New research from the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations highlights that the Government is failing charities and social enterprises who aim to expand, and that social organisations must themselves change if they are to deliver more public services. Charities are being let down by government and left unable to finance their aspirations for expansion, according to research by ACEVO. Results from their latest flagship Social Sector Tracker survey, The Changing Face of Charity, point to the social sector’s uncertainty about how to gain access to the sorts of finance charities need, and how to better work together to deliver public services.

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Ummah Welfare Foundation, registered charity number 1150190. The charity has objects to relieve poverty and sickness and advance education throughout the world by the provision of services. The Charity Commission carried out a compliance visit to the charity in June 2013, which included an inspection of the charity’s books and records. During the visit, concerns were identified regarding the governance and financial management of the charity, which the regulator provided specific advice and guidance on.

The Rotherham report indicates the depth of pain and abuse that children and young people have experienced and the challenge faced by professionals to recognise and tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) says The Ann Craft Trust (ACT). The leader of Rotherham council, Roger Stone, has quit his job with immediate effect after an independent report found that about 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the South Yorkshire town over a 16-year period. The report found that in more than a third of these cases the youngsters were already known to child protection agencies. It said there had been “blatant” collective failures by the council’s leadership.

UK businesses and individuals who are solving social problems will be celebrated in October at the first-ever Social Investment Awards, backed by the Cabinet Office and RBS. The UK social investment market is worth over £200 million, supporting social enterprises that contribute over £55 billion to the economy each year. The market now employs over two million people in the UK. The market enables ventures that might otherwise struggle to access finance to grow and make an impact on local communities.

Politicians from all parties should pledge to turn around the nation’s most deprived social housing estates within the next decade, says a leading think-tank. In a new report, The Estate We’re In, leading think tank Policy Exchange argues that the condition of many of Britain’s social housing estates is nothing short of a national embarrassment. The paper says that the results of decades of neglect and ghettoization have led to acute social problems that are entrenched and generational including: lone parents with low educational attainment and poor parenting skills; child neglect and domestic violence; low levels of employment; and the rise of gang warfare and knife crime.

Tributes and messages have been pouring in for Stephen Lloyd, much loved and respected former Senior Partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite, who has died following a boating accident on holiday in Wales this week. Friends, colleagues, clients and those who simply admired his work, benefited from his advice or perhaps heard him speak at one of his many public engagements have been praising Stephen’s expertise, dynamism, creative intellect, wisdom, leadership, sense of fun and commitment to good causes. Stephen headed BWB’s charity and social enterprise department for many years before becoming senior partner.

Sector leadership groups, at both national and local levels, have failed to protect voluntary services groups and their users and communities from the damaging changes of the last decade. This is the broad conclusion of two Inquiry reports released today. The position and role of national infrastructure bodies concerning the cuts to and privatisation of public services. The first report looks at the record of six national infrastructure organisations (ACEVO, NAVCA, NCVO, Locality, Clinks and Homeless Link) and the positions they have taken in relation to cuts and the privatisation of public services.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today confirmed the list of uniformed youth groups to benefit from the £10 million Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund. The winners have been announced following a competitive grant process that aims to increase by 15,000 the number of places available for young people to join uniformed youth groups across the UK. This project is being funded from LIBOR fines pot which has been raised from banks for misdemeanours and attempted manipulation of financial markets.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer named 14 uniformed youth groups that will benefit from the £10 million Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund. The Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund aims to get more young people involved in social action through uniformed groups. The winners were announced after a competitive grant process that aimed to create 15,000 more places for young people to join uniformed youth groups across the UK. This project is funded through LIBOR fines which were raised from banks for misdemeanours and attempted manipulation of the financial markets.

Today’s education system is failing many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds – according to a new survey published by an alliance of organisations led by Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation. On the eve of GCSE results day, the alliance is calling for schools to do more to prepare their students for life after education. Young people aged 16-24 were asked a range of questions including: What’s the biggest barrier to finding work?; Where do you seek advice about employment options? and; If you could change one thing to help young people get jobs, what would it be?

Norman Lamb MP, minister for Care Services has reportedly described Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services as ‘not fit for purpose’ and ‘stuck in the dark ages’ in an interview with the BBC. Responding to the reported comments by Norman Lamb MP, Sarah Brennan Chief Executive of YoungMinds said: “Norman Lamb is right to highlight the desperate state of children and young people’s mental health services. Every day we hear from parents, through YoungMinds Parents’ Helpline, desperate for help for their child. They either cannot access services or they are stuck for months on a waiting list.

UK charities made an average investment return of 10.4% over the 12 months to 30 June, according to the WM Charity Fund Monitor from State Street. The annualised return for the three years to the same date was 7.9%. The best-performing asset class was property, returning 17%, while UK equities made 13.1%. Overseas equities were the next best performers, returning 9.7%, while alternatives returned 8.9%, pooled bonds 5.3%, overseas bonds 5.1% and UK bonds 4.6%. The worst performer was cash, returning only 0.4%.

Charities involved in mergers transferred over £225m to form new organisations last year. Together, the 189 organisations undertaking mergers turned over almost £1bn, or some 2.4% of total voluntary sector income; according to The Good Merger Index, the first overview of charity sector mergers, produced by management consultancy Eastside Primetimers. There was significant activity amongst health and social Care organisations, which accounted for more than 50% of mergers, with a disproportionate bias towards mental health and disability charities, reflecting commissioners’ preoccupation with lower costs and pan-disability provision...


Kate Lee turned around her charity to boost its income, service satisfaction rates and staff morale. She is a Jack Russell of the charity CEO world, she tells Andrew Holt

There has been a year-on-year increase in donations via IT Apps. But, finds Julie Howell, charities can still take more advantage of new App opportunities

There is a hope we have entered a new investment era that could open up a period of dynamic asset allocation. Andrew Holt analyses the investment strategies open to charities

Tracey Gyateng argues that a better use of data by charities helps them improve their operational effectiveness, the service they provide to their beneficiaries and the outcomes they achieve

The passing of the Lobbying Bill means that the nature of charity campaigning could change. But Becky Slack finds many in the sector advising charities to stand their ground

Andrea Cooper explains why tackling the lack of social mobility and access to opportunity for young people is an essential sector and society problem

Has your investment manager downgraded your service?

February-March 2014: Trustees & CEO Pay

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

December/January 2013-14: Impact Leadership

Tris Lumley takes the reader on an in-depth journey analysing impact
leadership, arguing that impact starts with leadership

August/September 2013 Cover Story: Revisiting the Big Society

Andrew Holt searches through the maze that is the Big Society for meaning

June/July 2013 Cover Story: Testing times, big opportunities

Contrasting sector evidence suggests the fundraising environment is tougher than it has ever been while other data suggests it is indeed tough but equally ripe with opportunity. Hugh Wilson unravels the debate

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April/May 2013 Cover Story: Measuring Impact

Impact measurement is the current sector zeitgeist. Hugh Wilson finds charities embracing it to keep funders happy and arguments over the measurement of data, but ultimately, the benefits of good impact measurement are significant and the idea is here to stay

February/March 2013 Cover Story: Are charities special?

What is the role of charities? Are they unique? Or do charities increasingly ape what other organisations can do just as well? Hugh Wilson investigates

December/January 2012 Cover Feature: The Good Leader

With morale in the sector at its lowest ebb, Duncan Jefferies asks what makes an effective leader and how charities can attract and develop the best management talent in the current environment

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