MPs have a moral duty to declare the Supreme Court the highest authority in the UK, unpick unwanted EU laws one by one and challenge Brussels to "do its worst", the head of the Civitas think-tank argues in a new report. Dr David Green calls for an amendment to the 1972 European Communities Act to enshrine in law the superiority of the Supreme Court over the EU Court of Justice. The move would amount to a "unilateral declaration of independence" without tearing up all EU laws and regulations in one go, he says. The proposal comes in a scathing denunciation of the damage the EU has wreaked upon Britain's proud traditions of liberty and democracy since 1973.

Nearly seven million Britons have raised money for charity through running in the last 12 months, according to a survey released today. This is a 36% rise since the previous year, as two million more people join the continuing boom for fun runs. Each runner is also raising £78 more than in 2012/13, the average increasing to £358. The figures, from a survey conducted for the Charities Aid Foundation, which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector, also found that men are moving ahead when it comes to running for charity, a trend which could account for the overall rise.

A survey has revealed people in England want more local decision making.The survey by the Institute for Public Policy Research North think-tank found 39% of people living in England believed local authorities should have more powers. It also found trust in local councils (64%) was almost twice as high as trust in Parliament (36%). The report also found that more people felt very or fairly closely attached to their local area (80%) than to England as a whole (75%), Britain (66%) or Europe (26%).

The shortlist has been announced for the third Insight in Fundraising Awards, an initiative of the Institute of Fundraising’s Special Interest Group for Insight in Fundraising (IoF Insight SIG). This year’s event attracted the highest number of entries to date, more than 50% up on last year, a testament to how the fundraising insight community has embraced the event. Winners will be presented at the awards ceremony and gala dinner being held at the prestigious Grand Connaught Rooms in Holburn, London, on Tuesday 3 June.

The chairman of the Charity Commission says the Commission needs adequate funding and stronger legal powers if it is to meet Parliament’s expectations. William Shawcross’ comments come as the Commission issues its formal response to a critical Public Accounts Committee report. In its response, the Commission says the regulator has already implemented many of the recommendations in the report. The Commission also notes that it has responded both to severe funding reductions and to Parliament’s expectation that the charity regulator perform a wide range of functions.

Since May 2012 94 social ventures with high potential for growth have received grants worth £8.9 million to purchase specialist support such as legal advice, financial management and public service commissioning, thanks to a business support fund managed by the Social Investment Business and funded by the Cabinet Office, reveals a report released today. Some 74 are still actively carrying out their business support programmes.

CALM, the mental health charity focused on men, has commissioned public and third sector research specialists Public Knowledge to carry out the Year of the Male's Audit of Modern Masculinity. The audit will explore areas of life where men feel pressure to live up to unrealistic ideals in a bid to understand more about the root causes of male suicide. Jane Powell, CALM's Director, explains the hypothesis behind the study: "There are no studies to evidence why being a man should be the single biggest risk factor for suicide and our hypothesis is that the cause must, in part, be cultural and social.

Today the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) announced an ambitious set of plans for the future, including a new name to reflect its commitment to tackle poverty. From today, it will be known as All We Can, the Methodist relief and development partner. The charity’s new strategy and strengthened identity are the result of a wide-ranging strategic review, carried out over the last year, involving supporters, staff, volunteers and overseas partners.

Scotland’s leading funder for the third sector, Social Investment Scotland, has secured a £16M in principle matched investment commitment from Big Society Capital and the Scottish Government to create a Social Growth Fund for Scotland. Headquartered in Edinburgh, Social Investment Scotland has successfully bid for £8M in funding from Big Society Capital, the independent financial institution set up to develop and shape a sustainable social investment market in the UK. The investment has been matched with £8M from the Scottish Government. The Social Growth Fund will facilitate continued development of Scotland’s third sector focusing on funding and delivering projects which create measurable social impacts.

A London-based charity has been awarded £486,296 from the Big Lottery Fund to tackle the illegal practice of bonded labour in Indian brick kilns. Anti-Slavery International, which made the 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen a patron in February, receives the grant for work towards eradicating bonded labour within 250 brick kilns in the Punjab and bordering states. The project aims to help 50,000 people – mainly members of the Dalit (‘untouchable’) caste who are migrant workers from poor rural communities who have been tricked or trapped into work to pay off loans.


Today, early stage social businesses across England are being challenged to apply for investment capital and business mentoring support that will potentially propel their ventures to the next level. Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of the Big Issue, has opened a second round of its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) programme. The programme uses corporate partners to invest in, support and nurture a new generation of high potential social businesses to grow and deliver sustainable social and financial returns. Now open, the CSV Challenge is seeking up to 20 teams for an intensive mentoring programme.

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the dissolved charity, the Khodam Al Mahdi Organisation and charitable funds purportedly raised in its name. The charity’s objects were “to advance in life and help young people through the provision of recreational and leisure time activities”. In August 2013, the regulator became aware that the charitable company had been dissolved at Companies House since 2012 but the charity had not informed the Commission that it no longer existed, or updated its details on the Register as it was required to do.

Seventeen local authorities are refusing to pass on £4.8m of Government funding to parish and town councils, defying advice from local government minister Brandon Lewis MP, according to the national body for England’s most local councils (National Association of Local Councils). The National Association of Local Councils has gathered information on those authorities withholding Government funding from its network of county associations and has today urged the 17 authorities to rethink their “short-sighted decision”, demanding further action by Government.


FEATURES

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?

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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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