In case you missed it…
It's been a busy couple of weeks so we've put together a quick round up of what's been happening in case you missed it.
The House of Lords Select Committee on Charities was set up earlier this year to consider issues related to sustaining the charity sector and the challenges of charity governance. We responded to their public call for evidence to inform the final conclusions that they will make to Government.
Our vision is of a future where charity sector organisations have the leadership, skills, experience and resources to deliver their services and meet the needs of their beneficiaries. However, for this to be achieved sustainably, excellent fundraising is absolutely fundamental. With that in mind, we put forward a number of recommendations and suggestions for strategic interventions and targeted programmes of support which could help charities across the sector do more, better. These include:
- More support for best practice and better regulation through increasing awareness of high standards, funding additional support for trustees and promoting training and resources for fundraisers;
- Making it easier for the public to freely donate to the charities they support, and to maximise the value of those gifts by expanding legacy giving, improving the gift aid system and helping charities to make the most of digital opportunities and technological developments;
- An increase in financial support for charities, particularly smaller ones, to start publicly fundraising as a means of strengthening and diversifying their revenues.
You can read our full response here.
Earlier this year, NCVO commissioned a working group (also referred to as the ‘opt-in’ working group) chaired by Michael Adamson (Chief Executive, British Red Cross). It was tasked in its terms of reference with “developing proposals on what steps charities should take to move to a system which is based on an individual’s ‘freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous consent’ to be contacted”.
In the first instance, after being presented to the NCVO board in September 2016, the report was launched and recommendations shared with the wider sector. However, we know there has been a lot of confusion around issues of consent/opt-in rules, so the status of these recommendations is important to note: these are not ‘rules’ or ‘standards’ – these are ideas on how charities can develop relationships with supporters and views on what good practice is around direct marketing activity.
The report has now been formally submitted to the Fundraising Regulator, which is likely to consider the recommendations as part of future consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice before any recommendations are implemented.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with Party Conference season, the launch of our new Trustee handbook and increased engagement with MPs to highlight the vital importance of fundraising. Mike Smith (Head of Media and Public Affairs, IoF) has put together a short summary of some of what we’ve been up to in Parliament over the last month which you can read here.
In particular, we’ve been closely following the Small Charitable Donations and Childcare Payments Bill which is passing through Parliament at the moment and has just finished Committee Stage in the House of Commons. The Bill aims to make it easier for charities to benefit from the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, something we’ve been calling for since we published our Manifesto for Fundraising back in 2014 and have been pushing in a number of responses to Government consultations and calls for evidence. However, we think the Bill could go a lot further and so have been working jointly with others in the sector to brief MPs on how smaller charities could benefit more from the scheme if certain amendments were made.
We’ll be continuing to push for these changes to be made as the Bill progresses to Report Stage and then passes through the House of Lords – watch this space.
The fundraising provisions in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 come into force on 1 November 2016, introducing two new requirements. The Act imposes more controls over the relationship between charities and third parties (commercial participators/professional fundraisers) that raise funds on their behalf and also requires larger charities to include additional information about their fundraising practices in their annual reports.
We’ve been working with the Fundraising Regulator and the Charity Commission to produce some FAQs which have been published on the Fundraising Regulator’s website.
We can also confirm that the Fundraising Regulator will give charities a ‘grace period’ of 5 months, to 31st March 2017, to ensure there is enough time to amend existing written agreements with third parties to include the requirements being introduced on 1st November.