as our next chief executive. Stephen Thornton has been inspirational and he and his team have done tremendous work to establish the Foundation as an authentic and respected voice on quality improvement, safety and person-centred care, and have supported many of the leading thinkers and practitioners in these areas through our fellowship schemes...
A group of volunteers in Loundsley Green who created a vibrant community from the rubble of a building due for demolition will today be recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron with a Big Society Award. The community centre now helps over 300 local people a week with skills ranging from business development to free basic IT classes for older people.
The government has outlined proposals for one of the biggest reforms of Gift Aid rules in recent years. These reforms aim to make it easier for charities to claim tax relief on donations made online or by text message, ensuring that more money goes to good causes. Gift Aid is one of the best-known tax reliefs available to charities, allowing them to reclaim tax on any donation paid by an eligible donor. Last year over £1 billion was paid to charities through Gift Aid.
A project to improve the lives of street children in Kenya has received £505,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. The grant to Railway Children is among six awarded from the Fund’s International Communities programme, which supports projects tackling the causes of poverty and deprivation and the impact they have on people’s lives.
Education charity Achievement for All 3As and I CAN, the children’s communication charity, have announced a new partnership to assist primary and secondary schools throughout England to improve their pupils’ communication skills.
Microfinance charity MicroLoan Foundation has been awarded a grant of £473,298 over three years from the Department for International Development’s (DFID) Global Poverty Action Fund. The grant will be used to fund the charity’s microfinance and business training programmes in the Southern Region of Malawi and will help 6,300 impoverished, rurally based women to develop sustainable livelihoods.
ACEVO has won a grant from the MoJ to deliver a series of workshops to steer and support third sector organisations throughout the ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ programme. Having won the contract in partnership with Candour Collaborations and NCVO, all three organisations will be working throughout England and Wales to deliver tailored support, including...
As the UK economy takes tentative steps to recover, a new report has revealed community organisations are projected to be worth £27.5 billion to the UK in 2013. This is an increase of £1 billion from £26.5 billion in 2012. The Community Census Report, commissioned by charity and heritage insurer Ecclesiastical to examine the impact community organisations have in the UK, reveals that this increase by £1 billion to £27.5 billion in contribution to the economy is equivalent to 1.7% of total GDP.
Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit online donation service from Virgin Money, has announced its annual results for 2012 and confirmed that it passed the £200 million fundraising milestone at the end of May 2013. Donations to charities in 2012 through Virgin Money Giving totalled £72 million including Gift Aid, 25% higher than in 2011.
The Government is putting young people at the heart of policy-making by asking the Cabinet Office to lead the next phase of cross-government youth policy, it was announced today. The Government is keen to drive forward its ambitious youth agenda in which civil society, local and national government support young people to realise their potential and have the supportive relationships, skills and ambitions they need to succeed.
Mark Astarita, director of fundraising at the British Red Cross, will serve as chair of the Institute of Fundraising for another year. The extension of the role, which Astarita has already successfully undertaken for two years, was confirmed at the Institute’s AGM during National Convention in London. Stephen George, fundraising director at Maggie's, remains as vice chair and Helen Elliot, of auditors Sayer Vincent will take on her second term as treasurer.
The Charity Commission has welcomed the sentencing of Harris Polak, who admitted fraud by abuse of position by keeping money he had raised on behalf of charities for himself. Liverpool Crown Court today sentenced Polak to 45 months imprisonment. The prosecution said Harris Polak had raised hundreds of thousands of pounds, passing only limited amounts on to the charities involved. His victims included the charity Cancer Relief UK.
International children’s charity Hope and Homes for Children has received grants totalling £543,651 from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to help establish family-based care services for abandoned children in Sudan. Working in partnership with the Sudanese Government, Hope and Homes for Children will help abandoned children under the age of three to grow up in family-based care rather than institutions.
The Disasters Emergency Committee begins marking 50 years of working together. A documentary about the organisation will be broadcast on ITV and leaders from the three main UK parties and the devolved nations have all pledged their continuing support. Current and historic supporters will gather tonight at BT Tower, where many historic appeals were launched, for a reception supported by strategic partner BT. The DEC was formed on 18 December 1963 to co-ordinate overseas aid and went on to launch its first appeal in response to the August 1966 earthquake in Varto, eastern Turkey.
A pioneering project which gives savers the chance to support the building of homes for homeless people is at the forefront of a new social investment strategy to address the shortage of specialist accommodation for homeless people in the East Midlands.
Charities stand to gain an extra £175million a year, if barriers to giving directly from people's pay packets were removed, according to new research. Overall, nearly one in three people (31%) say that they would be likely to give through their payroll if they were offered the chance, according to a survey commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) as part of an all-party Parliamentary inquiry into giving.
A new report published today by Good Values and the Institute of Fundraising predicts widespread optimism for an increase in income through Major Gift fundraising over the next two years. While major gift fundraising is a developing area for many, with most charities surveyed ‘just starting out’ (18%) or ‘building income’ (39%), almost a third of the organisations who responded and had a Major Gifts programme in place reported that they had delivered over £1m in Major Gift income in the last financial year and the average return on investment reported was 1:9.
New research reveals that despite the financial crisis, rate-rigging and tax-avoidance scandals the financial sector gives far more to charity than any other industry sector. Findings revealed in the first ever Company Giving Almanac, published this month by the charity Directory of Social Change, show the UK financial sector provides the lion’s share of money given by companies to UK charities and voluntary groups.
The Work Programme has been branded a ‘miserable failure’ by homelessness charity Crisis, as official statistics today reveal just 5% of the hardest to help people have been found work. Two years after the Work Programme’s inception, the figures show that Work Programme providers missed all of the minimum targets they were set. In particular just 5.3% of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance have been found sustained jobs – less than a third of the government’s target of 16.5%.
A new report from The Young Foundation, supported by the Private Equity Foundation and Big Society Capital, says the £2.5 billion a year pupil premium is not being used effectively to raise the educational performance of the UK’s poorest pupils – and calls for social investment to be used to develop and deliver programmes with greater impact. With £2.5bn funding available in 2014/2015, the pupil premium was created to directly tackle the education attainment gap; the 65% of pupils qualifying for free school meals who are leaving school without achieving of five A*-C grade GCSEs including English and maths.
The Government must act to review City regulations to counter widespread myths that are holding back the expansion of social investment, according to a new report by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) published today. Britain could become the world leader in social finance if the Government can allay the fear of regulation that risks strangling the social investment market, according to the report by CAF and Legal & General, a major provider of savings solutions and investments to its clients.
Fifty thousand volunteers generated millions of pounds of economic benefit to Britain during Sewa Day in 2012, the annual global initiative. Voluntary organisations, schools and companies including Lloyds Banking Group took part in over 200 projects helping their local area and adding real value to their community. According to the report, released today, by the Economic Policy Group (EPG), Sewa Day generated a Social Return of Investment (SROI) of £2.60 for every £1 invested into it, equating to up to £11.7m million of additional value for Britain in 2012.
The sector has responded negatively to much of the Chancellor’s spending review announced today, though there is an acceptance of some positives. ACEVO has warned of the continuing tough times for the sector, CFG warned of the "serious implications for those most vulnerable in society," NCVO noted that local government needed now to be sensitive to the sector, DSC said the cuts to the Commission make a mockery of Coalition social policy and the NPC said the cuts spell further problems for charities.
There will be no banking crisis in China, but a devaluation of the currency is probable, warned the financial historian Russell Napier at a lunch hosted by investment management firm Cerno Capital. Looking at the outlook for the global economy, Napier stated that Chinese banks do not function in the same way as banks in other countries, and are better thought of as arms of fiscal policy and, in this respect, it is hard to have a banking crisis if it is part of the government.
The Charity Commission has today opened an informal consultation on new draft guidance for trustees about how to manage conflicts of interest. There are no changes to the legal duties of trustees but the Commission is producing the new guidance to explain the principles and practical steps in a clearer way. Conflicts of interest arise in charities of all sizes and if they are not managed appropriately, can cause serious problems.
The majority of charities (58%) believe that the principles and practices of high street banks do not sit comfortably with the charitable sector according to research released by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). In a poll of charity senior managers and financial directors, 58% believe high street banks are not geared up to meet the needs of charities. As a result, over a quarter of those polled believe that the banking sector is currently holding back the work of charities.
The Social Investment Business (SIB) Group has announced a new focus on supporting public service mutual spin outs for the £10m Investment and Contract Readiness Fund that it manages on behalf of the Office for Civil Society. The money is available to help spin outs to scale up their operations and social impact and become more equipped to compete for new contracts.
At the House of Lords today Directory of Social Change chief executive Debra Allcock Tyler offered a passionate critique of the abject failure of the business community to take responsibility for vital social needs and causes.Allcock Tyler spoke at the launch of DSC’s first Company Giving Almanac, which analyses a sample of over 400 companies with community support and CSR programmes that benefit UK charitable causes.
The voluntary sector’s paid workforce grew by 6% over the calendar year 2011/12 according to the latest figures. The most recent analysis of the Labour Force Survey shows a total of 804,000 paid employees in the sector, the second highest total since records began. However, this increase occurred at a time when resource constraints and increased demand for services have put pressure on many organisations in the sector.
Yesterday saw the launch of the Small Charity Index, creating a stronger voice for charities by providing a monthly ‘pulse of the sector’ report. The Index publishes reports from a database of participating charities which are representative of the small charity sector as a whole by income, cause type, and geographical location. The survey is sent out via email and SMS for small charities to fill in digitally.
Judi Rhys has been appointed as CEO of Arthritis Care - the UK charity supporting people with all forms of arthritis. She will take up her post in mid-August 2013. Rhys is currently acting director of operations for the MS Society. Prior to that and following a career in the NHS and higher education, Rhys was Wales director for Diabetes UK, and then took up the same role at MS Society.
Three months since the launch of DEC Syria Crisis Appeal the UK public have donated a very generous £16m. By September this year DEC members plan to have reached hundreds of thousands of people with aid using DEC funds. Using funds from the DEC and other sources our member agencies are already stepping up their efforts in response to the escalating crisis; running aid convoys into besieged cities when there is a lull in the fighting, delivering medical supplies to make-shift field hospitals to treat the wounded, and providing food, clean water and basic household items to refugees fleeing Syria who arrive frightened and exhausted with nothing more than what they can carry.
Sector think-tank NPC has today called on the secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling to ensure that his Ministry’s Transforming Rehabilitation plans for the reform of probation services are developed in a way which enables and encourages participation by effective third sector organisations. In a letter to the Minister the charity think tank has outlined three key concerns it has about the implementation of Transforming Rehabilitation plans...
The Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, yesterday launched Generation Change, a new coalition of specialist youth social action organisations aiming to increase the quality, quantity and impact of social action in the UK today. Generation Change has been formed to champion the youth social action sector and drive up the number of young people actively involved in high quality social action, helping them to increase their skills and equipping them to take on social issues.
The Big Lottery Fund is to invest up to £8 million in funding for projects that will continue to inspire a generation and build on the legacy of the London 2012 Games for communities across the UK. The Fund, together with the Spirit of 2012 Trust, are inviting expressions of interest in projects that can deliver this through sport, culture and the arts, heritage, educational activities or combinations of these themes.
A scheme to mentor and rehabilitate prisoners sentenced to less than 12 months has reduced re-conviction rates, figures published today show. The pilot, being run at Peterborough prison by Social Finance with support from a number of voluntary organisations, has helped prisoners who would previously have had no support. It provides them with help as they prepare for release and then to access the services they need, including housing, employment, financial services and substance abuse services once they are out of prison.
Malcolm Hayday, founding chief executive of Charity Bank, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for “services to charities and Social Enterprise.” Hayday, who left the bank after 10 years in 2012, was one of the pioneers of social finance. He joined the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in 1993 to explore the possibility of loan finance as a new resource for the charity sector.
Confirmation that the Assad regime has been using chemical weapons against its own citizens must prompt Western intervention in Syria, analysts from think-tank Henry Jackson Society (HJS) have said. Tonight an internal memo from US and European officials has confirmed that ‘the intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year’.
The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) has today welcomed the focus on the themes of “social impact investing” and “tax, trade and transparency” of this year’s G8 summit, and urged attendees to use the event to make progress in breaking down barriers to long-term responsible investment.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude today has announced new commitments on open data that will give citizens detailed information on the operations of charities and companies. For the first time, information about how charities earn and spend their money will be available in an open data format. When turned into applications by technology developers, this will help citizens to make more informed decisions about the causes they consider supporting.
Social Enterprise UK has responded positively to the news that Chris White MP has been named Social Value Ambassador. Social Enterprise UK chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, Peter Holbrook, said: “This is a very welcome move. Chris has been an extraordinary champion for social value. He navigated the Public Services (Social Value) Act through parliament with commitment and a real desire to revolutionise public sector commissioning practices. The Act is already being embedded by public sector commissioners and councils in England and Wales who want to use their spending power to create lasting social change in villages, towns and cities.
The second annual Insight in Fundraising Awards took place last night in London. Charities and their data insight partners came together to celebrate excellence in insight driven fundraising, with RNIB, UNICEF UK, Comic Relief, Cancer Research UK, and RNLI amongst those winning awards for their work.
At the Social Value Conference yesterday, the Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd announced the appointment of Chris White, MP for Warwick and Leamington, as the first official Social Value Ambassador. The conference, organised by Social Enterprise West Midlands in Birmingham, heard how Chris White will be working closely with Local Authorities and the voluntary sector to raise awareness of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, which came into force earlier this year and received cross-party support.
NAVCA chief Joe Irvin has today led a delegation of NAVCA members to give evidence to the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector. In his evidence Irvin cited gagging clauses in the work programme as one of the worst example of charities independence being wilfully attacked. The Panel is made up of senior charity experts and was established by the Baring Foundation because of continued concerns about charities’ independence.
The Charity Commission is calling on charities to take part in a new review project looking at strategy development and review in charities. The project, launched jointly by the Commission and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), will involve 25 volunteer charities, each of which will receive a pro-bono strategy review from an ICAEW member. All charities registered with the Charity Commission and with incomes of less than £5m are eligible to take part.
The Charities Property Fund, managed by Cordea Savills, has acquired a portfolio of car showrooms for £17.4 million, let on long leases with annual fixed rental increases and options to extend for a further 20 years, meaning the Fund has now passed the £500 million milestone: with £510 million under management. The acquisition price reflects a 7.2% yield after the costs of acquisition. The Fund has also passed the £500 million milestone and is now fully invested with £510 million under management.
Nearly three quarters (72%) of voters do not want councillors to cut funding to charities by more than they cut other services, according to a survey released today. The survey, released by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations, follows research which found that as many as half of all local councils have cut funding to charities by a greater proportion than the overall cuts to their budget.
Charity fundraising regulator, the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), has today published its annual complaints report, revealing a total 33,744 fundraising complaints reported to UK charities in 2012, and shows a 93% increase on doorstep fundraising complaints from 2011.The FRSB Complaints Report 2013 presents an overview of complaints received by 1,068 charities with fundraising programmes that deliver £4.16 billion in voluntary income annually.
The new legal structure of Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) has taken off in a big way and is set to become the leading structure for newly formed voluntary organisations with charitable aims – especially for smaller and medium sized charities, says the Directory of Social Change. CIOs became law in England and Wales in January 2013 under the Charities Act 2011, and since then the Charity Commission has registered more than 200 new charities as CIOs.
A new report by the Third Sector Research Centre provides a detailed overview of the environmental third sector in England. The research is the first attempt to provide a national listing of environmental charities, and gives information on the number of organisations, their income, sources of funding, functions and distribution. 1,800 charities have the environment as their primary focus in England and Wales, just over 1% of all charities on the Charity Commission Register.
At the world’s first G8 conference on social impact investing Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday reinforced the UK’s commitment and leadership in growing the global social investment market, which already creates jobs and growth in the economy and tackles entrenched social problems whilst saving money for the taxpayer. The PM noted that social impact investment strengthens society by providing finance to charities, social enterprises and community groups and enables them to expand their services and develop better solutions to entrenched social problems such as supporting troubled families, providing job and training opportunities for young people or simply enabling people to invest in community projects.
ACEVO chief Sir Stephen Bubb has criticised the Public Administration Select Committee report The Role of the Charity Commission and “public benefit”: Post legislative scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006 calling it "unhelpful, an unnecessary distraction", and calling instead for the Charity Commission to get its act together. Bubb said: "This is a bad report. It is an unhelpful and unnecessary distraction, at a time when charities need distraction like a hole in the head.
Most of the Sector has welcomed the Public Administration Select Committee's report The Role of the Charity Commission and “public benefit”: Post legislative scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006 with CFG, NCVO, the IoF, FRSB, PFRA all welcoming the report and the DSC noting it is "a considered report". In response to the publication of the PASC report, Caron Bradshaw, CEO, CFG, commented: “Ensuring that the sector is proportionately regulated is essential, both for preserving public trust and confidence and enabling innovation and growth.
The Charity Commission is being asked to do too much, with too little, says the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) in its report on the implementation of the Charities Act 2006. The report, The role of the Charity Commission and "public benefit": Post-legislative scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006 observes that the charitable sector is at the heart of UK society, involving millions of people and £9.3 billion received in donations in 2011/2012 with around 25 new applications for charitable status are received by the Charity Commission every working day.
The chairman of the Charity Commission has responded positively to Public Administration Select Committee report The Role of the Charity Commission and “public benefit”: Post legislative scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006, calling it a "well informed and helpful report." William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission, said: “We welcome the Public Administration Select Committee’s thoughtful and balanced report on their post-legislative scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006.
New research by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has ranked the UK as performing relatively better than most other developed nations over the past decade at meeting its overseas aid spending commitments on ending under nutrition. The Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) has ranked the UK with the highest overall score out of 23 OECD members despite its overseas aid spending on nutrition programmes accounting for a lower proportion of its wealth than countries like Denmark and Canada.
The Public Accounts Committee has strongly criticised the Charity Commission's procedures for regulating charities in its examination of the Cup Trust scandal, with ACEVO CEO Sir Stephen Bubb warning the Committee's report is a wake-up call for the Commission. The Public Accounts Committee presented the most damning indictment of the work of the Charity Commission: noting the Cup Trust never met the legal criteria to qualify as a registered charity; the Commission’s approach to regulation and enforcement lacks rigour and evidence suggests that the Cup Trust case is just the tip of an iceberg, and with it possible worse scandal for the sector.
Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund has announced a further investment of £20m in 39 skills projects through its Skills for the Future Programme. This money will deliver 876 new placements, adding up to 918 years’ worth of paid training opportunities for people seeking a career in heritage. It will not only support traditional heritage skills, key to sustaining our rich cultural landscape, but also a wide variety of more contemporary ones, such as business planning and digital skills.
The Big Lottery Fund is today seeking a lead partner to manage and deliver a new £25 million UK-wide programme, Rethink Good Health, to tackle late onset of alcohol misuse amongst older people. It is estimated that over 1.4 million or over 14% of older men and women in the UK drink over safe limits. In England in 2012/13 there were more admissions to hospital of pensioners for alcohol-related injuries and illness than of 16 to 24 year olds.
The work of a network of churches, social enterprises and charities working together to help people most in need in their local communities, has been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron with a Big Society Award. The Cinnamon Network provides small start-up grants of up to £2,000 to churches to fund social action projects including Street Pastors in Manchester, a befriending scheme for isolated older people in Wokingham and debt advice services in Bradford.
The Charity Commission has approved changes to the articles of Charity Bank to allow the bank to continue operating as a bank and secure its operation for charitable purposes. The requirements of the banking regulations mean that it is not possible for Charity Bank to continue both as a charity and as a bank, and has ceased to be a charity effective as of close of business on May 31 2013. Charity Bank is the only operational bank that has charity status. It was registered as a charity in 2002 and its income for the last financial year was £4.9million.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into The Public Safety Charitable Trust. The Commission opened an investigation into the charity in October 2011 after concerns were raised regarding business rates relief, and opened an inquiry on May 21 2013, following further concerns of risks to the charity’s assets as a result of a court judgement on May 14 2013. The Commission also issued alerts to charities on this subject on December 11 2011 and 20 May 2013 respectively.
The Charity Commission has today stated its policy and approach to the recovery of property which has been lost to charity through a serious breach of trust. This could be by trustees or others who, by their conduct, have been responsible for its loss. The Charity Commission clarified that trustees are volunteers, who give generously of their time and expertise for the benefit of their charities and the wider public good.
A report released today by Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam warns that more than half a million people in Britain have received aid from food banks in the past year. The two charities, with the backing of the Trussell Trust, are calling for an urgent Parliamentary Inquiry into the relationship between benefit delay, error or sanctions, welfare reform changes, and the growth of food poverty.
Despite a backdrop of sustained pressure on households' disposable income, research by Halifax reveals a determination by charity donors to safeguard the amount that they give to good causes.70% of people have given money to charity in the last year, with around half (52%) managing to maintain the amount that they donated over the previous 12 months and one in ten actually increasing the amount they give.
Tax evaders will have fewer places to hide their money after nine countries, including tax havens Singapore and Luxembourg, today signed a treaty agreeing to share information about financial account holders. Signatories to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters agree to share information on request from other countries, with optional provisions for that to become automatic.
Charities will face increasing pressure to commercialise, delivering profit for corporate supporters as well as clearly measurable outcomes over the next decade, with some struggling to meet the challenge, according to a new futures report from Charities Trust. The report, which also sought the views of corporate opinion leaders, community practitioners and other experts, found that big business will play a much larger part in driving delivery from the charities it partners.
Think-tank the Adam Smith Institute has revealed that taxpayers have finally stopped paying the taxman and started to put their earnings in their own pockets. Tax Freedom Day—the day when the average Briton finishes their stint working for George Osborne and begins to work for themselves, falls today. For 150 days of the year, every penny the average person earns is sent to the Treasury, according to Adam Smith Institute calculations.
£40m of Lottery funding is to be invested in community health schemes across England as new research reveals that taking part in these projects can make you almost three times happier than if your income were to double. 14 organisations, including local health bodies and leading charities, will receive the funding from Big Lottery Fund to deliver the interventions to encourage healthier eating, increase physical activity and promote good mental health.
“Nudging” people to give could generate tens of millions of pounds extra for good causes, according to ground-breaking studies published today. Simply reminding people making out their Will that many others choose to leave a legacy to charity or including a photograph in an appeal can double or treble the numbers of people giving. The study was conducted by the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the University of Bristol’s Centre for Market and Public Organisation.
The MS Society is delighted to announce the appointment of Michelle Mitchell as its new chief executive from September. Mitchell is an experienced leader and is currently charity director general at Age UK. She has led high profile campaigns and driven policy change in a number of critical areas, including social care funding, which have resulted in fundamental improvements for those in later life.
Three times as many Britons would leave a gift to charities that they are passionate about in their will, if their solicitor reminded them to consider this opportunity, according to results of a trial spearheaded by Remember A Charity - the Institute of Fundraising’s long term campaign to increase legacy giving to charities. With gifts in wills currently bringing in £2 billion per year for UK charities, 13% of all charitable donations, a trebling in the number of people leaving a gift could have a significant financial impact for good causes.
Results of a survey about attitudes to social enterprise among UK charities were released today by Social Enterprise UK, and its findings are ‘overwhelmingly positive’, according to the national membership organisation. Currently 45% of registered charities identify themselves as social enterprises and more than half of the voluntary sector’s income is earned through trading (selling goods and services) and delivering government contracts, rather than donations or grants.
The deceased are rapidly becoming Britain’s most important fundraisers, as in memory giving nets record amounts for worthy causes. According to data from JustGiving more than £27 million was raised on the website last year – with donations also up 32 per cent so far this year. In fact, donating to a charitable cause is now the preferred mark of respect with two thirds of British adults (67%) choosing to make a donation to charity over flowers.
The 2012 Charity Times Awards Investment Manager of the Year Rathbone Investment Management, has followed this up by winning the Charity Investment Manager of the Year at the Citywealth Magic Circle Award Winners 2013. Each year the Citywealth Magic Circle Awards brings together a top level group of the elite of advisors and managers in the international wealth industry.
The late May Bank Holiday this weekend sees the start of a £10.5m campaign to bring people and communities together to sow, grow and support UK native wild flowers. Grow Wild – a new campaign funded by the Big Lottery Fund– aims to inspire people to get together to transform unloved urban sites, gardens and windowsills into wildlife-friendly wild flower patches.
The Charity Commission has today launched a consultation on proposals to introduce changes to the Annual Return and the content of the Register of Charities for 2014 onwards. All registered charities with an income of £10,000 and above are required to submit an Annual Return, which is used to strengthen the Commission’s regulatory work and keeps the charity’s record on the register up to date for the many members of the public and others who use it. Last summer the Commission consulted on the nature of information it should collect from charities to inform its wider information strategy.
The Charity Finance Group (CFG) and the Small Charities Coalition have launched a report into financial management in small charities. The two umbrella organisations are also seeking input on what they and others could do to improve standards of financial management in small charities. Making it count - a report into financial management in small charities for the first time takes a wide reaching look at financial management roles and practices in small charities, along with the challenges they face, and highlights key areas where additional support would be of most benefit.
Crisis has welcomed the report of the Work and Pensions Select Committee and its conclusion that the Work Programme is failing to move homeless people closer to work. The Work and Pensions Select Committee report, released today, states that the Work Programme is ‘not reaching the most disadvantaged’, singling out homeless people as one of the groups not receiving the help they need. Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: “The Work Programme has been a huge disappointment for too many homeless people. It has taken them no closer to what they really want: a better life through work.
A comprehensive package of measures to help the voluntary sector and mutuals compete for contracts to cut reoffending was announced today by the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Justice. This follows proactive engagement with a range of organisations from the voluntary sector, social enterprises and entrepreneurial staff in Probation Trusts looking to form new mutuals. Many of these measures are being introduced in response to the recommendations set out in social enterprise organisation 3SC’s action plan.
Government contracts must enable social economy organisations to provide decent employment conditions, says a new research paper, based on an international report produced by the Third Sector Research Centre for the OECD. There has been much political interest in the role of the social economy, or third sector, in providing jobs and supporting vulnerable people into the workforce. But Governments must recognise the pivotal role that state contracts play in financing many of these organisations, and therefore affecting conditions and services.
Minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin and Minister of State for Schools and the Cabinet Office David Laws are today publishing the second annual update on the government’s ambitious programme of public services reform. This includes the government’s response to David Boyle’s review into barriers to choice in public services, three further Choice Frameworks and a new Choice Charter. The Open Public Services Update 2013 sets out the significant achievements the government has made in modernising public services in education, health, neighbourhood services and many other areas.
Some British towns and cities contain welfare ghettos where more than half the working age residents depend on out-of-work benefits, according to a major new investigation into the anatomy of the welfare state. Parts of Denbighshire in Wales, Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Wirral, Tendring and North East Lincolnshire are the worst affected, the report reveals. In Liverpool, there are nearly 70 neighbourhoods where the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits is 30 per cent or higher.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has today published two case study based reports on: DFID’s use of contractors to deliver aid programmes; and DFID’s Support for Civil Society Organisations through Programme Partnership Arrangements (PPAs). ICAI has given both programmes a rating of Green-Amber. Graham Ward, ICAI Chief Commissioner, said: “The case studies that we examined for both DFID’s use of contractors and programme partnership arrangements show promise for impact on intended beneficiaries. Civil society organisations and private sector contractors are valuable delivery mechanisms for aid and we have made a series of recommendations to increase the value that they deliver.”
Ten charities have won GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) IMPACT Awards for their outstanding contributions to improving the UK’s health and well-being, GSK and The King’s Fund announced last night at the awards ceremony held at the Science Museum. GSK’s accolade, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, awards at least £30,000 to each organisation, and provides them with training so they are able to take their organisations to the next level.
Nominations are being sought for Fellowships of the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) from fundraisers with a track record of commitment to the Institute and the fundraising profession. Fellows are recognised for their contribution to fundraising above and beyond their day job. In particular, fellowship acknowledges the commitment of those who give their time to the Institute in development of the profession of fundraising.
NPC has said that charities working with young people need to do more to measure the softer outcomes which impact upon youth employability. As part of the ongoing Inspiring Impact programme the charity think tank and consultancy has today launched The journey to employment, a new report which looks at the key factors which influence young people’s ability to get a job and how these can be effectively measured. New figures released yesterday show that for January to March 2013 there were 958,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds, representing an unemployment rate of 20.7%, down 0.1 percentage points from October to December 2012.
The review into skills and leaderships needs in the social sector has today published its response on a new blog site: www.leadingsocial.org.uk. The response follows a six month review at the invitation of Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, led by Dame Mary Marsh and supported by a working group of representatives from across the social sector. The review has identified eight critical areas where there are skills and leadership needs, with recommendations on how the sector and the Government can respond. Connecting these areas, the review points to three key themes that sit at the heart of the challenge...
New research reveals that companies gave over £470 million in cash donations to charities and community groups, with total community contributions reaching almost £600 million. However, compared with previous research the total value of cash donations fell by 9%, with community contributions declining by 27%. The 9th edition of The Guide to UK Company Giving, published by the charity Directory of Social Change (DSC), examines the charitable giving and community support programmes of 550 companies, including many big household names such as Lloyds Banking Group (£43.8 million in cash donations); Tesco (£26.5 million); and Marks & Spencer (£9.1 million).
Social investor Nominet Trust today announced the approval of funding for eleven ambitious technology ventures that demonstrate the potential to achieve significant social change. The investment, which totals over £1million, is a testament of the Trust’s continued commitment to championing digital technology for social good. All of the projects which are to be awarded funding have a bold vision and a deep understanding of how technology can be used to address social challenges, such as youth unemployment or social care provision.
Vital frontline advice services across England will today be sharing in a multi-million pound support package as the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) announces 226 awards made under the Advice Services Transition Fund. The Cabinet Office is supporting BIG’s programme by contributing half of the funding. Today’s awards build on BIG’s role in funding the advice sector and comes as a direct and timely response to the challenging circumstances advice providers and those dependent on their services are facing.
A new report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) highlights an enduring link between public attitudes to poverty and the state of the economy, but shows how this link to welfare is weakening. The research - carried out by NatCen Social Research, explored public attitudes to poverty and welfare over the past three decades. It found that perceptions of and expectations for poverty levels became more pessimistic during the recessions of the 1990s and late 2000s, with a societal explanation for poverty gaining favour at the expense of an individual explanation.
Many of England’s volunteer centres faced a substantial hit to their income in the last financial year, new data from NCVO shows. The results of the 2011/12 Annual Return for Volunteer Centres, a survey of volunteer centres’ income and activities, show that 40% of volunteer centres for whom there is data for both years lost over a quarter of their income compared to the previous year. One in five (21%) had cuts of 50% or more of their income.
Helping thousands more new businesses get off the ground by expanding the Government’s Start-Up loan scheme and opening up further the £230 billion worth of public sector contracts to the smallest businesses will help boost growth and transform the economy according to the Prime Minister’s enterprise adviser, Lord Young. In his second report to the Prime Minister, Growing your Business: A report on Growing Micro Businesses, Lord Young highlights the increasing importance that micro businesses – those which have less than 10 employees – have on the success of the economy.
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has today welcomed the Government announcement on the Sustainable Communities Act, which means that local (parish and town) councils can drive a new “bottom-up” process that allow local people to drive central government action to help their local communities. The campaign for the Sustainable Communities Act arose out of the very concerning problem of community decline, which can be seen in the national decay of everything from small shops and Post Offices to green spaces and recreational facilities.
The Big Lottery Fund has announced today the appointment of Dawn Austwick as the organisation’s new chief executive. Austwick joins the Big Lottery Fund from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, an organisation she has successfully led as a chief executive since 2005. She will be taking over from Peter Wanless who stands down as chief executive at the end of May to become chief Executive of NSPCC.
Investec Wealth & Investment (IW&I) has increased its clients’ overall exposure to infrastructure funds by over £40m over the last 12 months and by £60m over two years. In the past nine months IW&I has invested in new share issues launched by four of the largest publicly quoted infrastructure funds: GCP Infrastructure, International Public Partnerships, John Laing Infrastructure and HICL infrastructure.
As we reach the third anniversary of David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s press conference in the Rose Garden promising to work together to prioritise ‘national interest’, national charity 4Children has written to the Chancellor urging him to meet families to hear first-hand how tough life is – and importantly how he can help. 4Children note how families with children throughout the UK face a third consecutive year of austerity measures, leaving many significantly worse off than they were three years ago.
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), as part of its commitment to help charity Go ON UK eliminate the digital divide, is announcing an investment of up to £15 million to build the skills that people and organisations across the UK will need in order to take full advantage of support and services available online. There are 16 million people in the UK who currently lack the basic online skills to confidently make full use of digital tools available to them and 7.4 million people who have never been online.
Cabinet Office Minister Nick Hurd has endorsed a new report that shows how charitable foundations can deliver further social benefit by partnering with private money from banks and individuals. The report comes ahead of a G8 forum on social investment, held in June, which will form a key part of the UK’s G8 Presidency in 2013.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has today announced six new appointments to the Board of the Charity Commission for England and Wales. The new board members are: Peter Clarke; Claire Dove, Orlando Fraser, Tony Leifer...
At an event to launch Big Society Capital’s (BSC) first Annual Report last night, Nick O’Donohoe, CEO, outlined a number of proactive initiatives for 2013 to drive the development of the social investment market. He set out that the BSC is working with large grant makers and other social investors to create new forms of financing, available across the different development phases of community assets.
Save the Children and GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, have launched an ambitious partnership which combines the expertise, resources and influence of both organisations. Together, the organisations will tackle some of the leading causes of childhood deaths by improving access to vaccines and medicines, healthcare workers and nutritious food.For the first time, Save the Children will be involved in helping GSK to research and develop life-saving new medicines designed especially for children in hard-to-reach communities.
Charity finance directors should embrace a culture of innovation to ensure third sector organisations thrive, the chief executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (RSA) has said. In a deep and thought-provoking speech, Matthew Taylor spoke today at length about finance, leadership and change at the Charity Finance Group Annual Conference entitled Striving, surviving, thriving, where over 600 charity finance leaders were in attendance.
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
Tris Lumley takes the reader on an in-depth journey analysing impact
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Andrew Holt searches through the maze that is the Big Society for meaning