This is where we’ll post third sector news and important updates that are useful for your organisation.

Govt to issue £1m in grants to help charities improve digital skills

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Lauren Weymouth

The government has announced it will issue grants worth £1 million to fund support programmes that will help charities improve their digital skills.

The funding, launched by Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, follows the government’s launch of its new Civil Society Strategy, which set out plans to help charities in growing their digital confidence.

Wright said training provided through the Digital Leadership Fund, will help charities to better develop an understanding of how technology can make it easier for them to achieve their goals.

The fund will give industry leaders free access to training or heavily subsidised courses to boost their digital skills and develop a wider understanding of how technology can help them to fulfil their mission.

Training will include learning how to maximise online fundraising tools, build a social media presence or modernise their operational delivery by embedding updated IT systems.

It is also likely to include learning how to harness emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to achieve their charitable objectives.

“We want charitable organisations to thrive in the digital age and are committed to helping them get the most out of technology, which can act as an enormous force for good,” Wright said.

“Through this programme, charity leaders will have more opportunities to enhance skills and boost employee confidence while creating a greater and more positive impact on people and their communities.”

The Digital Leadership Fund is designed for organisations that are currently providing training to improve charities’ digital skills.

Applications close on Friday December 7th.

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

UK creeps back into top 10 CAF World Giving Index

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Lauren Weymouth

The UK is the sixth most generous country in the world when it comes to charitable giving, a new report by the Charities Aid Foundation has revealed.

According to the latest CAF World Giving Index, the UK has climbed back into the top 10 this year, up from 11th position in 2017.

The report, which is based on a survey of 150,000 people from 146 countries around the world, measured how many people have donated to or volunteered for a charity, or helped a stranger in the past month.

This year’s report revealed Indonesia as the most generous country in the world, while Australia, New Zealand and the US fell shortly behind. Ireland and the UK were the only two European countries to make it into the top 10.

Myanmar, which had previously held the top spot since 2015, fell down to ninth place in this year’s rankings. All three of the country’s scores decreased from last year (donating money fell from 91% to 88%; helping a stranger fell from 53% to 40%; and volunteering time is down from 51% to 34%).

The scores for helping a stranger and volunteering are the lowest ever recorded for Myanmar by the CAF World Giving Index, which CAF said was likely to be a result of Myanmar’s people being “less willing or able to give” after the Rohingya crisis peaked in 2017.

The UK score was set back by its volunteer time. According to the survey, 33 per cent had volunteered in the last month. This compares to the 63 per cent that had helped a stranger and 68 per cent that had donated money to charity.

“The levels of generosity we see in countries is truly humbling, particularly when it shows huge support for others in countries which have suffered years of conflict, war or instability. That really demonstrates our shared human values shining through,” said CAF chief executive, Sir John Low.

“This year it is heartening that millions more people helped others and volunteered their time. The global fall in the numbers giving money is a concern, however, as the cumulative effect of the money people give can have an amazing effect.

“Some countries do show some sharp declines in levels of giving, and we will have to look carefully to analyse the possible reasons and determine whether we are seeing short term volatility in the data or the start of a longer term trend. As always, what is important is to take the long view, look beyond the annual peaks and troughs and work towards the upward trend in giving which can make such a difference to the lives of us all.”

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Caron Bradshaw: Charities are still being far too quiet about Brexit

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Caron Bradshaw

Back in August last year, hot on the heels of the CFG report A Brexit that works for everyone, I wrote a piece for Charity Times, urging charities to be vocal on the issue. And as we hurtle towards the end date for negotiations I am taking the opportunity to do the same again as I fear we are still being far too quiet.

I also urge you to consider, based on what you now know, how Brexit is going to impact you and your beneficiaries. Are you preparing for what might come? First, a brief canter through the story so far.

Last year we were of the view that a well-managed Brexit negotiation could offer the sector a rare opportunity to resolve issues that have long impeded our performance – much like the rules around state aid and the burden of irrecoverable VAT.

Since then, we have been engaging and closely monitoring how negotiations have progressed as well as what developments might mean for charities. Having not taken a position before the referendum, we took the view that doing so after the outcome would have been improper and unhelpful.

At CFG, we pride ourselves on our objectivity. We seek to consider the changing evidence base and the wider interests of the sector. Consequently, we have been able to use language and highlight areas that have opened, hitherto closed, doors for the sector. We have been able to engage with those influencing Brexit so that they might think beyond the interests of business alone and include in their deliberations the impact on charities and society.

In our first report, we examined the impact for charities of leaving the EU and considered issues beyond the loss of EU funding, considerable though that is. We examined questions about workers, state aid, procurement and the need for coordination – particularly regarding the delivery of international aid.

Earlier this year, we commissioned research leading to a second report looking at work force issues. This was helpful in pressing politicians to think about Brexit from the impact on social change in the event of EU workers no longer being available to us. In our latest report, a cost benefit analysis, we have concluded that, as negotiations are currently progressing, the sector stands to have all the costs and none of the benefits of Brexit.

Over the twelve months since our first report, we’re pleased that we’ve had some success in getting the charity perspective to the table. But the voice needs amplifying and sadly the negotiations appear to have achieved very little for us as a sector. We need to change that.

Wherever you are on the politics of this, there is one thing we must all do now – speak up for our beneficiaries. If you haven’t already done so, make representations to your MPs. Your voice is critical and we are fast running out of time for consideration to be given to the issues of most importance to our sector.

My second plea to you all is to think about what Brexit means for you as an organisation. Have you given consideration to how it might impact your charity, from the perspective of the economy, the tax regime, workforce skills or changes in public spending and regulation? Map out your risks or the opportunities that might flow to your charity. Put Brexit on the agenda for your board of trustees. Consider whether a working group which cuts across your organisation might be helpful (depending on your size) and make sure you speak with your stakeholders and understand how they might be impacted.

Brexit – unless it is halted – is not a two year process, but is likely to be a decade (at least) long event. So creating the structures to monitor the impact over the longer term, right now, will save you pain in the long run and set you up to be able to capitalise on any opportunities that might arise. Above all, don’t watch from the side lines – you might think this will have little bearing on your charity, but this is such a significant event that it is hard to think of charities that won’t be exposed to some change either directly or indirectly.

Caron Bradshaw is the CEO of the Charity Finance Group

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Revealed: Charity sector leaders named in LGBT+ role model list

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Lauren Weymouth

A number of senior executives from across the charity sector have been named as LGBT+ plus role models in a new list designed to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

A list compiled by membership group OUTstanding, in conjunction with the Financial Times, revealed Antonio Zappulla, chief operating officer of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, as the number one LGBT+ senior executive in the charity and public sector.

Among the 30 LGBT+ public sector executive role models, seven charity sector individuals were named, with Zappulla topping the list.

Zappulla is an outspoken supporter of the business case for LGBT+ inclusion and ranked fourth in Outstanding’s 2017 LGBT executive role model list. He co-chairs Pride at Work, the LGBT network at Thomson Reuters and sits on the boards of All Out and Out in Business at the London Business School.

Lee Marshall, who is the co-founder of UK LGBT charity Stonewall landed in at number five. He is currently chief of staff at the Church of England Pensions Board and chair of anti-bullying charity The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation.

Seventh place was awarded to Carole Anderson, head of strategy and performance at hospital charity Golden Jubilee Foundation. Anderson helped to organise the “largest ever” group of NHS staff to march for Pride Glasgow 2018.

Tony Lloyd, CEO of charity ADHD Foundation fell in at number 11 for his work as a consultant for the Merseyside police on the inclusion and recruitment of more LGBT+ officers.

In 22nd place was Gemma Bull, funding strategy director at the Big Lottery Fund; Ian Green, chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust was 24th, while Polly Shuttle, executive fundraising director at Together for Short Lives, was 27th.

The list features a number of executives from across both charity and public sectors and recognises the work done across the globe to promote diversity and inclusivity.

Suki Sandhu, founder and CEO, INvolve, said: “Our sixth OUTstanding lists are our most international and diverse ever. They feature executives representing 21 countries around the world – from Ghana to Germany and from India to Israel.

“We’re so proud to see so many senior and future leaders recognised as role models for their work driving cultural change and creating environments where everyone can succeed. Everyone – regardless of gender, sexuality or ethnicity – benefits from a level playing field where people feel able to bring their whole selves to work.”

The full list of LGBT+ public sector executive role models can be viewed here.

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Peter Lewis: We need to work together for a stronger civil society

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Peter Lewis

Our sector is strongest when we are together. As a membership organisation with over 6,000 individuals across the UK and over 600 charity members, I see every day the difference that is made when fundraisers share, support, and collaborate with each other. It is one of the things that always gives me pride and hope for the future – that whatever the individual cause is of the organisation we work for, we understand that we are unlikely to get there just on our own. As Helen Keller, author and campaigner, once said; “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

‘Collaboration’ is also the ubiquitous rallying call that is often heard from government, think tanks, and the sector itself. It was heard once again at the recent Conservative Party conference fringe event with Philip Dunne, the MP for Ludlow, urging charities to “speak with one voice” to have the most impact. With a cynical hat on you could say this makes it easier for parliamentarians, and with around 160,000 registered charities in the UK the idea we could ever ‘have one voice’ might leave a few people with raised eyebrows. But we cannot deny that there is value in having a common voice and purpose, especially when, given the current political climate, anything other than Brexit finds it hard to get cut through. It also is a reminder for us working at membership and infrastructure organisations that we also need to continue to work together too.

Yet working together isn’t always easy. Sometimes there can be fears about a potential loss of your individual’s charity identity, dilution of your independence and voice, or disagreement with others over precise policy calls and responses. But recently I’ve been reminded again about how much more we have to gain through collaboration. I’ve been lucky to have been involved with sector leaders in working groups and conversations to tackle the things that will benefit us all; diversity in the fundraising community, a strong and united call for the £2bn funding from dormant assets to be designated for strategic, long-term investment in civil society organisations, and substantive work on improving safeguarding across the sector.
And when I look at what’s happening more widely across our sector, there are some really excellent examples of collaboration– people and organisations coming together to amplify their voice.

For example, the Tesco partnership with Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK is a prime example of shared knowledge unlocking progress. It focuses on their shared charitable objectives and, over the next five years, their campaign will bring together their skills and expertise to lower health risks across the UK. Last year a coalition of eighteen London homelessness charities came together for a joint campaign with the Mayor of London to help rough sleepers in the capital. And the IoF’s own long term project to increase gifts in wills, Remember A Charity goes from strength to strength, with now over 200 charities working collectively to make legacy giving the social norm.

One of my favourite collaborative campaigns was a group of 26 hospices across the North West who came together in 2017 to launch a TV advertising campaign that busted myths and broke down barriers that prevented people from accessing hospice care across the region. The hospices worked together to share the cost of airing the ads during prime time Granada TV and enabled them to all reach a wider audience than ever before – in an affordable way that benefited them all.

We can rarely achieve transformational without the help and support those around us. Whether that’s working with the charities nearest to us geographically, on similar causes, or as membership bodies supporting a wider range of charities, we all gain through collaboration. At the IoF, we believe in excellent fundraising for a better world – and fundraising is at its best when we learn from others, support our peers and colleagues, and work together for the benefit of all.

Peter Lewis is the chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Opinion: Bring on board some youthful diversity

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Eleanor Urben

The average age of a charity trustee is 61. Yet diversity improves governance and organisation success . Given that 85% of people under 35 would consider becoming a trustee it is clear that charities should be exploring ways to recruit young people.

What are the benefits of young trustees?

• Contributing a different perspective and fresh insights to board discussions and a healthy challenge to established assumptions and ways of doing things.
• Enthusiasm for learning the role – they are often keen to develop their existing skills whilst helping a charitable cause. This enthusiasm means that they will be more likely to bring energy, creativity and new ideas.
• If your beneficiaries include young people, young trustees can provide useful insight and perspectives on beneficiary needs and experience, and increase the board’s credibility in the eyes of this group.
• Benefits the charity sector as a whole as it helps to engage younger people with sector, developing the next generation of potential charity leaders and supporters.

How to attract them and keep them

Ensure that your advert and role description are written in a way that attracts young people and does not include criteria which excludes them. Consider testing out recruitment materials on young people first. Signal your openness and recruit via multiple channels, beyond your usual networks.

One of the biggest obstacles young trustees face is lack of flexibility with their time, because they are likely to be in employment or education. Be open to adapt to the needs of your trustees by giving plenty of notice prior to board meetings and scheduling meetings for a time which all trustees can make.

It is also important to offer young trustees a good induction process to ensure that they feel supported and valued whilst gaining a deeper understanding of their role.

An existing trustee could take on the role of a mentor to provide for a young trustee. Recruiting more than one young trustee at a time can help them feel less alone. Resources, such as The Young Charity Trustees Guide can also be useful.

Depending on their background and experience, you might need to consider other ways of ensuring that your young trustee can participate on an equal footing with other trustees.

Consider how you can make your board papers more accessible, and your meetings engaging. All trustees will benefit from this. Giving young trustees a specific role or focus area that they can take the lead on can be a good way to empower them.


Chantal Chang, young trustee, Leap Confonting Conflict: “The other trustees are keen to hear what I have to say because I’m aware of the challenges for young people and can provide insight into how our work really affects them.”

Vicky Smith, young trustee, Focus Birmingham: “I wanted to expand my understanding of leadership at a governance level in practice. And it’s a cause I feel really passionate about. It was a perfect fit because the charity was looking for someone with marketing and fundraising skills and I have significant relevant experience.”

Eleanor Urben is trusteeworks manager at Reach Volunteering

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Charity Times Awards 2018: Winners announced

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Charity Times

Langley House Trust, Autistica and Capoeira4Refugees were among the big winners at the Charity Times Awards 2018, celebrated with a packed ceremony in London last night.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Westminster Park Plaza to see Langley House Trust crowned the Charity of the Year (income over £5m). The judges recognised the charity in particular for its well-rounded application that showcased “excellent” charity management.

Capoeira4Refugees, a charity supporting capoeira trainers in conflict zones all over the world, was named Charity of the Year (income of less than £1m) for evidencing “real impact and growth” over the past year.

Autistica took home the award for Charity of the Year (income of £1-5m) and was praised by judges for “creating a fantastic impact in such a short space of time”. They said the charity showcased strength in engaging beneficiaries in an innovative way.

Fundraising and development coach Amicky Carol Akiwumi was presented with the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. Akiwumi is the director of Black Fundraisers UK, a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising and founder of Money4Youth.

She was recognised for her tireless efforts in helping to create a culture of change within fundraising. Nominated for becoming an active voice for diversity across the whole sector, judges said Akiwumi has not been afraid to speak up to champion for a better approach to workplace equality.

Bowel Cancer UK CEO, Deborah Alsina, was named Charity Principal of the Year after successfully leading the charity through a merger and adopting a successful and innovative approach to charity management in an increasingly digital world.

Silver Line chief executive, Sophie Andrews, was highly commended for the award thanks to her passion and dedication to providing a friendship service for older people.

Sarah Anne Sturmey topped the Rising CEO Star category after judges said she was a “huge influence” on the strength of project delivery at her charity. Fozia Irfan, CEO at Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation was highly commended.

Now in their 19th year, the awards attracted hundreds of high quality entries, which were then evaluated by an expert independent judging panel.

In addition to the charity of the year and individual categories, the awards as always set out to recognise a variety of fields of charity management, celebrating the best standards of leadership and professionalism.

The Charity Times Awards also recognise the efforts of private enterprises in supporting the sector, whether through charity partnerships or delivering excellent service.

The full list of winners and highly commended entrants is available below.

The winners

Advisory Provider of the Year
WINNER: Penningtons Manches

Boutique Investment Management
WINNER: EdenTree Investment Management

Investment Management
WINNER: Smith & Williamson Investment Management

Financial Management Award
WINNER: The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance

Best Use of Technology
WINNER: Chasing the Stigma with Mashbo

Fundraising Technology Award
WINNER: Encephalitis Society

Best Social Media Presence
WINNER: British Red Cross

Change Project of the Year
WINNER: The Care Workers Charity

HR Management Award
WINNER: St Mungo’s

PR Team of the Year

Campaigning Team of the Year

WINNER: Citizens Advice

Fundraising Team of the Year
WINNER: Cure Leukaemia

Corporate National Partnership of the Year with a Retailer
WINNER: Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, Jamie’s Italian, Abokado and Leon

Corporate National Partnership of the Year with a Financial Institution
WINNER: Barclays, Catch22 and The Prince’s Trust

Corporate Community Local Involvement
WINNER: National Literacy Trust and British Land

Corporate Social Responsibility Project of the Year
WINNER: Trees for Cities and Bulb

Corporate National Partnership Champion
WINNER: Malaria No More UK and Fever-Tree

Cross-sector Partnership of the Year
WINNER: Good Things Foundation, Mind, Homeless Link – Reboot UK

Community Award
WINNER: The Scout Association

Social Investment Initiative
WINNER: City Bridge Trust & UBS

Supporting Executive of the Year
WINNER: Jenni Wiggle, Living Streets

Rising CEO Star
WINNER: Sarah Anne Sturmey, Pure Insight
Highly commended: Fozia Irfan, Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation

Charity Principal of the Year
WINNER: Deborah Alsina, Bowel Cancer UK
Highly commended: Sophie Andrews, The Silver Line

Outstanding Individual Achievement
WINNER: Carol Akiwumi

Charity of the Year: with an income of less than £1 million
WINNER: Capoeira4Refugees

Charity of the Year: with an income of £1 million – £5 million
WINNER: Autistica
Highly commended: Young Women’s Trust

Charity of the Year: with an income of more than £5 million
WINNER: Langley House Trust

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Fundraising Regulator consults on code of practice

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Lauren Weymouth

The Fundraising Regulator has opened a consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice, with the view to understanding its accessibility as a ‘straightforward and practical’ tool for fundraisers.

The Code of Fundraising Practice and its associated rulebooks for street, door-to-door and private site fundraising outline the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK.

According to the regulator, its consultation will focus on the style, presentation, clarity and accessibility of a new draft of the code, with respondents asked to feedback.

The new draft includes the following:

– A new table of contents and a simpler ordering of the code’s content
– A “plain English” review of the language used in the code
– A new code introduction
– A glossary of key terms used within the code
– A table of those rules proposed for deletion or amendment
– The face-to-face fundraising rulebooks being incorporated into the “collections” section of the code

The regulator said the decision to consult on the code follows “careful consideration and feedback” from the regulator’s first consultation last year; roundtable sessions with smaller charities; conversations with other regulators and bodies in the sector and queries and comments from members of the public.

The consultation will run for 10 weeks and will close on Friday 16 November 2018.

A summary of responses is set to be published on the consultation web pages together with the Fundraising Regulator’s final decisions regarding changes to the code. The regulator will be encouraging the sector to feed in its views during this period.

Commenting on the consultation, the Fundraising Regulator’s chair of the standards committee, Suzanne McCarthy said: “The Code of Fundraising Practice underpins the behaviours that we expect from fundraisers and organisations across the charitable fundraising sector.

“It is vital that all fundraisers can use and understand the Code confidently and with ease to ensure their organisation’s compliance. We are confident that this consultation will result in an improved experience for both fundraisers and the general public alike.”

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Charities invited to complete national survey; chance to win £200

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Charity Times

Charity employees from around the UK have been invited to take part in a national survey on charities, with the chance to win £200 for their favourite charity.

The survey, run by the University of Suffolk, in partnership with insurance broker PolicyBee, has been designed to see how charities navigate risks they face, the way they’re governed, and complying with regulations.

PolicyBee is aiming to help grassroots organisations – those with an annual income of £500,000 or less – reduce their risk profile in a positive way, so they can invest maximum resources and energy into their charitable objectives and increase social impact.

Everybody who has a say in the running and direction of their charity or organisation has been invited to respond. This includes sole operators, trustees, chief execs, volunteers and more.

As a ‘thank you’ for taking part, everyone who completes the survey has the chance to be entered into a draw to win £200 for their charity.

Simply enter your charity email address when prompted at the end of the survey. Your answers won’t be linked to your email address and your contact details will only be used to inform you if you win.

Take the quick survey (less than 10 mins) survey here.

The survey will close on 9 September 2018.

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Are there unexplored consequences to the trustee disqualification rules?

Originally published by charitytimes:

Written by Gillian McKay

The revised disqualification rules for charity trustees and senior charity positions came into force on 1 August. This reflects the changes brought in by the additional powers granted under the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016.

There have always been automatic reasons for disqualifying trustees, this revision extends the list of reasons for disqualification and extends the disqualification rules to the chief executive and chief financial officer roles. These roles are now considered ‘restricted’ under the disqualification rules.

The Commission’s guidance clearly states: “If you are disqualified you must not act in a trustee or relevant senior management position at a charity, unless and until your disqualification is waived by the Charity Commission”.

Therefore, under the new rules, any individual acting in either trustee, chief executive or finance director position, must either obtain a Charity Commission waiver or resign.

It is worth noting that it is the senior management function rather than the role title that defines whether a role is restricted or not. For smaller charities, both these functions may fall to one person, or there may be employees with split responsibilities, for example an office manager who also manages the finances, now being affected.

The penalties for continuing to act in these positions while knowingly disqualified include being asked to repay remuneration, benefits and expenses received while in post, or being referred to the police.

The list of reasons for disqualification includes unspent convictions for a number of specified criminal convictions and a list of civil court judgements. Charities are expected to review their internal procedures to accommodate these changes. For some of the criminal convictions, such as terrorist offences, bribery or fraud, there may be very few circumstances where a charity would consider such an individual suitable to remain in post. However, the list of relevant offences include those involving “deception or dishonesty”.

Annex A of the Commission’s guidance provides a list of offences, which may include dishonesty or deception, these include theft, fraud or obtaining service, by false representation or failing to disclose information. However, some convictions qualifying under this could, in some circumstances, be rather minor, for example petty shoplifting or forgetting to update insurance policy details on which there is a later claim.

Are there unexplored consequences for charities here? The Commission has been accepting applications for waivers since 1 February, encouraging early application in order to get a decision “in good time”. However, it is not clear how long it takes to obtain a waiver.

It is possible that an employee in a restricted position has been convicted of a dishonest offence, in the period after 1 August 2017, which they contested in court but lost. They are fined and the crime will be unspent a year from conviction.

The details of this were made perfectly aware to the trustees at the time. The trustees consider the offence to be suitably minor and that there are sufficient controls in place to mitigate any harm to the charity. The waiver is applied for but not received by 1 August.

Presumably this person must now resign, in which case there are several issues. What if the waiver is granted soon after, or the conviction becomes unspent shortly after? Can the individual demand to be reinstated and demand compensation and from whom?

Presumably the early application for waivers was to allow for charities to plan for such eventualities, but it is hard to see what could be concluded in this period given the uncertain nature of the outcome.

These are integral roles in the charity, expecting these individuals to now step down could have operational, legal and personal consequences for the charity and all of those involved.

Gillian McKay is head of charity and voluntary sector at the ICAEW

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News