Barone Soares: Minimum standard of employability experience

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...

A new guide entitled Bridging the Gap: moving onto to nonprofit boards has just launched as part of the legacy support materials from the Lord Mayor’s Charity Leadership programme 2014. The free to download guide has been written and produced by Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness, Mazars, and Trustees Unlimited, and is primarily aimed at people working in the private sector who wish to take up a trusteeship or other volunteer roles in the charity and nonprofit sector.

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Human Aid UK, registered charity number 1138111. The charity has objects to relieve the need and suffering of victims of natural or other disasters, to advance the education of the public and to promote racial harmony. Human Aid UK specialise in providing aid and support to orphans and vulnerable women, carrying humanitarian work, development work and building infrastructure. The Commission has also identified that the charity has been involved in delivering aid to Syrian refugees.

Demand from Scotland’s third sector for the recently established Social Growth Fund has exceeded £10M in its first three months, according to Social Investment Scotland (SIS) which manages the fund. The Social Growth Fund includes £8M from the Scottish Government and a further £8M from Big Society Capital, the independent financial institution set up to develop and shape a sustainable social investment market in the UK. It was officially opened for business by SIS in early May.

The DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal has reached a total of just over £9.5m since it launched over seven days ago. This will enable the DEC’s 13 member agencies to continue to scale up their humanitarian response for hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza, while a renewed ceasefire holds. This will involve replenishing urgently needed medical supplies, providing clean water and emergency shelter materials. In addition, agencies will begin supporting the reconstruction of essential infrastructure destroyed in the conflict, such as power supplies, water and sewage systems.

The UK’s biggest companies have almost doubled their donations to charities over the last five years, but most people are unaware of their work in this area, according to new research. The FTSE 100 gave £2.5bn to good causes in 2012, a £1.2bn rise since 2007 – despite the economic downturn. However, consumers are largely unaware of this commitment, people thinking that just over a third (36%) of the FTSE 100 make donations to charity every year when in reality nearly all of them (98%) do. The report also shows that younger people are a lot pickier when it comes to the companies they choose to do business with.

The independent Commission on Voluntary Sector & Ageing, established by the think tanks NPC and ILC-UK, today warns charities to improve the way they work with volunteers, or risk losing the time and goodwill of the ‘super boomer’ generation. The new paper, A better offer, warns: UK charities urgently need to step-up preparations for the future, warns independent commission. ‘Without adapting, charities may find a large part of their voluntary workforce deserting them’...

The National Citizen Service provided good value for money, according to an independent evaluation published today. The impact report into the government's flagship youth volunteering scheme in 2013, commissioned by the Cabinet Office and carried out by Ipsos Mori, found it cost £49m for its summer programme and £13m for the autumn programme. Comparatively, the summer programme in 2012 cost the government nearly £37m to deliver.

The Disasters Emergency Committee is warning that with debate about the Gaza crisis sometimes falling into anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, the undoubted need to provide help to hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need could be reduced to a political football. DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “The DEC’s launch of a public appeal in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has been wrongly interpreted in some quarters as a political statement. It is nothing of the sort. Giving aid is not taking sides...

Today, the Charity Commission and OSCR as the joint SORP-making body have announced that the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) have been awarded a contract to provide support for future updates of the Charities SORP including the secretariat for the SORP advisory committee.
Currently, the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as the joint SORP-making body also provide the secretariat support involved in developing the SORP. This has included preparing the technical briefing papers for the SORP committee and drafting the text of the revised SORP for input from the SORP committee.


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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